Help to deliver justice with a Projects Abroad legal volunteer placement

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Volunteer organisation Projects Abroad is appealing for legal volunteers to help ensure justice is properly delivered in countries across the world. In particular, developing nations such as many countries in Africa are in need of legal volunteers.

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While it is easy to sit at home and think how terrible situations such as this are, it is possible to make a real difference and work for a volunteer organisation in the area of law and human rights.

A spokesperson for Projects Abroad explained: “Voluntary legal work can include providing legal services to individuals, communities or businesses. As well as helping the people who need it the most, if you are considering a career in legal services, a voluntary placement with a well-respected legal firm in a foreign country will add a real boost to a CV.”

The recent story about a taxi driver dragged to death behind a police car in South Africa caused international outrage. A report in The Guardian on 1 March 2013 highlights how this is just one of a range of horrific cases of police brutality in South Africa, with officers charged with rape, murder and other serious crimes.

For many people in the UK and beyond, such cases cause moral outrage. Sadly, however, these are not rare and isolated incidents. In many countries law enforcement officers are known to commit terrible crimes themselves, believing that they are above the law and can evade capture.

The South African officers in the case of the taxi driver have found this not to be the case after their brutality was filmed, and they have been arrested for murder.

While it is easy to sit at home and think how terrible situations such as this are, it is possible to make a real difference and work for a volunteer organisation in the area of law and human rights. Organisations including Projects Abroad offer a range of volunteer projects in this sector, giving volunteers the ability to help change legislation and improve other people's lives.

The legal sector is notoriously competitive and law students and graduates, those who already work in the industry but are taking a career break or seeking a change of direction, and people interested in taking a law conversion course would all benefit from undertaking a voluntary legal placement.

Law internships can also be undertaken by people with no previous legal training. The spokesperson added: “Some of Projects Abroad's legal placements in Asia and Africa do not require volunteers to have taken a law degree before embarking on their chosen volunteer programme.
“A commitment to protecting human rights is all that is required.”

One thing that is true of all legal internships and volunteer programmes: every experience will be unique. It will be a professional working environment and volunteers will be given plenty of responsibilities and will have deadlines to meet.

Based with a well-respected legal organisation, volunteers will be expected to represent the firm in the same way that any other employee would.

If there is a specific area of legal interest, such as criminal law, ProjectsAbroad will be sure to place keen helpers in a relevant position. Typical tasks for a legal volunteer include undertaking research and writing reports, attending regular court sessions and monitoring proceedings.

About Projects Abroad UK
Established in 1992, Projects Abroad is a leading organiser of volunteer projects, work experience and gap year placements. With a flexible approach and experienced in-country staff Projects Abroad has now helped more than 50,000 volunteers achieve their goals by working with developing communities in more than 25 destinations.

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David Flaschner
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