Russian Human Rights Lawyers Visit UB Law Clinic


A delegation of Russian human rights lawyers visited the University of Baltimore School of Law recently to discuss the work of its law clinics and professors. The delegation is sponsored by the Open World Leadership Center and visited various Maryland based academic, legal, governmental, and non-governmental organizations from October 28 until November 4. The lawyers represent a wide variety of experience – ranging from representing civil and criminal cases for low-income clients to monitoring detention facilities to representing military service members.

The delegation was welcomed by Michele Gilman, director of the UB Law Clinics, who provided an overview of the clinics, and briefed by Professors John Snyder and Michelle Nethercott, Clinic Fellows Michelle Ewert and Emily Torstveit Ngara, Coordinator for International Law Programs and CICL Fellows professor Catherine Moore on the works of their clinics and course. The delegation was keen to learn about the different types of cases that the clinics take on and discussion ensued about the similarities and differences between the U.S. and Russian legal systems. One delegate shared how he worked to exonerate his client for a crime she did not commit and have the authorities provide restitution upon her release from prison. This resonated with the work of Michele Nethercott, who recently won a hard fought case to exonerate her client Malcom Bryant.

“As someone with a comparative law background, it is always interesting to hear how lawyers in other countries tackle certain issues. The issue of police brutality, for example, is a problem in Russia and the United States. It was interesting to learn about the work of the Leningrad Regional Public Monitoring Commission that monitors instances of abuse and human rights violations in detention facilities.” – Catherine Moore

Finally, Elzara Akhmedov, a 2L student in the Tax Clinic and originally from Russia, shared with the delegation her experience (in Russian) as a law student here and what it is like to represent a client in the clinic environment.

The visit was organized by Ardath Cade, Chair of the Maryland Leningrad Sister State Committee.