Over 100 Editors but Only One CLE Manual

By Ivy Trang, BABSEACLE Legal Trainer, Vietnam

It is not easy to find a starting point when working on the CLE Manual, with its 27 chapters.  But it’s not difficult either when you have the support of many enthusiastic people.

We have been waiting for a CLE Manual for years, ever since we started working on the CLE program in Viet Nam.  The idea behind the CLE Manual encourages and motivates law students all over the country to work very hard to make it happen. And we have the support of BABSEACLE interns and volunteers from other countries, too!

The Manual is so vital because it will be used in law universities in Viet Nam; it will help a lot of law students and also a variety of communities. There are a variety of Manual chapters including CLE skills, lawyering skills, rights of people living with HIV, rights of disabled people, children, women.  Each chapter is written with the cooperation and input of many young law graduates, lawyers and law experts and then it is tested in universities throughout Viet Nam. Some chapters are good and some chapters need to be improved. However, everyone, especially law students, are excited about having a textbook that they themselves have developed. The communities are happy when they have more opportunities to access the law, which helps them protect their own rights and also helps other people in their community.

The law lecturers are looking forward to having a tool that will help their students gain more knowledge about the law. The CLE Manual will provide not only knowledge but also skills and, moreover, values in professional ethics for law students.

These reasons help explain the importance of the manual. And knowing how important it is helps me overcome the difficult times when I have to deal with hundreds of comments and track changes, with deadline after deadline, with intense pressure and other obstacles when working in another language. I work with a dream about the day when I can hold a copy of the CLE Manual in my hands. And it will come true soon.

Now I’m still reading the chapters and I whisper to myself, “It’s so difficult”. My colleagues are going to many law universities in Viet Nam to test each chapter. The interns are editing English and adding more ideas in each chapter. Everyone says, “We will support you. Don’t worry, Ivy” and I keep going. All of us are working our hardest because we believe and we know that once the CLE Manual is completed, it will benefit so many people. Then finally, law students in Viet Nam will have their own CLE Manual.