Brief abstracts of conference sessions will be listed here once the final program has been confirmed.
Title: Horizontal Drop In Clinics In Brazil: case study from 02 Universities in Brazil
Lead Presenter: Avelino, Pedro
Session Abstract: Horizontal Drop-In Clinics are hard to implement. Legal advice is not restricted to a specific subject. Hence, clinical students must deal with multiple legal problems, which require a broad understanding of legal solutions and institutions. Countries such as UK have the support of legal resources, such as Citizens Advice, that provide trustworthy guidance for multiple legal issues, allowing students from different stages to give the same legal advice, regardless of their previous knowledge. In Brazil, Law Schools that are at the forefront of clinical legal education avoid such clinical models, opting for policy clinics (advocacy) or thematic clinics. Notwithstanding, horizontal drop in clinics provide organizational and pedagogical advantage points that overshadows its difficulties. From an operational point of view, drop in clinics allow a constant influx of legal clients, overcoming one of the main obstacles in establishing clinical programs: enough clients for the enrolled students. From an educational standpoint, horizontal drop in clinics provide students with (i) an interdisciplinary approach; (ii) a general overview about the legal professional, since students must face varied legal issues, getting to know and how to deal with criminal, family, labor, welfare, health, civil rights, consumer rights etc. Moreover, having to deal with unexpected legal problems, which arises during the interview, help students to build up their confidence and other professional abilities and attitudes, such as team work, legal research, feedback, communication, active hearing, empathy and many others. Mackenzie Presbyterian University, located in São Paulo/Brazil, in partnership with UniCesumar, located in Parana/Brazil, have developed since 2017 clinical courses, as a regular course in their course curricula. Both are experiencing Horizontal Drop-In Clinics, tailored to help citizens in hardship (illegal immigrants, unemployed and unassisted street population), but with different approaches. MPU´s Clinical Program consists of a regular course, open for students from different stages during their course track. UniCesumar drop-in clinical program is organized as mandatory course subjects, from the 2nd to the 4th semester (in a 10 semesters program). The session will present results from the past 3 semesters, stressing the hurdles and the benefits from both experiences, considering the following perspectives: (i) administrative support; (ii) relationship between faculty members and their role in the success or failure of the clinical experience; (iii) student readiness; (iv) networking with NGO’s; (v) infrastructure and (vi) quality of legal advice (what are the issues presented, how students react, research and inform the clinical client).
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