WLJH will select ten Nepali women lawyers each year to participate in the program. The opportunity will be advertised through the Nepal Bar Association, other justice sector organizations and the law schools in Nepal. Selection will be based upon professional qualifications and experience as well as personal qualities and characteristics determined with input from the Nepal Bar Association, women lawyers in Nepal and across the globe and recruitment specialists. To provide immediate depth to the Interns as a group, 4 of the 10 Interns must have been licensed for more than 8 years, 3 Interns more than 4 and less than 8 and 3 for less than 4 years.
The Intern program is a three year placement with registered Nepali law firms. These firms are carefully selected to ensure woman friendly environments and the highest level of legal experience. Throughout the three years both the Interns and the law firms will be supported and monitored by the WLJH project office in Kathmandu as well as by the International Visiting Mentor with oversight by the WLJH head office.
The interns will receive a monthly allowance to cover living expenses. They will also receive a monthly contribution to a savings plan. The amount accumulated in the savings plan will not be paid out unless and until the completion of the full 36 month program. This will provide an incentive for the Intern and her family to support her continued participation in the program. The living allowance and savings plan are paid to provide a level playing field with male lawyers. Finally, at the beginning of the internship, each Intern will receive a new lap top computer which is necessary for their communication with the on-line mentor community.
English Language Program
The English Language Program has been specifically designed for WLJH by The British Council-Nepal. The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities which works with 50 million people annually through its 191 offices located in 110 countries. This tailor-made course will consist of three weeks intensive English Language instruction held at the beginning of year 1, 2, and 3 respectively. The intensive 3 week sessions are augmented with weekly English language instruction held every Friday from 1-5 pm throughout the year. Upon the successful completion of this 580 hour, three year program, WLJH interns will receive an International Legal English Certificate (ILEC) from Cambridge University.
Each Intern will attend the fifteen-day Foundation Course (FC) at the beginning of their first year. This 15 day intensive course on practical legal skills includes the following sessions: legal ethics; the role of a lawyer; law firm management; basic accounting for lawyers; creating a business plan; client management and interviewing skills; law firm marketing and business development; basic legal drafting; negotiating and oral presentation skills; basic legal research skills and the use of technology in law; and challenges unique to women practicing law.
The FC sessions will be facilitated by the NBA through the WLJH Project Office with support from the International Visiting Mentor. Session topics are selected in conjunction with the NBA and are customized in meet the particular interests and needs of Nepali lawyers. Panels of NBA members will review, comment and contextualize curriculum developed by international lawyers. Two Nepali lawyers, one male and one female, will be selected to finalize and co-deliver the FC Sessions with their international colleagues.
Basic Legal Skills Seminars
Seven, 1-2 day Basic Legal Skills (BLS) Seminars, in specific practice areas, will be delivered every year, advancing as the WLJH Interns progress through the program. Almost all of the first year seminars have been assigned to law firms located around the globe. These seminars include: Acting for individuals in their private affairs; Administrative, Constitutional, and Public law; Criminal; Corporate; Commercial; Intellectual Property; and, Real Property. Advanced BLS Seminars for interns in years two and three of the program will also be identified in collaboration with the NBA and requests made for international lawyers and law firms to develop the same.
The BLS seminars will be facilitated by the NBA through the WLJH Project Office with support from the International Visiting Mentor. Session topics are selected in conjunction with the NBA and are customized in meet the particular interests and needs of Nepali lawyers. Panels of NBA members will review, comment and contextualize curriculum developed by international lawyers. Two Nepali lawyers, one male and one female, will be selected to finalize and co-deliver the BLS seminars with their international colleagues.
International Visiting Mentor (IVM)
International Visiting Mentors (IVM) are experienced lawyers from developed countries with sound rule of law regimes and advanced continuing legal education programs who apply for 90 day placements to work in Kathmandu with WLJH Kathmandu Project Office. IVM selection is based upon professional qualifications and experience as well as personal qualities and characteristics based upon input from developed world Bar Associations and other continuing legal education organizations and specialists. These sources will also be used to advertise IVM opportunities to solicit applications.
The IVM will assist with the delivery of the FC and/or one or more BLS seminars, support the Interns and participating law firms, provide advice and capacity building to the NBA, network with International organizations and donors to give program national profile, and assist WLJH Head Office with monitoring and evaluation of the Interns, Nepal law firms and the program.
International legal expertise and legal research and materials will be provided to WLJH Interns on-line through a member-only section of its website. This on-line community and resources will augment the learning acquired from the in-person training. Lawyers from around the globe will be invited to participate as mentors to the Intern group in one or more areas of their legal expertise. Through the website, Interns can ask questions regarding legal, practice management or client management issues of the mentors. Privilege and confidentiality will be maintained. All questions and answers will be confidential between the Intern making the request and the applicable pool of mentor-lawyers and the WLJH staff person(s) responsible for managing and monitoring the interactive site.
Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
~ John F. Kennedy