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Russian Delegation to Discuss Legal Aid, Access to Justice

March 24, 2011

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT -- A delegation of Russian lawyers and judges will visit Vermont Law School's South Royalton Legal Clinic (SRLC) on Thursday, March 31, to discuss Russia's effort to strengthen its civil legal aid programs. Before their VLS visit, the Russians will spend several days learning about Vermont Legal Aid and the Vermont court system as part of their effort to provide legal services to the poor.

The delegation will meet with staff attorneys and student clinicians at SRLC, which serves Vermont residents who can't afford counsel and need assistance with legal issues. The visit to VLS will be similar to previous visits from Russian delegations except that the focus will not be on clinical legal education, which is now established in many places in Russia, but on creation and operation of civil legal aid programs.

Delegation members, who are from Karelia, Russia, will visit VLS under the auspices of the Open World Program, the only exchange program in the U.S. legislative branch of government. The local sponsoring organization is the Vermont Karelia Rule of Law Project. In recent years, the Russian Federation created a national legal aid demonstration program; Karelia was one of 10 demonstration regions.

More information about the Russian delegation's visit is available from Professor Jim May, director of the SRLC, at 802.831.1500 or jmay@vermontlaw.edu; Karin Bourassa of the Vermont/Karelia Rule of Law Project at 802.651.9300 or kbourassa@rarolc.net; and Kathy Stankevich, Vermont/Karelia's Open World Coordinator at 802.885.7207.

CONTACT: John Cramer, Associate Director of Media Relations
Office:802.831.11, cell: 540.798.7099, jcramer@vermontlaw.edu

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