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About the program

For successful reformation of Ukrainian legislation system and administrative authorities there is a necessity of professional lawyers who understand and realize present problems of Ukrainian society. Program “Ukrainian Legal Clinics” provides the state with such specialists.

Work of young lawyers in legal clinic let them realize value and importance of accumulated theoretical knowledge and master technique of applying this knowledge on practice. Such form of studying is more effective than usual practical classess that are held in majority of institutions of higher education since it provides students with a possibility of communication with people who really need legal aid. Such studying assists to develop skills of communication, analysys of information, psychological methods that are necessary for each lawyer in his/her everyday work. Lawyers-novices realize importance of such skills and understand that this knowledge will be useful for their career.

Free legal aid aims to implement constitutional principle of citizens’ equality when they defend their rights. According to chapter 1 of Article 59 of Constitution of Ukraine: “everyone has the right to legal assistance. Everyone is free to choose the defender of his or her rights.” Due to unsatisfactory social and economic situation in Ukraine – particularly law income of common citizen – majority of citizens have status of indigent. Relationships between citizens and state’s authorities are very formalized and foresee verbal appeal. Indigent citizens can not afford payment of compilation of these documents and this fact deprive them of their rights for extrajudicial and judicial case resolving.

The “Ukrainian Legal Clinics” program involves active and creative people. Persons who participate in the program are not indifferent to the future of the Ukrainian people and country. During existance of the program many of legal clinics have been highly estimated by citizens for their useful activity. A lot of cases legal clinics have been working on were solved positively.

Through implementation of it’s tasks by Ukrainian organizations the “Ukrainian Legal Clinics” program has filled in a hole that existed in the field of legal aid for indigent. Ukrainian citizens have become more effective in their actions after learning about provided possibility of their rights protection and implementation. The stereotype of “inaccessibility and impossibility of rights implementation in distorted rights implementation system” was broken for them.

 

Goals and tasks of Ukrainian legal clinics' activity -

This chapter contains information about initialization of the “Legal Clinical Education” program and main rules and principles of legal clininc’s activity. Emphasis is made on importance of legal clinical education that appeared as an answer for a problem of incompetence of graduates towards practical application of legal knowledge. This is why program’s goals are partly determined by necessity of resolving problems of traditional legal education. There are main criterial features of activity of legal clinincs in the field of legal education outlined in the chapter: teaching students lawyer’s practical work; developing positive philosophic and legal comprehension of internal essence of lawyer’s profession; providing indigent with free legal aid; legal clinical education also aims to assist progressive social changes by application of legal system and legal tools.

 

Concept and structure of legal clinics -

The chapter contains information regarding internal structure of legal clinic and its organizational structure. The emphasis is made on the fact that when legal clinic is being created at law faculty, many important tasks are performed, namely: combination of theoretical and practical studying; development of practical skills by students-lawyers; solution of number of social problems of the region etc. The chapter presents information regarding the most effective ways of legal clininc’s work organization (like choosing the most appropriate basis for creation of legal clinic, whether it should be law faculty or NGO) and formation of legal clinic’s staff.

 

Types and specialization of legal clinics -

Legal education must be supplemented with special skills and according to special methodics which do not fit the frameworks of traditional academic courses. Specialisation of legal clinic as a form of studying process gives a possibility to solve this problem. Clinic may include various courses and special programs from different fields of law and this is how clinics choose their specialization. Each educational clinical program includes combination of different disciplines and branches of law which regulate aforementioned questions. They also regulate correlation of disciplines of procedural and material law that provides students with complete comprehension of law system.



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