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Law and Human Rights Internships and Work Experience Overseas in Ghana

Law & Human Rights in Ghama - Ghanaian People

Ghana is one of the most stable and well-governed African nations. Life in its capital city, Accra, might be far removed from any North-American or European city but, as a former British colony, the Ghanaian legal system is based on English Common Law.

This means that if you are in training, or already practicing law in countries such as the UK, US, Canada or Australia, the experience of volunteering for a law firm in Ghana will be both interesting and, career-wise, invaluable.

The experiences that you will have while volunteering in Ghana look good on any CV. This applies whether you are a gap-year student looking to study law at university or a law graduate looking to gain some unusual work experience. International experience is something that law firms will certainly be pleased to see when recruiting new junior partners.

In Ghana you can choose to work in a business and commercial law firm, or to join one of our exciting and ever-expanding human rights law placements.

Volunteering on a Law Internship in Ghana

Law & Human Rights in Ghama - Human Rights Conference

If you're seeking business and commercial law experience, we'll place you with a respected law firm in Accra. The firm mainly focuses on Corporate Practice, Trade and Investment and Environmental law. You could be working on projects involving litigation, drafting commercial and tenancy agreements, points of criminal law or arbitration.

Mornings are usually spent in court, shadowing lawyers and observing or taking notes on sessions. Usually you will be at work by 8am, leaving for court by 8.30am. Afternoons are spent carrying out legal research, writing letters, drafting court documents or attending meetings.

Your supervisor will be a specialist in Corporate and Commercial practice, including negotiation of commercial and business contracts and other varied agreements. Your supervisor will take into consideration how much prior experience you have when setting you tasks. If you have an interest in a particular area, this can usually be accommodated.

You'll be expected to take initiative in asking for work and asking to accompany lawyers to court. Don't be afraid to make sure that you understand a task before you start something. The lawyers will not mind you seeking clarification from them.

The law courts close over the summer period from the start of July to the end of October. During this time the Business and Commercial Law placement is not available, however, volunteers can take part in the Human Rights project.

Volunteering on a Human Rights Internship in Ghana

Law & Human Rights in Ghama - Human Rights Office

We offer an expanding range of human rights law schemes in Ghana, West Africa, to volunteers interested in human rights and social issues in the developing world.

Even if your knowledge of practical law is limited, you'll do far more than make the tea. You just need to be able to communicate well and work hard.

Placements at the Human Rights Advocacy Centre, based in Accra, Ghana's capital city - offer unique legal work and cultural experiences. You'll become involved in programmes including:

  1. Children's rights
  2. Reproductive health
  3. Election monitoring
  4. Police accountability and reform

The schemes are there to help ordinary Ghanaians understand their rights, and what protection they are legally entitled to. Your role in this might involve various activities such as:

  1. Preparing media features
  2. Raising awareness in rural communities
  3. Providing free legal advice
  4. Preparing parliamentary submissions

The Human Rights Advocacy Centre is working with the following projects, activities and tasks:

  1. Right to Information
  2. Constitutionalism
  3. Election Monitoring
  4. Women's Rights
  5. Police Accountability
  6. Police Reform

Placements are certainly demanding and must be taken seriously; in working for the Human Rights Advocacy Centre, you are representing a professional organisation. You will sometimes have deadlines and you may be asked to represent Human Rights Advocacy Centre at meetings, fact finding missions and other events.

Law & Human Rights in Ghama - Human Rights Radio

Your precise role will be determined by your knowledge of law and level of interest in specific areas. Placements are ideal if you are a law student or graduate seeking practical experience in human rights. However, the work is also suitable if you're volunteering pre-university, or you only have a general interest in human rights.

Typically your placement will involve several elements. You might sometimes attend court, where you could monitor and report on proceedings. You might be producing information resources, such as research reports or questionnaires.

You'll also be encouraged to make good use of the local media by writing articles on social themes, or even appearing in radio debates! At other times you might visit community groups to give advice on specific civil-rights aspects. There is plenty for you to become involved with and you will definitely be kept busy!

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Ghana Human Rights Management Plan.

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