FromMay 22–31, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) brought four U.S. delegates to participate in a nine-daystudy tour in Vietnam.A second phase of an exchange program supported by the U.S. Department of State’sBureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the tour was organized tostrengthen the relationship between the U.S. and Vietnamese legalprofessions.
With support fromABA ROLI, the nascent Vietnam Bar Federation (VBF) hosted American experts MarcR. Kadish, director of pro bono activitiesfor Mayer, Brown LLP; Paula Littlewood, executive director of the WashingtonState Bar Association; Theodore Myhre,professor at the University of Washington School of Law; and Mark I. Schickman,member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Board of Governors and chair ofABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. As this was the first time the VBF hosted an internationaldelegation, the exchange marked a historic moment for the organization. The programpromoted an autonomous, engaged and ethically responsible Vietnamese bar withgreater capacity to lead efforts to build a legal system protective ofcitizens’ rights and the rule of law.
As a result of the informationexchange, the VBF developed a Code of Conduct largely based on the WashingtonState Bar Association’s Code of Conduct. Since the end of the trip, the U.S. delegateshave stayed in contact with their Vietnamese counterparts. They also shareinformation about the Vietnamese culture and legal system with their Americancolleagues. Schickman, through his role as an ABA Board of Governors member,has connected VBF officials with other ABAsections, such as the Section on Domestic Violence and the Standing Committeeon Pro Bono and Public Service. Littlewood will continue to work with the VBFin developing their governing rules by sharing additional rules her associationhas adopted.
Aspart of the program, Vietnamese lawyers had visited the U.S. in 2009.
To learn more about our work in Vietnam, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at email@example.com.