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April 01, 2009

Mentoring Program Launched for Female Law Students in Kosovo

April 2009

The Gender and Minorities Committee of the Kosovo Chamber of Advocates(KCA), with the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) support, launched its women in law mentoring program in an April 8 event, which connected 25 female lawyers, prosecutors and judges with 25 female law students enrolled at theUniversity of Pristina’s master’s degree program. The mentoring program will support and encourage women who are planning to enter the legal profession.

In her opening address, Kathy Ladun, ABA ROLI’s interim country director in Kosovo, welcomed and congratulated the students and mentors for taking part inthe program. Hava Ismajli, the University of Pristina’s Law Faculty dean,thanked the mentors for their commitment to the voluntary mentoring service.

The program pairs students with women who have succeeded in the legal profession.

“Our goal is to encourage discussion of the difficulties women face in entering a legal career,” said Regina Cocco, ABA ROLI’s legal specialist,referring to challenges including discrimination and lack of support. The intention, she said is “to foster relationships between women.” The event allowed mentors and mentees to discuss the legal profession and its challenges.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to have a judge as a mentor,” said student Arta Zejnullahu, “It is the first time I met a judge in person.” Mentors and mentees were selected and matched based on the mentees’ career interests. The mentors and mentees will have contact on a monthly basis, and most of the mentors have invited their mentees to visit and observe them while working. ABAROLI is assisting the KCA in managing the program, which will continue to connect more female students and mentors.

To learn more about our work in Kosovo, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <[email protected]>.