Brief abstracts of conference sessions will be listed here once the final program has been confirmed.
Title: Mobile Legal Clinics: From planning to assessment
Lead Presenter: Upreti, Nirmal
Session Abstract: On this panel, we will go from the more general topic of collaboration to raise funds and create programs to the more specific details of involving the practical logistics of creating and assessing Mobile legal clinics to provide community education. In this second panel, participants from Nepal will discuss mobile clinics created by a NGO in collaboration with law schools and volunteer attorneys. A graduate student from the U.S. will discuss assessing mobile clinics in general. Mobile legal aid clinics were created in Nepal to educate the public on legal rights on two main topics. One set of clinics tackled the issue of domestic violence and obtaining orders of protection under Nepal law. The other set of mobile legal aid clinics addressed the legal needs of survivors of the April, 2015 earthquake. These clinics are ongoing, as is the assessment of them. In both cases, the panel will discuss how mobile legal aid clinics can reach out into the population to educate people on their legal rights. Ideally, mobile clinics will also provide representation to those in need of assistance to assert their rights, obtain benefits or to appeal decisions to wrongly deny services. This kind of advocacy can reduce the number of people wrongly turned away from or never knowing about crucial rights or benefits available to them. For example, in disaster situations a common legal problem mobile legal clinic can assist with is one where victims have lost their legal documents. Earthquake, storm or flood survivors who lost their home have numerous document problems arise, from lost citizenship cards, birth certificates, land ownership documents, wills and deeds which need to be remade, and they need legal assistance in many cases. These documents are most important because people need them to make claims for relief. To address this problem, people have to go through numbers of legal and procedural hassles. Attorneys, paralegals and law students can support them in the process of filing applications for the foundation documents needed to apply for relief and rehabilitation packages. Many of the documents needed will have long lasting benefits for the clients of the mobile legal clinic. For example, property deeds are needed to maintain ownership and possession of property that is rightfully the clients. This panel will also discuss assessment of mobile clinics and how that assessment may be useful. For one, it can help inform clinic creators on how to improve future clinics. It can also be useful in creating a case for future funding of ongoing clinics. Finally, it may be useful in teaching and learning how to do research about needs in the community.
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See full list of abstracts here.