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The Legal Services Act (German: RDG)

Refugee Law Clinics Deutschland

The so-called “Law Clinics” or “Legal Clinics” have their origins in the United States. The concept emerged in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement against racism and for equality and equality for all people. The Law Clinics were the answer to unequal access to justice for low-income populations. The idea behind it is to promote social justice and provide access to a fair legal system for everyone. This is achieved by offering legal advice free of charge. Legal advice is usually offered as part of professorships at universities. Here, students have the opportunity to gain practical experience during their training.

This concept was later also used in Germany. In addition to organizations that provide legal advice in all areas of law, there are also those that specialize in one area. The Refugee Law Clinic is an organization that specializes in an area of law and offers free legal advice in the area of asylum and migration law. The first Refugee Law Clinic in Germany was founded in Giessen in 2007. As of today, there are more than 38 RLCs across Germany, which offer free, voluntary legal advice in the area of asylum and migration law as well as social law issues. The basis for this is Section 6 of the Legal Services Act (German: RDG), which enables lawyers who are not fully trained to offer legal advice in collaboration with fully qualified lawyers.

RLCs in Germany are student and university-organized projects whose aim is to create a fair legal status for refugees and migrants. To ensure that this is successful, the volunteer students are regularly trained and trained in the area of migration law and current important issues. They are supported by licensed immigration law lawyers. Further training courses include the regular “Move Moot”, which simulates an oral court hearing in the area of migration law. Regular lectures by lawyers and specialists in the field offer solid voluntary training.
The voluntary associations are financed mainly through donations, and there are also many other organizations that support their work.

The number of specialist lawyers specializing in this area shows that there is a need for refugee law clinics and corresponding specialist lawyers. According to official figures, there are only 233 licensed specialist lawyers in this area of law.

You can find an overview of all law clinics in Germany here

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