Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Street Law Program at Tashkent State University, Uzbekistan, Enters Third Year

In 2018, Street Law, Inc. began working with Tashkent State University of Law (TSUL) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to develop a law school-based public legal education program. With significant on-the- ground support from White & Case LLP and with the support of the Minister of Justice Ruslanbek Davletov, the program is now entering its third academic year. Scott Hershman, a White & Case partner and chair of the firm's Global White Collar Practice, conducted a series of meetings with both the Ministry of Justice and with the leadership of the university to set the stage for successful implementation of the program. Hershman is also a member of the Street Law, Inc. board of directors.

Through this program, TSUL students teach lessons about Rule of Law and practical legal issues at local secondary schools using the interactive and participatory style of teaching common to all Street Law programs. TSUL faculty, with Street Law assistance, created lessons that address corruption, human rights, juvenile delinquency and responsibilities, consumer rights, environmental protection, youth labor rights, and youth rights and responsibilities in the family. All of the lessons include interactive, learner-centered activities that build not only content knowledge but skills such as critical thinking and communication. In one class, for example, secondary school pupils role play a court process complete with counsels on each side and a panel of judges—an approach that the pupils reported was not only more fun but more relevant and applicable than many of their other classes taught in a more traditional and didactic way. Many pupils said the classes inspired them to study law in the future.

For the TSUL students, teaching Street Law provides a creative way to learn about the law and to practice skills useful in their future legal careers, such as explaining the law to non-lawyers. Thus far, 105 law students, supported by 29 professors, have taught practical lessons about the law to approximately 1,600 students at 14 Tashkent secondary schools.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has forced TSUL and secondary schools to shift to online learning, TSUL students are already preparing to deliver the Street Law program virtually for the 2020-2021 academic year. Street Law, Inc. is supporting the program through webinars on interactive virtual instruction, regular coaching, and advice on curriculum development. Beginning in November 2020, Street Law and TSUL will conduct online professional development with faculty from the country’s regional law colleges to support expanding Street Law throughout Uzbekistan. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has issued a decree declaring the importance of Street Law and public legal education programs for the development of the country.

Learn more about Street Law's public legal education programs outside of the United States.