A Question to the President of Russia from the Representative of PetrSU
The President of Russia Vladimir Putin held a meeting with representatives of socially-oriented non-governmental organizations, charity funds, volunteer groups and social entrepreneurs.
Among the participants of the meeting was Svetlana Shabaeva, the Director of the Institute of Economics and Law of Petrozavodsk State University. She introduced the President of Russia to the activities of the Law Clinic of the University.
At the Law Clinic, which has been working at the premises of PetrSU for over 20 years, students provide free legal assistance to socially vulnerable groups. “The Law Clinic of Petrozavodsk State University has started the clinic movement in our country. Currently, there are over 200 such clinics in Russia. Now the university, which has been awarded the status of the Flagship University of the region, is facing new challenges. We are planning to considerably scale up the activities of the clinic, increase the reception of citizens and provide legal support in distant regions of the Republic and single-industry municipalities. In this area we are supported by the Government of the Republic of Karelia, as the information and administrative support of our activities has improved”, said Svetlana Shabaeva.
According to Svetlana, these days not all citizens fully trust free legal support provided by students. “I’d like to note that the assistance is provided under the guidance of the leading practicing teachers who have extensive experience in legal consulting, drafting of documents, and representation in court,” explained the Director of the Institute of Economics and Law of PetrSU.
“Trust in student volunteers, when they have the support of professional practicing lawyers, should be unconditional. Not everyone can employ the services of a lawyer, but it doesn’t mean that free assistance is of poor quality,” emphasized Vladimir Putin and thanked law students for their work.
During her presentation, Svetlana Shabaeva also drew the President’s attention to the fact that many students have been working at the Law Clinic for many years voluntary during their studies for Bachelor and Master Degrees. “Upon graduation from the university, they are highly-qualified specialists who at the same time have the high level of social responsibility. The graduates continue planning their career and, for instance, contemplate taking exams for admission to the bar, but it requires two years’ of work experience in the legal profession. And law graduates have to start from a scratch,” said Svetlana Shabaeva. She put forward to the President of Russia a proposition to look into the possibility of granting credit for the work at law clinics and to consider it work experience in the field of specialty.
“I will commission the Ministry of Justice to consider this proposal. Relevant governmental bodies and ministries have to ensure that a student indeed worked and completed a certain amount of work,” said the President of Russia.
At the end of the meeting, Vladimir Putin noted: “After such meetings there is extra energy and will to work more efficiently. I thank you for the work you do in your respective fields we have discussed today. Without genial and right focus it is impossible to do the work you do”.
The event was organized by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives and was held at the Boling Point coworking center of the IT-Park of PetrSU.