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June 27, 2016

Pilot Mentorship Program Takes Kosovar Lawyers to Minnesota and Capitol Hill

From May 8 - 14, 2016, representatives from the Kosovo Bar Association (KBA) visited the United States through a pilot mentorship program with the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) that aims to provide technical support to the KBA. 

The lawyers visited the US as part of ABA ROLI’s pilot bar mentorship initiative that supports capacity development of Balkans bars by fostering a mentor relationship with established U.S. bar associations. 

As part of its Balkans Regional Rule of Law Network (BRRLN) program, and with support from Open World Leadership Center and the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA),, ABA ROLI brought a group of four representatives from the KBA to the United States to take part in a seven-day study tour designed to provide technical assistance to the KBA on developing bar sections, specialization and certification, continuing legal education, member services and engaging women and young lawyers. In line with Open World’s practice, the first leg of the study tour was to Washington, D.C. to learn about the U.S. political and justice systems. On May 9, 2016, ABA ROLI hosted the group at its Washington, D.C. office and organized meetings with several ABA representatives, including Robert Horowitz, Director of Professional Services Division, as well as Roseanne Lucianek, Director Bar Services, and Robin Rone, Director Young Lawyers Division, who joined from the ABA’s Chicago office via teleconference. The group also met with Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) and her staffer to discuss the Balkan region and the cooperation of the bars, particularly under the BRRLN program, as well as the criminal justice reforms underway in many of the Balkan countries. Following the D.C. portion of the study tour, the delegation headed to Minneapolis, Minnesota to meet their counterparts from the MSBA. ABA ROLI will Post a separate article on the Minnesota part of the tour following the conclusion of the trip. 

The study tour is part of ABA ROLI’s pilot bar mentorship initiative that aims to support bar capacity development of Balkans bars by fostering a mentor relationship with established U.S. bars. The KBA is one of ABA ROLI’s primary partners in the BRRLN Network and has emerged as an early leader in bar association reform in the region. ABA ROLI hopes to expand the initiative and create mentor relationships between other U.S. and Balkan bars.

The Balkans Regional Rule of Law Network (BRRLN) program is a three-year regional program implemented by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This program is strengthening the rule of law in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia, by building mechanisms for collaboration and sharing best practices, tools, and knowledge among the region’s bar associations and justice-sector civil society organizations (CSOs).

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