Legal Education Reform & Civic Education Programs

Practice-based teaching methods


ABA ROLI supports internships for law students in Ukraine. Students selected to complete the innovative program receive hands-on experience in first instance and appellate court proceedings, human rights work and advocacy projects.


As part of our partnership with local law faculties, ABA ROLI helped organize Cambodia’s first-ever mock trial competition. Since then, ABA ROLI has sponsored several other mock trial tournaments and client counseling competitions at Cambodian universities. The competitions provide students with opportunities to practice important advocacy skills, such as logic, persuasion, interrogation and public speaking in a simulated court environment.


In 2007, ABA ROLI organized and hosted a study tour for Yerevan State University (YSU), the leading public law school in Armenia. During the study tour, the law school dean and deputy dean visited law schools in New York City and Washington, D.C.  In 2008, as a result of this project, YSU established a career center, created a student handbook and developed preliminary plans to establish a centralized registrar’s office.

Civic education


Over the past four years, ABA ROLI has developed a street-law type program in Azerbaijan that has enabled more than 200 law students from eight universities to teach more than 2,400 school children in six cities. Using games, group activities, role playing and other interactive methods, the law students help 8–15-year-olds understand their basic legal rights and offer ways to confront corruption. Based largely on its success, the program has now expanded to include an online program for rural children.


In Armenia, ABA ROLI developed four “Alphabet of Law” public service announcements (PSAs), which present basic elections and election law concepts to children via television cartoons. The PSAs were widely shown on television stations throughout Armenia and were used by ABA ROLI’s civic partners in their lessons. ABA ROLI also distributed an updated activity manual for teachers and trainers.


ABA ROLI has successfully developed and published several know-your rights brochures in Moldova. The brochures are designed to inform citizens about their legal rights and about the laws’ effect on their lives. The publications have proved a great resource on topics such as rights of detained persons, domestic violence and child protection.

Law school curriculum reform


ABA ROLI conducted a comprehensive assessment of Qatar University College of Law’s LL.B. program. The assessment team examined the university facilities, evaluated library resources and attended classes in Arabic and English. Then, the team prepared a report and offered concrete recommendations for improving the school’s curriculum. Following the assessment, ABA ROLI continued to advise the College of Law on implementation of the recommendations.


In partnership with the faculty at Kosovo’s University of Pristina Law School, ABA ROLI worked to develop and introduce three courses on legal methodology, legal ethics and professional responsibility, and legal research and writing. The courses are designed to provide students with foundational legal skills, such as critical thinking, legal analysis, practical representation and advocacy.


In Muscat, Oman, ABA ROLI provided technical assistance to the Sultan Qaboos University College of Law with the integration of practical skills training into the curriculum. ABA ROLI also conducted a series of roundtable discussions and skills-building seminars with the College of Law.

Institutional support


In response to the proliferation of private law schools, ABA ROLI has stepped up its efforts to assist governments and bar officials in establishing accreditation standards for law programs. In Mexico, ABA ROLI conducted a two-year program that focused on accreditation of law schools in the states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon, as well as the Federal District.


In addition to collaborating with legal institutions, ABA ROLI works to identify and develop partnerships with national professional student organizations. Despite the severe restrictions of ABA ROLI’s activities in Turkmenistan, ABA ROLI staff has helped create a law student association at Turkmen State University. The law student association has organized debates and roundtables on a variety of legal issues.


In Liberia, ABA ROLI has helped rebuild the nation’s only law school and, among other things, sponsors a scholarship program that provides students with intensive practical skills training and allows them to engage in public interest law work with local partners or in ABA ROLI’s legal aid clinic.