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In Lebanon, a country with half a million refugees, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI) legal clinic gets at the heart of ongoing tensions between different social groups. For Lebanese law students at La Sagesse University, participating in the clinic was an opportunity to work on cases with Lebanese NGOs and learn from people with whom they might otherwise never connect. Some of the students, for example, met with inmates in a juvenile prison and others visited a Palestinian refugee camp, meeting refugees for the first time.
Aline Matta, Director of ABA ROLI’s programs in Lebanon, narrates the story of how students in their final year of law school started out somewhat cynical and ended up, through their clinical experience, becoming devoted advocates for social justice and the rule of law.