Viet Nam: Public legal literacy outreach of law universities

 

RESULTS:
12 law school students participated
Students described how living alongside industrial laborers in their own homes enabled them to see how the lives of their poorest citizens, and they described how they started to see how the law has real-life consequences.
6 rural families hosted and benefited
The residents explained that they had not been aware of many of their labor rights, and had never even heard of overtime pay. They also described how they are unable to negotiate with employers about their employment contract because they don’t understand the legal terms involved.

 

   

UNDP justice surveys from recent years suggest that graduates from law school often lack practical knowledge of the realities of millions of ordinary Vietnamese citizens who seek legal services, even when their academic understanding of the law is sound.

UNDP Viet Nam’s innovation team is therefore combining the forces of law students and local communities to change the face of the traditional education systems and improve public legal literacy. As a first step, 12 students have been sent to a community adjacent to an industrial park (in Bắc Giang) to spend a weekend living with the families there. The students were trained on how to communicate with marginalized communities before they headed off. The video below features the training at the Foreign Trade University.

   

During the weekend, the students walked alongside the residents as they went about their daily lives, and heard their most pressing concerns.

The slideshow below shows the students' weekend in Bắc Giang.

Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide
Slide

   

After the weekend, the students participated in a follow-up workshop with the university faculty and private lawyers to learn about the legal issues raised during their stay and discuss how they can respond. The students will soon make a return trip to the community.

By making community homesteads the “new law school”, the law students are breaking the antiquated education system and raising the capacity of the country’s justice sector to be more responsive to the needs of the local communities. The marginalized communities who may not be aware of how justice services can help improve their lives are also benefitting from the reach of the future legal practitioners. 

 

Page last updated: May 5, 2015

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Asia and the Pacific 
Go to UNDP Global