Exposing students to the realities and challenges of development work
through hands-on projects in partnership with African law students
The opportunity to work with African lawyers and students is the defining element of the ILDA clinic and unique in American legal education.
Blended teams of students provide several advantages, as they produce stronger, smarter projects by capitalizing on their respective strengths. Working effectively on a cross-cultural team also requires flexibility, adaptability, perseverance, and sensitivity—all skills that serve students well as future lawyers and leaders.
By exposing students to the realities of working in countries with different legal cultures and fewer resources, the clinic engages them in thinking critically about the challenges of development work and what being a lawyer can mean. Past and ongoing projects include:
Women’s Inheritance Insecurity Project – Organize rural workshops on women’s inheritance rights and free legal clinics for marriage registration, will drafting, and dispute resolution services
International Trade Project – Promote understanding and implementation of international trade legislation and U.S. trade measures designed to increase access to U.S. market for African products
Access to Justice Project – Interview remand prisoners, complete and register their files, and partner with judicial service to convene courts in prisons to release those whose rightful detention has expired
Religion, Culture and Human Rights Project – Convene venues for traditional leaders, government officials, and members of civil society to gather and discuss controversial traditional practices and their relationships to domestic and international law
Family Justice Project – Research the needs of Ghanaian families as well as best practices in the design and operationalization of family justice centers; prepare proposals for the creation of a pilot family justice center in Ghana
Right to Health Project – Promote awareness of patients rights through educational workshops and publications and a large-scale survey of patient experiences with existing complaint mechanisms
Customary Law Project – Publish an online database of the decisions of the Courts of the Asantehene, the King of the Ashanti, one of the largest ethnic groups in Ghana
LGBT Rights Project – Research, develop, and implement trainings on the rights of LGBT citizens, in collaboration with an NGO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
ADR Project – Conduct interviews on customary law practices and ADR workshops for traditional chiefs and community leaders to build local capacity to conduct legally binding arbitrations.
Application to participate in the ILDA Clinic is through the main Fordham Law Clinical Legal Education program. Please visit the CLE website for details.