UBA News (#12 December 2016)

Tomorrows Lawyer Program presented in Kiev

Tomorrows Lawyer, the first nationwide training program for lawyers aimed at improving the quality of legal services, effective implementation of reforms in the justice sector and shaping the legal community in Ukraine, was officially presented on 10 November.

The program will be implemented by the Ukrainian Bar Association and Bar Association for Legal Aid Providers (BALAP) supported by the Quality and Accessible Legal Aid in Ukraine (QALA) Project funded by the Government of Canada, implemented by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) in cooperation with the Coordination Center for Legal Aid Provision.

The key modules of the Tomorrows Lawyer program include client management, interaction with colleagues - procedural opponents in court, communication within the legal community as well as public relations and media. Education is designed to be free of charge for all lawyers.

The program is open for lawyers from all over Ukraine, who have experience of advocacy for more than two years, actively engaged in social activities, involved in the facilitation of legal aid provision in Ukraine, possessing their own vision and ideas of justice sector reforms and willing to dedicate themselves to improving the legal system of Ukraine.

The shortlisting of participants will be carried out through a questionnaire and followed by an interview, if necessary. Applications for the first pilot project will be accepted up to 9 December 2016. The start of the training program is scheduled for February 2017 and will take place in four cities Kiev, Lviv, Odessa and Kharkiv.

For eight years of proactive work in the Ukrainian Bar Association, we presented and implemented plenty of interesting projects. However, Tomorrows Lawyer will be the largest. During the first wave of the program, we will select 100 advocates from all over Ukraine, who will go through four training sessions within a year. Therefore, I appeal to all advocates, regardless of their city of residence, to apply for the program. We will make sure that the maximum number of advocates from regions took part in the training. While advocates from Kiev will face a serious competition challenge, UBA President Denys Bugay was quoted as saying. The main criterion for the program will be the applicants readiness to become an agent of change and a leader of tomorrow, he stressed.

The difference between this program and other educational initiatives is that it will contain nothing of substantive and procedural law, nothing of what lawyers are being taught in high school. Instead, lawyers will be able to master the so-called soft skills necessary to become successful and effective in the profession, to grow as leaders in the legal community, said the program manager Andriy Vyshnevsky. He believes that the program has emerged in response to the new requirements and challenges faced by the Ukrainian legal society. Nowadays, lawyers shall act not only as effective providers of legal services, they should formulate their position on the on-going reforms in the legal sphere, and be able to effectively communicate their position, added Mr. Vyshnevsky.

Chairman of the Bar Association of Legal Aid Providers Victoriya Mitko stressed that all parties to the justice process are colleagues and all serve the same purpose - the rule of law. It is vital to pass into effective cooperation between the legal community and law-enforcement agencies. That is why the program is designed to select those advocates who perceive the need of constant professional development. The lawyers role extends far beyond 9.00 to 18.00 working hours. Today, lawyers are recognized not only by a deep knowledge of substantive and procedural law. First of all, they should observe the values of honor, dignity and respect, she said.

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