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Study visit to Poland

A delegation of ENEMLOS project partners from Montenegro, academic and non-academic, visited legal clinics at several universities in Poland in the period from March 28 to April 1, 2022. The host and main organizer of the visit was a Polish partner, the Polish Legal Clinics Foundation, headed by dr. Filip Czernicki. The Bar Chamber, within the delegation, was represented by the director dr. Nina Radulović and the implementing attorney Marija Živković.

During this very intensive program, the delegation visited legal clinics at five Polish universities, four of which are in Warsaw (University of Warsaw, Lazarski University, SWPS University, Kozminski University) and one university in Krakow (Jagiellonian University), but also the Polish Legal Clinics Foundation, in Warsaw too.

You can see the detailed Agenda of the visit HERE.

Nowadays, every Law faculty in Poland has a legal clinic, i.e. it educates future lawyers through practical work with real clients, primarily socially endangered groups. It is a tradition that has been developing for the last 20 years, and it started on the initiative of the students themselves with great enthusiasm and work invested by the Polish Legal Clinics Foundation. The Foundation operates as a non-governmental organization that has been promoting the concept of legal clinics in Poland since its beginning, and now sets professional standards for legal clinics that are its members, practically all legal clinics in Poland, organizes trainings, exchange of experiences, develops concepts of work improvement, provides assistance in drafting project proposals, and represents the interests of legal clinics in the Polish legal system that regulates free legal aid.

The universities and legal clinics visited by the delegation are well technically equipped and work in suitable business premises that enable direct work with clients, guaranteeing them confidentiality, but also enable the work of students when studying subject matters and preparing legal opinions. Within each clinic there is a section for administration and archives, so they are organized alike joint law offices. Working conditions are somewhat more modest at Jagiellonian University, but that does not diminish their enthusiasm and quality of work.

Today in Poland, clinics are funded by universities, just like any other university unit. Professors in Poland are also licensed attorneys, so they rarely need to hire external attorneys for mentoring. Clinics are primarily engaged in issuing legal opinions, but do have professional liability insurance. In some cases, clinics also provide legal representation, even before the European Court of Human Rights. In that case, the professional responsibility for representation is taken over by the mentor, i.e. the professor who is attorney at the same time.

In recent years, the number of cases processed by clinics has been declining, due to the national legal aid system that hires licensed law firms for this type of work. That is why legal clinics focus their work on the quality and seriousness, which makes clients with the most difficult cases to turn to them. Experience of working in a legal clinic is an excellent recommendation for student clinicians to get a job after completing their studies within a judiciary system, today practically becoming the standard in Poland. Legal clinics go even a step further, so they started disseminating knowledge about law within the high school population too. The first such pilot project is being implemented by Lazarski University.


Radno vrijeme: ponedeljak - petak, 9-15 časova
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