Royal Institute of Law Project Office (Thimphu, Bhutan) -Law School Clinical Expert
The Royal Institute of Law Project Office (RILPO), Thimphu, Bhutan, is an initiative of His Majesty the King of Bhutan to establish the first law school in the Kingdom of Bhutan. As the law school places a high priority on preparing its graduates to be “practice ready,” the draft curriculum and mission of the law school places a significant emphasis on making significant “live‐client” clinical and other curricular and extra‐curricular experiential opportunities available to its students.
The Project Office seeks an Expert to spend two years in residence, researching access to justice requirements and recommending and establishing one or more legal clinics and associated experiential learning opportunities for the law school. Expected start date for this position is July 1, 2015. Upon the opening of the law school in Summer 2017, RILPO hopes that the successful candidate will continue as a full‐time faculty member, running the clinic(s) and experiential educational programs for the law school. However, as noted below, the present position is funded only through Summer 2017; terms and conditions of engagement after that date will be a matter of negotiation between the law school and the Expert.
Responsibilities: The Expert will be responsible for:
(1) Conducting such evaluative research as may be necessary to determine what clinic(s) the law school might establish in order to best serve the access to justice needs of Bhutan and the pedagogical needs of the law school;
(2) Working with key stakeholders inside and outside the project office ‐‐ including officials from the judiciary, the civil service (including the Education Ministry and other relevant agencies), civil society, and the private sector – to determine what role(s) clinical law students and faculty might play in the Bhutanese legal order;
(3) Proposing such regulatory and procedural changes as might be necessary to permit the active and meaningful participation of clinical students and faculty in the Bhutanese legal system;
(4) Drawing upon existing and in‐progress research (access to which will be provided by the project office) into education and access to justice in Bhutan to inform his or her programmatic recommendations;
(5) Drawing upon international and local best practices, proposing practices and procedures for the clinic which are suitable in the Bhutanese context;
(6) Reviewing the proposed LL.B. curriculum and advising the law school policy makers on any revisions that might be made to improve the experiential education of law students;
(7) With the assistance of the project office staff, preparing a detailed proposal for the establishment of one or more law clinics;
(8) Proposing other experiential legal education avenues (including but not limited to externships, intramural and interscholastic moot courts, volunteer opportunities, and law review) and drafting procedures and policies for same;
(9) Consulting with the appropriate project office and (eventually) law school staff to ensure that adequate library, research, and physical facilities are available to support the clinic and other experiential education programs;
(10)Draft course descriptions and frameworks for all clinical and experiential courses;
(11)Reporting regularly to the Dean‐designate of the law school on all of the above and related matters; and
(12)Performing other related duties as assigned by the Dean‐designate or as may be required to support the above activities.
The Expert will report at first to the Director of the RILPO. Once the Dean of the law school is appointed, the Expert will report directly to the Dean.
Duration: This is a two‐year appointment, with salary and benefits funded by a grant from the Austrian Development Agency and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation under a bilateral agreement with the Royal Government of Bhutan. The ideal candidate will also strongly consider remaining with the law school upon its opening to administer the clinic and supervise implementation of experiential learning opportunities.
Duty Station and Travel Requirements: The Expert will be expected to relocate to Thimphu, Bhutan. The Expert will be at first primarily based in Thimphu, at the Project Office of the Royal Institute of Law; once construction of the law school campus in Paro is completed, the Expert may be required to relocate to the campus. In‐country travel, to assess the access to justice needs of Bhutan and to meet and consult with key stakeholders in the judiciary, government, and civil society, is expected. Some excountry travel (for example, to attend regional and international conferences) may also be desirable.
Basic/Minimum Requirements: Applicants must hold a first law degree (LL.B. or J.D. degree or its equivalent) at the time of application, as well as at least five years’ experience in legal practice, education, or related fields.
Preferred Qualifications: For countries in which the law degree is an undergraduate (LL.B.) degree, a second law degree (LL.M. or its equivalent); previous professional or academic experience in law clinic administration and legal education; published research on law or policy; demonstrated administrative ability; experience in legal education or legal practice in developing countries.
Salary and Terms: Per the terms of the available grant, base pay is Euros 65,000 per year, for two years; airfare for one international round trip home is also included, as well as limited funds for in‐country and ex‐country travel and office expenses. Additional operating expenses will be made available from the Project Office as part of the ordinary annual budgeting process of the project office.
About Bhutan: Located in the eastern Himalayas between India and China, the Kingdom of Bhutan is an independent state with a population of about 700,000. Best known for the concept of “Gross National Happiness,” (an alternative measure of national development), Bhutan is a developing country with a significantly rural (and increasingly young) population. In 2008, Bhutan completed the peaceful transition from a monarchy to a constitutional monarchy, with the adoption of the country’s first constitution. Since that time, Bhutan has held its first two general parliamentary elections, established an independent Supreme Court, and adopted a number of related legislative and institutional reforms. Bhutan has a highly educated and dedicated judiciary but a very small private professional legal sector. To date, all prospective legal professionals have been sent abroad (usually to India) for legal education. The establishment of the law school is intended to promote legal education in subjects that reflect Bhutanese national needs and priorities, culture, and values. In this regard, the leadership of the law school has committed the law school to the twin aims of environmental law and sustainable development, and more generally to the pillars of Gross National Happiness. The primary language of instruction will be English, although all students will receive a thorough grounding in professional Dzongkha, the official language of Bhutan (and the operating language in the courts).
Deadline and Further Questions: The deadline for applications is 15 April 2015. Applicants should submit a current CV and a cover letter of not more than four pages describing their interest in the position. The documents should be in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) or Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX) format.
Applications should be submitted to Michael Peil, RIPLO consultant, at email@example.com. If you have questions about the position, please contact Michael Peil, RILPO consultant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.