Environment-People-Law conducts a legal clinic as an educational and practical activity.The legal clinic forms an integral part of EPL’s educational activity. Its goal is to facilitate development of legal education in Ukraine, provide practical knowledge and skills for young lawyers in the sphere of protection of environmental rights of citizens, and raise a new generation of environmental lawyers.
Within the EPL clinic the following take place:
- students learn about the basics of advocacy in the field of protection of environmental rights of citizens, issues of professional ethics, legal writing, methods of interviewing, techniques of negotiation, document analysis, drafting procedural documents, and other aspects of environmental lawyering;
- students learn about the special characteristics of work in the public interest sector, discussing basic issues of civil society and moral obligations of lawyers to provide assistance to underserved population segments to protect their basic rights and freedoms;
- under the supervision of experienced lawyers, students work on real cases to protect citizens’ environmental rights, provide consultations to citizens and NGOs in environmental and legal matters;
- under the supervision of experienced lawyers, students learn about the basics of legislative drafting and develop proposals for improving Ukrainian and local law;
- students become familiar with the functioning of state and local governments with respect to environmental protection. On one hand, students learn about problems in government through citizen complaints and causes received by EPL. On the other, government officials and employees are invited to EPL to discuss their challenges.
- students learn to use electronic means of communication and the internet.
The emphasis lies on students’ work on real environmental cases. Students work under the supervision of EPL’s experienced lawyers. The cases are different and cover numerous issues, among them are illegal storage of waste, illegal siting of gas stations and car parks, road construction in violation of environmental standards, violation of sanitary standards for markets, and others.