Despite great progress made in the area of legal education in Georgia, thousands of students still graduate ill-prepared to advise clients in complex criminal and commercial matters. Professors are still spread too thin, and often reiterate the lessons of the past, lacking the time to develop new and more relevant materials. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), EWMI’s Judicial Independence and Legal Empowerment Project (JILEP) in Georgia strives to further improve legal education; and further develop commercial law and improve commercial law related practice.
On January 23-29, Professor Amy Deen Westbrook of Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, Kansas and three, Free University-Georgia law professors, introduced a new skills training course entitled, “International Business Transactions and Contract Drafting,” to 36 law students from six Georgian schools at the National Center for Commercial Law (NCCL)’s Winter School at Free University’s Bazaleti Training Center. The NCCL was established in 2011 as a partnership among EWMI’s Judicial Independence and Legal Empowerment Project (JILEP) in Georgia, Free University-Georgia, and Washburn University School of Law with the aim of promoting the development of commercial law-related education and practice. During the Winter School, Professor Westbrook and her Georgian counterparts taught the students how to draft commercial documents (e.g., bills of lading, contracts of affreightment, sales contracts, and commercial letters of credit). They also introduced the international legal framework guiding many types of international commercial transactions; for example, the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and the OECD Anti-bribery Convention, and Incoterms 2010). Professor Westbrook created the course specifically for Georgia law students and shared her teaching notes and other teaching materials with her Georgian colleagues so that they could teach the course themselves in the future. The NCCL intends to offer this course in future Winter and Summer Schools.