Newly Accredited Online Education Expands Professional-Development Opportunities for Lawyers

December 2011

In November, Ukraine’s Higher Qualification Commission of Advocates accredited a distance learning program for lawyers. Supported by the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), the newly introduced program will create more continuing legal education (CLE) opportunities for lawyers, especially for those in remote areas.

As most Ukrainian lawyers—including bar leaders—have had little or no experience with online courses, there was initial resistance to the introduction of distance learning. ABA ROLI representatives worked with Ukrainian bar leaders, identifying benefits of online CLE, such as increasing professional-development opportunities and reducing the cost of CLE. During strategic planning sessions, ABA ROLI attorneys presented U.S. CLE system as a model and discussed how online trainings would provide lawyers with the tools that they need to better represent their clients. ABA ROLI and local partners agreed to implement the online training programs. ABA ROLI then utilized subject-matter experts to develop training materials, including video presentations, for the program. ABA ROLI then coordinated with the Academy of Advocatura, a well-respected private law faculty in Kyiv, and made the training materials available through the academy’s existing web platform.

The program started in November with ethics and land law courses, and—in response to increased interest—expanded to include courses on mediation and on the European Convention on Human Rights. In 2012, ABA ROLI will develop medical law and tax law courses. The online training is offered free of charge to all licensed advocates and—now that the program has been accredited—advocates will earn CLE credits after successfully completing a course and an associated online exam.

To learn more about our work in Ukraine, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.

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