The Students' Legal Clinic operating at the Faculty of Law and Administration, led by dr Tomasz Snarski, was awarded in the category 'Group / Club / Volunteer Family/ies', as part of the Gala of the 'Active in the European Capital of Volunteering' competition'.
During the gala on December 3, the Counselling Centre was represented by Zuzanna Moczadło, Vice Chair of the Board of Coordinators of the SPP of the WPiA of the UG (at the time the Chair participated in a national conference of legal counselling centres in Szczecin). The award in this category was presented to the students during the gala on 03.12.2022 by the Mayor of Gdańsk, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz. The 'Active in the European Capital of Volunteering' competition was organised in previous years under the motto 'Active in the City'. According to the organisers, due to the fact that Gdańsk has been declared the European Capital of Volunteering in 2022, it was decided to change - exceptionally - the name of the competition this year.
- 'I am extremely pleased with this award, granted in the special year in which Gdańsk holds the title of European Capital of Volunteering. It can be said that it is thanks to the activities we undertake at the Counselling Centre that Gdańsk is truly a city of volunteers, and more broadly a city of solidarity. Can you imagine a better place to promote good social attitudes than a university environment? Therefore, I would very much like to thank the Authorities of the University and the Faculty of Law and Administration for their continuous support for the activities of the Counselling Centre and for creating the appropriate conditions for its development,' - says the Counselling Centre's supervisor, dr Tomasz Snarski.
The Students' Legal Clinic ('Poradnia') has been in operation for 20 years. From its inception, the Poradnia has been affiliated with the National University Legal Clinics Foundation, which brings together university legal clinics throughout the country.
The students who work here provide legal advice free of charge, i.e. as volunteers. The Advice Centre is also a place where students have the opportunity to enrich their experience and develop their sense of empathy and sensitivity.
Free legal aid is provided to interested individuals and public benefit organisations who are unable to afford the assistance of a professional attorney due to a difficult financial situation.
- 'The students active in the Students' Legal Clinic of the Faculty of Law of the University of Gdańsk deserve the highest recognition. They show, through concrete commitment, that the legal ethos is first and foremost to serve other people, especially those most in need. Many times people come to our Clinic who do not have the basic legal knowledge, remain lost, and cannot even find their way to the right lawyer. For many, a visit to the Advice Centre and seeking our assistance is the only contact they have had with a lawyer in their entire life. Sometimes all it really takes is a little empathy, goodwill and work to help point a person in need to a solution to a problem. Sometimes, too, even when we assess that there is no longer any chance of effective legal solutions in a given case, the mere explanation of the problem in the opinion drawn up is still helpful to our clients,' - adds dr Tomasz Snarski. - 'What is extremely valuable about the operation of our Clinic is that it combines learning the practice of law in drafting legal opinions with concrete assistance to those in need. Students prepare legal opinions from various branches and areas of law under the supervision of experienced tutors (lecturers from the Faculty of Law and Administration). Importantly, they are required not only to prepare their opinions to the best of their abilities in terms of content but also to observe the highest ethical standards. Our Clinic is, incidentally, affiliated with the nationwide Foundation of University Legal Clinics, which continually reviews the standards of university legal advice throughout the country.'
However, students' activities are not limited to providing legal advice.
- 'Education is also an important part of our Advice Centre's activities. We cooperate with non-governmental organisations and secondary schools. We prepare workshops and lessons on selected legal issues. We also organise training for students and cooperate with self-regulatory organizations. For example, in March this year, in cooperation with the District Chamber of Legal Advisers, we organised a symposium entitled "How to draft a good legal opinion?". The Counselling Centre also served as a coordination point for legal aid points for refugees from Ukraine operating at the Tricity legal self-regulatory organizations. Finally, in the current academic year, for the second time, we are organising a series of lectures on the practical aspects of criminal law in the broad sense, in cooperation with the "Lex Super Omnia Prosecutors' Association' - adds dr Tomasz Snarski.
Congratulations to the students from the Students' Legal Clinic and their tutor, dr Tomasz Snarski!
More about the event at gdansk.pl
Zuzanna Moczadło, representing the Counselling Centre, receives the award from Mayor Aleksandra Dulkiewicz