A Growing Tradition: Preparing Young Lawyers for Legal Practice

PILnet’s Annual Legal Ethics Training for Russian Law Students

09 December 2014

Legal-Ethics-Russia-ClassroomBuilding on the continued success of previous years’ legal ethics trainings for Russian law students, PILnet, in collaboration with the Moscow State University Law School, DLA Piper, and White & Case, held the fourth annual “Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics in the International Legal Market” course in November.

This four-day intensive training covered a range of topics including lawyer-client relationships, social responsibility, the role of pro bono, and confidentiality and conflict of interest issues. Additionally, the course covered legal ethics among Russian judges and defence lawyers with one of the sessions dedicated solely to legal ethics and human rights issues.

Practitioners with many years of experience in the legal field led the course. Among them were partners from DLA Piper and White & Case, as well as Tatiana Andreeva, former Judge of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation and the principal drafter of the Russian Code of Judicial Ethics, and Anatoly Kovler, former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights.Legal-Ethics-Russia-Students

In order to participate in the program, students from across Russia submitted essays, in English, on the subject of legal ethics. As a result, the workshop brought together more than thirty students. Among them were not only Muscovites, but also student from nine cities in Russia: Krasnoyarsk, Kursk, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don, Vladivostok, Vologda, and Yekaterinburg. On one hand, this geographic diversity perhaps signals improvements in the quality of education in regional law schools in Russia. On the other, it demonstrates a growing interest in ethics among future Russian lawyers.

Legal-Ethics-Russia-TeachingWhatever the reason, across the board participants agreed that this four-day intensive was a success. “This course shattered any preconceived notions I had about legal ethics. It taught me that being ‘ethical’ means being professional and truthful, both to oneself and the client,” expressed one of the participants.

Others hoped to see more trainings in the future: “If the program continues to be a regular event for Russian law students, the scope of its outreach will further contribute to the popularization of legal ethics in our country and beyond, and the society at large will become more aware of the numerous challenges – and countless opportunities for growth, reform and innovation – that exist within the realm of legal ethics.” PILnet and its partners are making every effort to make these wishes a reality.