Legal Clinic Education Development
Responsible Lawyers for Vulnerable People
Starting from 2006 till now New Eurasia Foundation has been providing methodological, institutional and informational support to the university-based legal clinics in Belarus.
During this period under the Clinical Legal Education Development Program and Legal Advocacy for Vulnerable People in Belarus Project more than 2,500 individuals representing vulnerable and at-risk groups received legal consultations and/or legal information. Over 2,000 informational booklets were published and disseminated among vulnerable groups.
With USAID and other donors’ support 14 legal clinics received institutional capacity building assistance and substantially expanded their training programs. More than 300 law students associated with legal clinics have had a unique opportunity to form and train their practical skills during academic studies and educational events in the country and abroad. The legal clinic community increased the professional level of staff and introduced new services to vulnerable people who in effect improved the awareness of their rights and employed legal defense opportunities. The clinics also expanded networking within the professional community thus promoting the very idea of socially responsible legal service.
NEF continues supporting legal clinics in Belarus under the Capacity Building for Civil Society Organizations Project. The Project expands professional growth opportunities for students, curators and supervisors through participation in annual Belarusian student legal Olympiad and other local and international professional events. Innovative tools such as the Inter-university clinic and the Mobility fund instrument will also pay off. NEF will award small grants to support the development of new training programs and strengthen the professional ties. To tailor an evidence-based and demand-driven program NEF is carrying out a comprehensive research into the needs and opportunities of legal clinics in Belarus.