The Legal Clinics Foundation holds a task of financing the activity of legal clinics in Poland but it also strengthens the future potential of the program. To achieve these goals several actions will be undertaken to standardize the activity of the clinics and to keep a sufficiently high level of clinical education. According to the Statute, the Foundation will achieve its goals particularly through: supporting the cooperation among the clinics, supporting the international cooperation in the field of practical legal education, organizing the conferences, seminars, presentations, publishing, gaining and processing of the statistical data concerning the legal clinics' actions, gaining and distributing the know-how concerning legal clinics' organization, propagation of the idea of legal advice for the poor persons.
Clinical program in Poland is the best developed one in the region. There is a great chance to share the experience and initiate establishment of new legal clinics in other countries. A workshop and conference program for the guests from Central and East Europe should be considered. Such a regional event would help to exchange the information, knowledge and experience about clinical education.
To develop and improve the program we have build up and strengthen connections with American academic centers. It includes continuing cooperation with Georgetown University, Catholic University of America from Washington DC and Columbia University from New York. Several of Polish faculty members and students participated in clinical events organized in the USA and some of American professors participated in conferences and seminars organized in Poland. Such an exchange is extremely important, as we understand that these events, run by the people and institutions with years of experience, are the best source of information on clinical education.
Due to the fact that the most important part of the program considers providing legal aid to people who cannot afford it from legal advisor or advocate, the Foundation will focus on continuing education of faculty teachers and students working at the clinic. Responsible persons are also interested in broadening the interest spectrum and include other fields of law and more students into the program.
A continual information campaign about clinical program directed to municipal and state offices is of a high importance. It would promote clinics as serious and stable institutions and get a support on the local and national level.
In addition, we plan to improve the form and quality of the program. We believe there is a strong need of cooperation among clinics on national and international level as well as with non-governmental organizations. These contacts are to promote the idea of clinical education among the institutions and organizations and to reach to the people who need clinical advice.
The Board of the Foundation prepared future actions including:
- organization with cooperation with clinics of the summer internships at law firms; clinical graduates could combine the internship at law firm with work at clinic, patrons from law firms could supervise their clinical work,
- crediting work at the clinic as professional internships,
- involvement of law firms and offices in present essential, financial and sometimes material help (i.e. donations of old computer equipment),
- establishment of forum for law firms and companies to start discussions of common concern, including legal education reform and improvement of the system of free access to justice,
- a long term task is Parliament's work and adoption of Legal Clinics Act that has been prepared nad updated.
Every clinic's evaluation will be based on merit and financial reports as well as on detailed inquiry. By gathering and processing of the statistical data it is possible to compare them and describe trends and directions towards which the clinics should evaluate.
The Board of the Foundation will gather all materials concerning legal clinics' activity in Poland and abroad and create archives of publications and articles. Polish Legal Clinics Foundation is supported among others by: the NGO'S Center-CENTRUM SZPITALNA, Stefan Batory Foundation, Open Society Legal Institute (OSI Legal Institute), Public Interest Law Network (PILnet), European Law Students Association-ELSA Poland.