Antonio Garrigues Walker closes the 2017/2018 academic year of the Legal Clinic

During the event, students shared their opinions on participating in this practical learning project

Chairman of Garrigues and Honorary PhD by Universidad Europea, Antonio Garrigues Walker, was entrusted with closing the 2017/2018 academic year of the Universidad Europea Legal Clinic at the Villaviciosa de Odón Campus. During the event, when students also shared their opinions on taking part in the Clinic, Garrigues emphasized how these initiatives must be further expanded and become more dynamic in the coming years and he encouraged students to take part in them as this will be “a safeguard” for their future.

The legal practitioner also recalled that the ties between the university and business is still pending in Spain, and he insisted on the need to eradicate the separation between science and arts. According to Garrigues, “at this time there is no need to be afraid of complexity or uncertainty”. Furthermore, the Honorary PhD believes society is heading towards "highly complex problems, and we have to grow accustomed to debating with others. For this the breaking down of the divide between sciences and arts is of vital importance, as is an "education in ethics and having a global mindset".

Since it was created in February 2017, the Universidad Europea Legal Clinic has received 21 consultations from people without resources. Of these, 17 were addressed thanks to a practical learning model used in Law that allows students to apply their theoretical knowledge by dealing with legal consultations. As for student and faculty participation, according to Clinic management around 40 students and 10 teachers have requested to become volunteers in the initiative since it began, accounting for a total of 860 hours of voluntary service at the Legal Clinic between February and December 2017 alone.

During the event, Clinic director Juan Manuel Campo highlighted that “this learning model is a teaching tool that fosters practical learning and prepares students as future Law professionals”. He also added that, “with this initiative we want students to understand the social function of Law, to be aware that it also protects the most disadvantaged”.

In fact, the Legal Clinic works with the Hazloposible Foundation by means of Legal Probono; these institutions refer real consultations by associations and cooperatives to the University. The Councils of towns close to the Villaviciosa de Odón Campus have also signed various agreements offering their residents without resources access to legal advice.

Meanwhile, Vice Dean of Business and Law at the Universidad Europea School of Social Sciences and Communication, Ana María Ovejero, stressed the numerous advantages this learning model offers students, as it makes for a more “dynamic experience dealing with rules, doctrines and case law to prepare legal concepts and reports in real time by answering legal consultations and queries”.

The Clinic closing ceremony included a round table entitled “Legal Clinics as practical learning models in Law” moderated by Juan Manuel Campo. The round table featured Blanca Pérez, Probono manager at the Hazloposible Foundation; Ana Higuera, representative from the Fernando Pombo Foundation; and Ruth de Miguel, director of the Social Responsibility center of the Professional Law Association of Madrid (ICAM).