Linking lawyers, field staff and grassroots advocates

An ongoing discussion at Namati is about strategies and structures for connecting paralegals/grassroots advocates & lawyers and how to facilitate those connections. We say that paralegals should be backed by lawyers but we want to draw out specifics about how that happening in practice.

In Namati’s Community Land Protection program our approach has been a little different than a ‘typical’ access to justice style program, given that we follow such a specific methodology.

The typical conception of paralegals is that they are part of a pyramid with connection to lawyers who can support them, litigate or make use of national institutions. Does this hold true in CLP work? How? Who is the ‘glue’ that links lawyers to the grassroots, and what does that look like in practice?

What are your efforts to network CLMs/paralegals with field staff and lawyers so they can access support and legal aid when/if needed?

@clp_partners @exchange_2016kenya

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Great idea Marena.

Yes, in BIRUDO we are using model of paralegal by involving them in awareness/mobilising community to protect their land either individual, family, clan or as a village as away to reduce land conflicts/grabbing through boundary marking/planting. At the same time we have legal officer who is a full time staff with roles to provide support to those paralegals, carryout legal aid clinic and help in mediating land disputes. Were the case require representation in court, we refer to other NGOs doing that. The challenge we always face lack of fund to support these cases we refer, since some of these NGOs a time have no fund to facilitate this. Best, Paolyel

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