The Russian Federal Chamber of Advocates requires the country’s defense attorneys to take 100 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) over five years to remain licensed. However, currently there is no standardized CLE program in place for Russia’s 65,000 advocates. To alleviate the situation the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and in cooperation with the Federal Chamber of Advocates and the Krasnoyarsk Regional Chamber of Advocates, launched a pilot CLE center in Krasnoyarsk in 2008.
Building upon the pilot center’s success, ABA ROLI’s USAID-funded Rule of Law Partnership Project recently launched two CLE centers serving the regions of St. Petersburg-Leningrad and Ulyanovsk. In preparation for the launch of the centers, ABA ROLI offered an intensive training series for advocate-instructors focusing on interactive teaching methods, law office management and pre-trial and trial skills. Equipped with 21 professional trainers and a comprehensive set of modern teaching curricula and training methodologies, the centers have trained more than 170 advocates to date.
Marking the launch of the centers, ABA ROLI and its partners held a November 12–13 event in St. Petersburg. During the event, the trainers completed their first comprehensive course, which is designed for newly admitted advocates. The event also allowed ABA ROLI’s partners to discuss how the centers will operate and how they can be replicated in other regions. Testimony to the strong commitment Russia’s legal community has for increased professionalism, the vice president of the Federal Chamber of Advocates and the presidents and vice presidents of the regional chambers of advocates from Krasnoyarsk, St. Petersburg-Leningrad and Ulyanovsk attended the event.
The centers will foster institutionalization and standardization of quality training for Russia’s defense bar. To ensure the centers’ sustainability, ABA ROLI will continue to provide curriculum design, training, supervision and institution-building support.
To learn more about our work in Russia, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.