This article accompanies the “In Focus” story “Legal Education in Afghanistan.”
Over the course of four short years three innovative rule of law projects have launched at Stanford Law School and have become the centerpiece of its Rule of Law Program—with each project offering students the opportunity to engage in the legal development of post-conflict and transition countries. Following closely on the heels of the successes of the Afghanistan Legal Education Project, the Bhutan Law and Policy Project began less than three years ago; students in this project are working closely with that country’s supreme court and are now writing the first legal textbook focused on the laws and legal institutions of Bhutan. Then, last year, Stanford Law School and the Asia foundation entered into a partnership in Timor-Leste (East Timor) to research and write the first legal textbooks on the laws and legal institutions of that country. The Timor-Leste group has completed a textbook on professional ethics; it is now being translated into Tetum (the local language) and Portuguese.
Under the faculty supervision of Erik Jensen, lecturer in law, each project is student-driven with management teams of Stanford Law 2Ls. Students admitted into each of the projects make a seven-credit commitment to a practicum in the spring of the 1L year—to obtain country background (political, economic, social, and legal) and exposure to skills necessary in the projects regarding curriculum development and international research. In the fall quarter of their 2L year, they participate in Jensen’s seminar State-Building and the Rule of Law; in the winter and spring of their 2L year they work intensely on writing textbooks. For more information about these projects, go to www.law.stanford.edu/program/centers. SL