Activities planned for the future

After the initial years of work relating to incorporating the Foundation, carrying out a number of important projects and realizing objectives relating to supplying financial and professional support to legal clinics, beside granting activities, the Foundation is undertaking now a number of educational and other activities aimed at strengthening the legal clinics. These initiatives will focus on:

  1. professionalizing and standardizing the clinics' operations,
  2. publishing activity,
  3. coordinating and perfecting cooperation between clinics,
  4. keeping an archive of publications relating to legal clinics and keeping statistical data,
  5. improving the supply of IT and other equipment,
  6. promoting legal clinic activities,
  7. forging and strengthening international cooperation,
  8. lobbying for reforms of legal corporations,
  9. works aimed at incorporating legal clinics into the Polish legal system,
  10. monitoring of the application of law and quality of new laws,
  11. complementing the clinics' activities in relation to the phenomenon of corruption,
  12. broadening the scope of clinics' activities by introducing advising to women and nongovernmental organizations.

Professionalization and standardization of clinic activities - this is scheduled to be the key objective for the future. Reaching this objective will first of all strengthen the position of the individual clinics and secure them with a stable future and appreciation within the legal community. This objective will be accomplished through subsidizing training, conferences, seminars and publications.

Publishing activity - following the first manual entitled: "The Legal Clinic - the Idea, Organization, Methodology," the Foundation is planning to publish other textbooks focusing exclusively on the methodology of teaching law in legal clinics. 

Coordinating and perfecting cooperation between clinics - this objective will be reached mainly through the participation of clinic representatives in country-level meetings and the personal contacts of the Board of the Legal Clinics Foundation with the staff of the various clinics (for example all clinics will be visited on a regular basis, in Warsaw cyclical training of clinic staff will be held). Moreover, the Board of the Foundation wishes to maintain the tradition of organizing two yearly Polish Legal Clinics Conferences.

Keeping an archive of publications relating to legal clinics and keeping statistical data - the Board of the Foundation shall collect all materials relating to the activities of legal clinics in Poland and abroad thus building an archive of publications and articles. Collecting of half-yearly and yearly reports and of statistical data on the activities of the clinics will make it possible to obtain comparative data, and to determine the trends and directions in which legal clinics should evolve. This data will also present a statistical profile of clients, which will make it possible to determine whether clinics make correct choices as to the type of advice and legal information they offer.

Improving the supply of IT and other equipment - regranting subsidies and in-kind donations from corporations and law firms will allow to organize grant competitions for legal clinics in Poland. The equipment purchased will be supplied to developing and newly forged clinics.

Promoting legal clinics activities - fulfilling this objective will both serve the clinics (building a positive image) and enhance the clinics' ability to reach clients. To this end leaflets will be printed to inform of the activities and the addressed of legal clinics in Poland, cooperation will be forged with the largest law firms and legal corporations and the website will be continued and updated. It is also important to continue the information campaign about legal clinics targeted at local governments and state administration, so that legal clinics are considered a permanent and serious institution. Administration offices should learn to trust and appreciate legal clinics, which will encourage them to lend the students every assistance when students approach those offices on behalf of their clients.

Forging and strengthening international cooperation - the Polish program of clinical teaching of law is at present one of the leading programs of the kind in our region, it should therefore share its experience and initiate the creation of new clinics in the region. In the near future it should be considered to invite guests from other countries of Central and Eastern Europe to participate in trainings, courses and study visits. Representatives of the Foundation take part in international clinic-related conferences.

Lobbying for reforms of legal corporations - this objective will focus on lobbying  for changes in a number of regulations that hinder the functioning of legal advising organizations in Poland. Furthermore, our Foundation would like to carry out a program to encourage practicing lawyers to undertake pro publico bono work. It will require lengthy preparation and will be preceded by a pilot program in which selected nongovernmental organizations will be prepared to receive the assistance of practicing lawyers and to conscientiously cooperate with the regional lawyers' legal advisers' corporations. Moreover, this objective is already being fulfilled by the organization of the yearly "Pro bono Lawyer" Competition.

Works aimed at incorporating legal clinics into the Polish legal system - on the basis of a first draft law on legal clinics, prepared in 1998 by the Legal Clinic in Kraków, the Foundation Board has presented an amended version thereof to the Ministry of Justice. In its principle the new law shall give due consideration to the character of clinical work and shall furnish it with special rights.

Monitoring of the application of law and the quality of new laws - a task of great importance indeed, and one that requires special attention and thorough preparation. The first segment of that project comprises the monitoring of law, the very function our Foundation intends to perform. A similar objective has been assumed by the Nongovernmental Advisory Platform, of which our Foundation is one of the leaders. Therefore, this task may become significant not only to our Foundation but also to cooperating organizations. To aid the effective fulfillment of this task, the Board has prepared a tool in the form of a reporting questionnaire to be filled out by the clinics.

Complementing the clinic's activities in relation to the phenomenon of corruption - the Legal Clinics Foundation sees the need to join the efforts to monitor the phenomenon of corruption. It will be possible to collect information on conditions that provoke corruption and on cases of corruption from the network of clinics in Poland. For this very reason this issue was included in the Questionnaire to report on the application of the Legal Clinics Foundation subsidy. After the questionnaire is collected it will be possible to analyze and publish its results in the form of a report.

Broadening the scope of clinic's activities by introducing advising to women and nongovernmental organizations - this issue is already present in the clinics' activities. The Questionnaire to report on the application of the Legal Clinics Foundation subsidy makes the distinction between female and male clients, so that after the questionnaires are collected it is possible to generate information on female clinic clients and their problems. A similar solution has been applied to the issue of cooperation with nongovernmental organizations. The information collected will give us additional information on the needs of nongovernmental organizations. At the same time we wish to activate clinics and encourage them to deliver assistance to the organizations of the third sector.