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ASU creates ‘Peace Corps’ for lawyers program

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Arizona State University’s new rule of law and governance program is being compared to the Peace Corps, but this one is geared towards future attorneys.

Student at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law are being trained to bring justice and human rights to countries in need around the world. Currently, eight juris doctor and one Master of Law student are in the program, but ASU law school professor Julia Fromholz expects even more students to join the program in the fall.

“In a lot of developing countries, the legal systems are not strong,” Fromholz said. “One might see a rule of man, meaning that things are decided at the whim of an autocratic ruler.”

Students in the program are taking classes at ASU and in Washington D.C., where they have been job shadowing officials at the U.S. State Department and in Congress. Fromholz said students may soon have the chance to travel overseas to put those rule of law practices into place while working towards their degree.

“It’s really hopeful to see students who are so interested in working overseas,” Fromholz said. “There are so many people who are in marginalized communities for any number of reasons who are not able to get access to justice, who are not able to protect their basic human rights. We can help prepare students to contribute to improving that situation.”