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Loiola Law Clinic: Service-Learning for Social Justice

From 2015, Loiola Law Clinic of the University of Deusto is an institutionalized Service-Learning initiative with a legal-administrative dimension to serve people in position of vulnerability and exclusion: legal support for migration, refuge and asylum, also in community and juvenile justice, support for elderly dependents, women victims of violence and trafficking, people with addictions, homeless people… Also translating the legal-administrative language into a simple language for the average citizen.

The experience is always in collaboration with social entities and local NGOs as (in alphabetical order) Alboan, Bidea Eginez, CEAR-Euskadi, Cruz Roja Bizkaia, Fiare Foundation, Gizatea Association of Insertion Enterprises of the Basque Country, Gizkaia Foundation, Ignacio Ellacuria Social Foundation, Lectura Fácil Euskadi Irakurketa Erraza, Medicos del Mundo, Oblatas Leiho-Zabalik, Servicios Sociales Integrados Coop., Susterra Association, among others.

1.-Develop service-learning projects with a mainly legal approach.
2.-Extend and enrich the training curriculum of students in Law Degree.
3.-Networking with social entities and non-governmental organizations, putting ourselves at their disposal.
4.-Collaborate in the construction of social justice.
5.-Build a new way of transference to community as part of the mission of university.

LEARNING: Generic and specific skills, supported by training packages given by specialists and collaborators of the clinic. Subjects as research methodologies for training and clinical work, citizenship language training, case law and legal database search, training in immigration law, asylum and refuge, in criminal law: human trafficking, illegal immigration, crimes against workers’ rights…

SERVICE: Depending on the challenge of service proposed by each entity, students deepen their applied training in the entity or NGO itself, and carry out the defined legal support activities. This support takes the form of direct work at the organisation’s headquarters, sometimes with direct contact with the final beneficiaries of the service, in administrative work collaborating with dossiers… Other times it has a more informative character, with training activities ‘street law’ on laws and administrative procedures to volunteers and / or users, in some cases as workshops and in others writing guides and recording training pills, with the aim of disseminating the law among its beneficiaries and collaborating in anti-rumor campaigns and translating legal-administrative language into terms understandable to the average citizen. But it also includes research activities by writing studies, proposals, compiling regulations and news, building reports to be put in the hands of entities so that they can use them in information and lobbying campaigns to influence public administrations and policies pro vulnerable people and those at risk of exclusion.

EVALUATION: The evaluation is not done in a unified way: Each student is invited to write his/her thoughtful diary from the beginning as an element of evaluation and self-assessment. Also there is an evaluation in each project of the participating students with their corresponding tutor, then there is a second evaluation between the tutors of the Clinic and the entity/NGO, and finally an overall evaluation of the coordinating team of the Clinic with all the tutors.
Each project has its own life and has a final celebration moment where the results are presented.

Country: Spain

Year: 2019-2020

Institution: University of Deusto

# of students: 24

Person in Charge: Aitziber Mugarra

Email: aitziber.mugarra@deusto.es

Interaction with beneficiaries: Mixed

Academic Degree: Undergraduate | Master

Discipline(s): Law | Political science | Business

Community Service Area & ODS: Peace, justice and strong institutions | Reducing inequalities | Gender equality

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