Bridges Across Borders South East Asia Community Legal Education Initiative
Who We Are
Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEA CLE) is an international access to justice, legal education organization that focuses on ethically oriented legal capacity development and community empowerment.
BABSEA CLE has been working collaboratively with universities, law students, law faculties, lawyers, members of the legal community, and justice related organizational partners since 2003 to develop Clinical Legal Education (CLE) programs throughout Asia.
These programs and clinics assist communities, provide legal aid services and simultaneously help to build the next generation of social justice, pro-bono minded champions.
BABSEA CLE’s mission is to help establish, strengthen and support university-based and community-based Clinical Legal Education (CLE) programs.
Through Clinical Legal Education (CLE) programs, we intend to improve access to justice across Asia by educating the social justice, pro bono champions of tomorrow as they serve the legal needs of marginalized communities today.
What We Do
BABSEA CLE works collaboratively with universities, law faculties and organizational partners to develop and strengthen university-based Clinical Legal Education and Community Empowerment Programs throughout Asia.
BABSEA CLE builds bridges by raising awareness about the issues faced by the communities we serve. We facilitate people-to-people exchanges, volunteer programs and legal trainings, with the aim of building a network of legal professionals and community leaders to address the root causes of access to justice issues.
Provides technical, administrative and organizational support, and helps establish and strengthen university-based and community-based CLE programs.
Conducts grassroots “training of trainers” workshops, using interactive Community Legal Education methodology.
Develops and assists in the development of interactive legal curricula and manuals for university law faculties, community-based legal advisors, paralegals, non-governmental and governmental organizations.
Coordinates and hosts an International Legal Studies Externship Clinic and promotes course credit for eligible participating students.
Organizesand facilitates CLE exposure visits, and CLE exchanges and trainings between students and professors.
Works to connect new university clinics with established university clinics, and to team clinics with pro bono departments of law firms and corporations.
Trains and assists in the development of the professional, ethical and legal skills of lawyers and professors of law.
Offers opportunities for pro bono departments of law firms and corporations to sponsor BABSEA CLE Legal Fellows and CLE programs.
BABSEA CLE works to:
- Ensure the growth of university-based CLE programs that focus on community empowerment and legal service outreach;
- Develop a network of community-service-minded law graduates and pro-bono civil society advocates for justice;
- Provide a ‘safe space’ to explore and practice CLE approaches that transcend the notion of tolerance, and enable advocates for justice to stand in solidarity with poor, vulnerable and marginalized communities;
- Link CLE programs to civil society organizations, law firms, corporations, including governmental policy makers, municipalities and justice sector institutions;
- Develop and design multi-platform, open-source, university CLE training materials;
- Provide legal knowledge and supplemental legal services to poor, vulnerable and marginalized communities.
BABSEA CLE is founded on the strong belief that no society can protect the rights of its people without a working Rule of Law system. All over the world, marginalized groups yearn for access to justice, but lack the power to obtain it. The result is a sense of injustice throughout societies in which a growing rift divides those with financial and legal means, and those without. We believe that Clinical Legal Education (CLE) is an effective way to help correct this injustice.
CLE provides pro bono services to the community while educating the next generation of social justice, pro bono champions.
CLE builds bridges between law schools, civil society, government, non-governmental organizations and communities that would otherwise not have access to legal assistance.CLE fosters professional ethics and teaches students practical skills for tomorrow, while helping marginalized communities today.