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USAID RULE OF LAW PROGRAM
USAID სამართლის უზენაესობის პროგრამა

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01 - 31 May, 2024

Enhancing Legal Education: Practical Law Initiatives at Akaki Tsereteli State University

"Bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world application is crucial for us," stated Buba Bobokhidze, a legal clinic intern, reflecting the sentiments of several students involved in the practical law initiatives at Akaki Tsereteli State University.

Supported by the USAID Rule of Law Program, the Law Department of the Faculty of Business, Law, and Social Sciences at Akaki Tsereteli State University officially endorsed the syllabus for the elective course "Legal Practice" within the undergraduate law program.

The primary objective of this course is to foster the professional growth of law students by imparting education rooted in practical skills acquisition. It enables students to explore previously unfamiliar legal material through source research, literature analysis, and exposure to judicial practices.

For the 2023-2024 academic year, 12 students enrolled in the practical law course, including 10 women and 2 men. As part of the initiative to elevate the quality of legal education in regional universities and enhance the practical competencies of local personnel, 12 intern students from the legal clinic participated in a series of training sessions focusing on practical law, specifically Streel Law.

The training encompassed various aspects including teaching methodologies for legal practice, human rights law, family and inheritance law, labor relations, juvenile justice, criminal law, procedural rights, domestic violence, and other pertinent legal domains. The training augmented the students' awareness of contemporary legal issues, reinforce theoretical knowledge with practical applications, and improve professional skills, thereby refining their ability to apply knowledge effectively. The training sessions were interactive, and encouraged active participation, group discussions, and practical exercises to maximize engagement and learning outcomes. Subsequently, the intern students developed lesson plans aligned with the syllabus, incorporating presentations, simulation games, case studies, and assessments.

The intern students further conducted 63 lessons on practical legal matters in more easily comprehensible language across various educational institutions in Kutaisi, including public schools and the Georgian - American school "Progress," reaching over 500 individuals. A network of peer educators emerged from the practical law course participants who organized peer education sessions in Kutaisi's public schools, to raise awareness among youth about legal issues and provide information on human rights, juvenile justice, criminal law, and other related topics. A total of 22 such meetings were convened, with 391 students participating. In addition to their educational efforts, the peer educators organized an information campaign on child rights, distributing informative leaflets about the Code of Child Rights to various societal groups.

Law School Interns, Davit Khojenashvili, Mariam Gubeladze, Saba Kamladze, Kristine Sulava, and Magda Jishkariani all described the importance of practical initiatives in education. Davit Khojenashvili emphasized the value of such initiatives in enhancing students' communication skills and nurturing their sense of social responsibility. Mariam Gubeladze acknowledged the transformative impact of the project on her ability to interact with school students and deliver impactful lessons. Saba Kamladze mentioned the imperative of applying theoretical knowledge to effect positive change in society. Kristine Sulava and Magda Jishkariani explained how enthusiastic they were about using practical law courses to bridge the gap between academia and real-world legal practice, thereby enhancing their professional growth and competence.

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