Sunday, March 1, 2009

Professor Kelley and Dean Nance in Ukraine

Dean Cynthia Nance, our Dean at the University of Arkansas School of Law and LL.M. and J.D. Professor, Professor Christopher Kelley just returned from a trip to Kyiv and Kharkiv, Ukraine. The trip's highlights included invitations for cooperation with a number of universities, including from the two leading law schools in Ukraine: the Kharkiv National Law Academy named after Yaroslav the Wise and the Law Department at the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv. These opportunities come in addition to the cooperation agreement that we already have with Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs.

Not only is the number of relationships between the School of Law and Ukrainian universities unprecedented, the opportunity to work with the two leading law schools is truly extraordinary.

Two students at Shevchenko talked with Profesor Kelley about applying for the LL.M. Program, and Professor Kelley was invited back to lecture on agricultural law in the United States. As Ukraine is "the bread basket of the world," agricultural law and food law are particularly important.

Dean Nance and Professor Kelley also met with Shelly Wieck, Director of the ABA Rule of Law International (ROLI) office in Ukraine. ABA ROLI has a grant from USAID to develop strategies for reforming legal education in Ukraine. Ms. Wieck would like our assistance on aspects of this effort, including developing legal clinics and classroom methodologies for teaching critical thinking.

During Spring break, Professor Kelley will return to Kyiv and Kharkiv with Frank Falkner of the Rose Law Firm and Chesley Whiteside, a J.D. student at the School of Law. Several Shevchenko law students are making arrangements to gather students to meet with them, as they are interested in visiting with Chesley and Frank about legal education in the U.S. from the students' perspective and law practice from the perspective of a practicing attorney.

And, throughout this semester, we will continue our series of live digital video conferences with professors and students from Ukraine and other countries.

Dean Nance and Professor Kelley deserve great credit for advancing the School of Law's international presence during a tightly scheduled, fully packed week in Kyiv and Kharkiv.

Professor Kelley notes that he is "hopeful that soon we will be able to develop ways in which our students and our graduates will join us in expanding our international activities."

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