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Law in books versus law in action

What I have learned during the Amsterdam Law Clinics - The Bravis case

Blog by: Dounia Latrache, ALC student, LLM Constitutional and Administrative law.

‘During my participation in the Amsterdam Law Clinics, I was able to work with five other master's students on a case with a major social impact. The case concerned the freedom of choice for pregnant women within the birth care sector. We conducted the preliminary legal investigation and worked on the writ of summons (dagvaarding) for the proceedings on the merits. The purpose of these proceedings was to create a precedent with a judicial decision. This specific case concerned a pregnant woman who wanted to choose her own obstetrician while the Bravis hospital refused this request. 

During the Amsterdam Law Clinics I learned how to write a legal procedural document, I worked on my collaboration skills and I became familiarised with the legal practice.

Writing a Writ of Summons

During law school, law students learn what the requirements are for a writ of summons. However, neither during the bachelor's nor the master's programme do students actually practice writing a writ of summons. Thanks to my participation in the Amsterdam Law Clinics, I was able to actively participate in the entire process of writing a legal procedural document. The experience ranged from consultation with the clients and the lawyer, conducting preliminary legal investigation, to determining the legal strategy, and writing the writ of summons. After obtaining my master's degree, I can now therefore truly call myself a “master of law” who has had some experience in litigation.

During the Amsterdam Law Clinics you will really learn how the law is applied in practice.

Collaboration

The study of law generally concerns the theory and solving of cases, which it is tested by taking exams, writing an annotation and writing a thesis. These are all individual assignments. Joint projects hardly ever occurred during my studies, while in practice I will be expected to achieve certain results with the team I will be working with. Working together with fellow students on the Bravis case, I got to know what my work ethic is, what kind of attitude I take in group assignments, and what role I take in a group.

Discover the practice 

The Amsterdam Law Clinics also helped me become familiarised with the legal practice. During this course you can start with the orientation on the labour market. Prior to my participation in the Amsterdam Law Clinics, I assumed that the practicing law as an attorney would not suit me. Thanks to, among other things, my participation, I discovered that the legal practice in fact appeals to me greatly because of the speed, the dynamics and the diverse activities involved in this profession.

To conclude my blog, I would like to say that during the Amsterdam Law Clinics you will really learn how the law is applied in practice. After my participation, I really understood the slogan “law in books versus law in action”.’