Lawyers from Tajikistan Prepare to Strengthen Rule of Law through Training
Twelve lawyers from Tajikistan became the first participants of a new five-month U.S.-based training program that will enable them to make lasting positive changes to their country’s legal system. Through the Legal Education and Development Short-Term English Program (LEAD STEP), these individuals are cultivating skills in English and knowledge of comparative law that they will use to shape the dynamic legal landscape in Tajikistan, strengthen the rule of law, and foster ties with the international legal community.
LEAD STEP is an innovative program developed by IREX and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) to provide lawyers from Tajikistan with the opportunity to study comparative law. By integrating intensive English language study with a strong focus on legal writing and the study of American law, the program will allow a diverse group of young professionals the chance to build core skills that will position them to strengthen legal culture in their communities and build relationships with legal colleagues outside of Tajikistan.
Navruz Latipov, a 2012 LEAD STEP participant, said he was eager to advance his professional career by learning about the American legal system and improving his communication skills. “That’s very important to being an international lawyer and helping me to analyze agreements and adopt American legal [principles] in the Tajik system,” Latipov said.
Participants arrived in March for a brief opening workshop before departing to the University of Delaware, where they will undertake a 16-week intensive English program with special emphasis on legal writing and vocabulary. They will then participate in rigorous legal coursework, which includes site visits to legal institutions where fellows can network with U.S. practitioners. Participants also perform community service in the legal field to experience U.S. civic engagement and gain exposure to core values of the American legal profession.
“We are thrilled to welcome these new participants to the U.S.,” said Senior Program Officer Michael Dyer. “This comprehensive program helps us reach more promising legal professionals than we otherwise would have by providing them the English skills they need to thrive in an international legal context.”
LEAD STEP is a program of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and is implemented by IREX and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative.