Do you or does your organisation or institution work in the public interest (e.g. are you a human rights NGO, a governmental institution, a public interest lawyer)? Could your organisation use extra expertise in solving a legal issue? Are you in need of legal research to support your cause? Would you like assistance from a dedicated team in your strategic litigation strategy? Then maybe a collaboration with one of our clinics is just for you.
Throughout or clinical programmes we work with experts from our Faculty in their field. Supervision of cases is carried out by dedicated (assistant-) professors and clinical lecturers, and sometimes PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows who have particular knowledge of a certain legal field. Our supervisors also have had some form of experience in the legal practice, which helps them understand the needs of our clients even better.
The students who participated in our Clinical Programme are Master's students from a wide variety of legal backgrounds. They all have one thing in common: they are all selected after a selection procedure for their high level of motivation. Furthermore, we select students based on prior academic achievement, expressed commitment to the project and on the possibility to match legal expertise with the cases we will be working on that semester.
We accept a wide variety of cases, as long as we consider that the request serves the public interest. Topics could range from human rights, to international criminal / humanitarian law, to environmental justice and animal welfare, and from anti-tobacco campaigns, to the housing market and corporate social responsibility. Cases may relate to legal proceedings, but can also entail legal research with the aim of enhancing a lobbying strategy, or exploring legal avenues and policies.
The Amsterdam Law Clinics work on a pro bono basis for a wide range of clients – from assisting lawyers or organizations with complex legal queries requiring specific expertise or knowledge of multiple areas of law, to clients who do not have the means to fund regular legal assistance. However, we are not a legal aid bureau that assists individual clients (see our Free Legal Advice Centre in the Law Hub). We generally work on cases that involve larger legal and societal problems and usually affect more than one person’s interest.
Most cases are run per semester (roughly from early September until the end of December and from early February until the end of May). We make a final selection of our cases in August and January before each semester, but accept requests on a rolling basis.
There is no specific format in which your request must be submitted. Rather, we like to talk with our clients about the needs and possibilities first, and fine-tune what we can offer through conversations. We then put down the terms of our collaboration in a Terms of Reference.
All our cases are dealt with on the basis of strict confidentiality, unless otherwise agreed. Students are asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before the start of the semester. Any follow-up that follows from our research and clinical work, such as publications or organizing a symposium, will only be taken up after approval from both parties (and is usually carried out in collaboration).
Submit your request or contact us with any questions you may have by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to discuss the possibilities with you.