Problem Trees for Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

Last week was a short week because of the holiday, so there isn’t too much to write about. I continued to work on my judicial reform knowledge management project, and I received a new assignment writing a portion of a toolkit. The toolkit is a new kind of project for me, since I am used to researching and writing more memo-type products. I’m also a bit nervous in working on the toolkit, since it will be disseminated and used in trainings all over the world (it’s my first time writing for such a wide-spread audience!).

The subject of the toolkit is using legal empowerment to solve problems under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Legal empowerment is about strengthening people’s capacity to exercise their rights, bringing about justice through grassroots movements rather than through “books or courtrooms.”[1] SDG 16 focuses mostly on access to justice—how it can foster peace, security, and therefore sustainable development. For my section, I am writing about conducting problem tree analysis and other similar group exercises to discover how legal empowerment can resolve access to justice issues. I’m pleased to have been assigned this section, because I participated in several trainings last summer in Uganda that involved problem tree analysis. After witnessing those trainings, it’s fun to get to put my experiences to use in creating a toolkit that will be user-friendly!

I attended a career information fair at the Department of Justice last week, and I got to speak to representatives of their Environment and Natural Resources Division, Criminal Division, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI was cool, and they knew it! Unfortunately, however, they do not hire for legal positions right out of law school. I will likely apply for future positions with the Environment and Natural Resourced Division and Criminal Division, both of which seemed like a good fit for me.