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How did the idea to create a Legal Clinic in ICADE come about?

The idea for a Legal Clinic in ICADE arose during the 2012-2013 academic year from the joining of two initiatives:

  1. To ensure our Faculty of Law promotes and facilitates the Pro Bono activity carried out by large Spanish law firms; and
  2. the implementation of the Service-Learning Project of Service for Solidarity and Development Cooperation of Comillas Pontifical University.

On the one hand, the Faculty of Law, given its privileged connection with the professional world, has witnessed the concern expressed by Spanish law firms with regard to the development of Pro Bono.

It is well known that the expression Pro Bono comes from the Latin phrase "Pro bono público" which refers to actions carried out "for the public good". It means the voluntary provision of free legal advice for the benefit of people or communities in need, less privileged, socially vulnerable or marginalized, and to the organizations that assist them, as well as the provision of free legal advice on matters of public concern.

Pro bono activity varies depending on the country or jurisdiction where it is used, however we can state that it combines the following characteristics:

  • legal work conducted by lawyers;
  • for the good of the community, and not for commercial purposes;
  • voluntary terms for the lawyer;
  • free for the client; and
  • carried out with the same professional standards as those followed for regular clients of the lawyer.

Throughout the 2012-2013 academic year, several of these large firms contacted the Dean of the Faculty of Law to request ICADE, through the creation of a Legal Clinic, to assume a proactive role to promote and facilitate the Pro Bono activities that the law firms wish to conduct.

On the other hand, for some time now, the Service for Solidarity and Development Cooperation, in conjunction with some of the organizations from the Voluntary Sector with which it works, has been placing a focus on "a methodology that combines the learning of content, skills and values with the implementation of community service tasks in one single activity". "Service-Learning is based on the idea that mutual help is a mechanism of personal, economic and social progress that is better than the obsessive pursuit of personal satisfaction."

Throughout the last academic year, this approach was reflected in the Service-Learning Project that aims to connect the specific practical training of students at Comillas with their social commitment, through collaborating with social intervention organizations that require support from volunteers with a specific profile in line with their studies. As such, linking the students' specific practical training to their social commitment, applying and complementing knowledge acquired throughout their academic studies, promoting the obtainment of skills and reinforcing solidarity and commitment as citizens.

The fortunate timing of these two initiatives and the fluid dialog between the Faculty of Law and the Service for Solidarity resulted in the creation of the ICADE Legal Clinic. It will be responsible for the Community Support Activities Program of the Faculty of Law which is linked to the University's Service-Learning Project.

 

How can I work with the ICADE Legal Clinic?

There are many ways to collaborate with the ICADE Legal Clinic:

  • If you are a STUDENT, you can collaborate, as well as receive information, by carrying out any of our community support activities.
  • If you belong to a SOCIAL ORGANIZATION, you can contact us and tell us about your legal requirements.
  • If you are a LAW FIRM interested in collaborating, you can let us know which are your specialist areas and pro bono activities.
  • If you are a ALUMNI, you can collaborate being tutor on the "Street Law" Program
  • If you are a LECTURER, you can collaborate on various training programs or tutorials.

 

Postal Address:
c/ Alberto Aguilera, 23
28015 Madrid

Tel: +34 91 542 28 00
ext. 2269 - 2857

Emails:
cmolina@comillas.edu
darmisen@comillas.edu

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