Ebenezer Adjei Bediako, KNUST Faculty of Law interns at UOCLCThroughout summer 2011, Ebenezer Adjei Bediako interned at the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic. He was elected by his school to intern with the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic this summer as part of a partnership between the KNUST Faculty of Law, Canadian Lawyers Abroad (CLA) and the University of Ottawa to establish a legal clinic at KNUST which will provide free legal services and representation to poor and marginalized people in the local community.
Read a personal account of Ebenezer’s experience:
I am Ebenezer Adjei Bediako. I am Ghanaian and lawyer by profession. As part of a project aimed at establishing a legal clinic in Ghana, I was selected by the Faculty of Law, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, to intern at the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic (UOCLC) from May 1 to August 19, 2011. The internship was aimed at equipping me with the requisite knowledge and insight on how a legal clinic is run. With this knowledge and insight, I will return to Ghana and with the help of other Faculty members, establish the first community legal clinic in Ghana.
The Ghana Legal Clinic project was created by a partnership between Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the University of Ottawa and Canadian Lawyers Abroad.
My experience at the UOCLC has been splendid! I learnt a lot in the four months I interned at the UOCLC. One outstanding thing about UOCLC is professionalism. This is exhibited by the civility and decency of words used towards everyone in the Clinic. Confidentiality, which is one of the cardinal rules of law practice, is upheld by the Clinic in every sense of the word. Discrimination in any form is also prohibited. Everyone in the Clinic is seen and treated for who that person is and not his or her gender or background. This creates a comfortable working environment. One other thing one identifies upon entering the Clinic is how things are meticulously organized. In my own words: ‘you know where to find what and whom to ask”. The Clinic has developed templates for all the forms it uses, teaching materials, manual, etc. This makes working in the Clinic very smooth since one need not reinvent the wheel.
Such achievements can only be attributed to the great leadership and excellent support. The Executive Director, Louise Toone and the supervising lawyers: Lisa Sidoli, Blair Crew, Anna Colombo, have done a great job. The administrative staff is also made up of great personalities. Their civility and dedication to work is unparalleled. Without them, my internship would not have been a success. To all my fellow caseworkers for the summer, it was great knowing you and thank you all for your support.