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Maria Kalinina

Intern for American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, Moscow

Having been born in Russia and hoping to use my knowledge of the language and culture in my legal career, I was very excited to receive an opportunity to intern with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) in Moscow for the summer of 2009.  ABA ROLI has been operating in Russia since 1992 and is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  Since its inception in Russia, ABA ROLI has been instrumental in reintroducing jury trials, drafting a new criminal procedure code, establishing clinical legal education programs, introducing a training program for social advocates to aid in their work with domestic violence victims, and supporting the implementation of judicial and legal professional codes of ethics.

In my Skype interview with Gleb Glinka, the Country Director of ABA ROLI, I was offered the chance to aid their efforts in my choice of
program.  ABA ROLI in Russia currently runs programs concerning anti-corruption and public integrity; criminal law reform and
anti-human trafficking; judicial reform; legal professional reform; and women’s rights.  As an intern with ABA ROLI, I will be aiding in the implementation of these initiatives that are intended to bring justice to citizens who are presently under-protected by their own legal system and government.  I bring with me the unique perspective of a U.S. citizen lawyer-in-training and a former Russian citizen who maintains an intimate connection to her former country.  My hope is that my experience will provide some insight on Russia's legal system and will encourage other students to pursue a similar internship.