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Networks of Community Law Centers and legal clinics exchanged experience
  • Written by Dinara Kasimbekova, IRC “Legal Space”
  • Published in  Events
The lawyers from the network of Community Law Centers and legal clinics are learning during the seminar in Ivano-Frankivsk region. Photo by Dinara Kasimbekova and Maksym Shcherbatyuk.
The lawyers from the network of Community Law Centers and legal clinics are learning during the seminar in Ivano-Frankivsk region.

How can we build informational work of Community Law Centers? How is the cooperation with volunteers adjusted? How to prevent lawyers who support others from psychological pressure? These and others questions were discussed by the participants of learning seminar for lawyers by Community Law Centers network and legal clinics of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union conducted learning seminars for the representatives of its clinics and for the network of Community Law Centers from June 10 to June 13. The main goal of the event was to study the important components of lawyers’ work which were not addressed before.


The seminar was made of 2 blocks: “Informational component of Community Law Centers’ activity” and “Centers’ work with difficult visitors, basics of work with volunteers”. In the first block, after describing the goals and tasks of the seminar, Maryna Hovorukhina, UHHRU PR-manager, together with other participants discussed why the informational activity of Centers and clinics is necessary. They also learned how to write press-announcements and press-releases for media, practiced the development of informational strategy.

The second day of the seminar started with defining how to write a good text for mass media, learning the examples of writing good and bad headlines for articles. Additionally, Maryna Hovorukhina shared secrets from personal experience on how to come to a mutual understanding with journalists. One of the brightest moments of the day happened when the task was proposed: to describe an example of successful legal case when all the participants had to use their creativity. Dull and difficult cases turned into bright stories.


The first block of the seminar finished with studying the main aspects of logistics to conduct legal education events. Nazar Losyuk, the logistics specialist of UHHRU, shared methods and showed the main mistakes which should not be made. Also he explained how to organize the event so that logistics specialist, participants and organizers would feel comfortable.


The second block of the seminar was conducted by Lyudmyla Klochko, the head of the legal clinic of Kharkiv human rights group. She started the discussion of peculiarities of work with people who visit legal clinics: which types of visitors exist, how to come to mutual understanding with them, what stages of providing legal aid exist. She also organized role game for participants when they tried to give legal aid to “difficult” clients.


The last day of the seminar was dedicated to the discussion of volunteer work by Nataliya Kozarenko, the head of the legal clinic of Kherson regional Charity and Health Foundation. She shared the experience of organizing volunteer work, conducting informational events for volunteers. The main point was how to motivate them to help in Community Law Centers.

The participants of the seminar created volunteer profiles, wrote work plans, worked on motivational tasks and performed sketches on interviews with volunteers.

As a reminder, the Law of Ukraine “On free legal aid” was adopted in 2011. It guarantees help in defending rights and lawful interests to socially unprotected social classes. Without waiting until the state provides for qualified primary legal aid to people, Ukrainian human rights organizations supported by the International Renaissance Foundation founded the network of Community Law Centers. Such learning seminars enable the members of the network to exchange an experience of legal clinics work, new techniques and methods of work, tell about successful stories, discuss current problems and find the best solution.

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