A joint program between Fordham Law School, White & Case LLP, and the School of Law of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) won this year’s American Lawyer’s Global CSR Project of the Year. The prize, presented at the Edison Ballroom on Sept. 25, was awarded for the group’s establishment of a legal ethics program for law students in Ghana.
The Legal Ethics Training Program was developed by White & Case lawyers to teach students the main principles and rules that govern professional legal practice. Covering a broad range of issues, the four-day intensive program embraces topics such as regulation of the legal profession, lawyer-client relations, the relationship between attorneys and judges, proper screening and engagement of clients, conflicts of interests, confidentiality, anti-corruption, corporate social responsibility, and pro bono legal assistance.
Through active participation in lectures and case studies led by practitioners and legal experts from around the world, students learn how ethical rules are applied to commercial law practice. Professor Paolo Galizzi, clinical professor of law and director of the Sustainable Development Legal Initiative (SDLI) at Fordham Law School, was part of the initial advisory group that helped establish the program. As a program faculty member, Galizzi delivers lectures on the importance of corporate social responsibility and pro bono work.
“The Legal Ethics Training Program is, in my view, unique for several reasons,” Galizzi said. “It is a collaborative program between academia and a leading global law form. White & Case and GIMPA Law School could not have been better partners in this endeavor. It is an initiative that is aimed at strengthening cooperation between the Global North and the Global South. Finally, it is aimed at ensuring that ethics is taught as a key component of legal education at the inset of students’ legal education.”
Selected based on application essays and internship participation, 56 Ghanaian law students took part in the program in its first year. The program will continue to train new students each year.
Galizzi emphasized that the award, through the Corporate Social Responsibility Program and the Sustainable Development Legal Initiative, is a recognition of Fordham Law School and all the tremendous work going on in this field and of its growing relationship with White & Case and GIMPA Law School.