Law Clinics*

A decade ago, IDC Herzliya students established a framework for volunteering that would provide free legal assistance and advice to Herzliya residents. The students wanted to be involved in the community and to empower families of limited financial means. That project has since inspired the establishment of additional law clinics. Today 12 clinics operate at the Radzyner School of Law at IDC Herzliya, providing free legal assistance to a wide variety of populations, including Holocaust survivors, the elderly, at-risk youth, women, children who were victims of crime, and more.

The clinics are an institution for applied academic education that combines academia and practical experience. They aim to prepare law students to serve as lawyers by teaching them that social responsibility is a significant part of the legal profession. The clinics allow students to obtain experience in a broad range of areas, including: legal assistance such as representing a client; leading workshops to provide information to and empower weak populations; public campaigns to change policy in areas related to law and defending human rights; filing class-action suits; social legislation; and more.

The clinical aspect of legal education introduces students to the worldview that law is not just a tool to solve conflicts, but also a tool for social change. In order to educate students about the principles of justice and access to it, they must go out to meet those whose voices are not heard and who fate has not smiled upon. The curriculum of the law clinics includes an academic course, hands-on field work, and handling requests and cases. The clinics operate in cooperation with social organizations and private offices and are guided by teams of professional, experienced lawyers. The clinics are intended for students at the Radzyner School of Law and a wide choice of clinics is available.

The clinics this year include innovative programs that can be found only at IDC Herzliya. The clinics are: the program for legal assistance and social involvement; the legal hotline operated with the Movement for Quality Government; the program to accompany children who are crime victims through the legal process in cooperation with the National Council for the Child; the clinic to assist at-risk youth and children in cooperation with Elem, a nonprofit organization for at-risk youth; the clinic for class-action suits; the labor law clinic in cooperation with Halev, the movement for the war against poverty; the clinic for the rights of Holocaust survivors in Israel; the clinic to help the elderly in cooperation with the Fischer, Behar, Chen, Well, Orion, and Co. law firm; the clinic to empower women who were victims of violence in cooperation with the Women’s Spirit nonprofit; and the clinic to advance women’s rights in Israel in cooperation with the Israel Women’s Network.

For details, contact Sharon Sionov, Director of the Law Clinics, at: ssionov@idc.ac.il.