On 13 September, 2012, a team from BABSEACLE Foundation, including our Fellows, attended the international seminar on Problems and Development of Legal Clinics in Universities held by the Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, Thailand, and the University of Kent, the United Kingdom.

This seminar was established to give participants the opportunity to exchange their experiences of problems in giving legal assistance and what methods or process they used in the effective management of the law clinic at their university. Furthermore, this seminar allowed the participants to brainstorm about developing more effective ways to provide legal assistance. It also encouraged lawyers, professors and students to share knowledge on ways to develop a legal assistance system. In this process, all the participants learned the value of cooperation between universities.

The participants came from many different organizations, including the University of Kent, Canterbury, the United Kingdom; The Northern Law College (NLC), representing university-based legal clinics in Thailand, and representatives of the Attorney General’s office, the Lawyers Council, the Bar Association, NGOs, and interested students.

It was good news that so many organizations and interested individuals attendeded this seminar. It showed that people are aware of the importance of empowering people who do not have access to legal assistance, and the importance of having students practice law in the clinic before they become lawyers. The seminar discussed how clinical legal education (CLE) benefits students, as well as the community.

Everyone appreciated that the seminar gave them a chance to discuss the problems of developing legal clinics in universities and to share different ideas on ways to improve the legal education system through clinical legal education. Connecting the organizations, bar association, general attorney, universities and lawyers council could lead to a better educational system as well as to social justice.