By Hafsa Oujeddi,
Student clinician at the legal clinic of the Faculty of Law in Fez (4th cohort).
Students learn about the power and impact of their words on others, May 2023. Photo: HAF
In today's world, effective communication is the key to success. For clinicians at the High Atlas Foundation’s Legal Clinic in Fes, mastering the art of public speaking is a skill that uniquely equips them to advocate for underrepresented and underserved communities. Through a unique partnership with ANAPEC, the clinic recently conducted a training session focused on developing "soft skills" tailored specifically for legal clinicians. Led by Mrs. Nadia Bouziane, the session provided participants with strategies for improving public speaking skills.
Mrs. Bouziane captivated the audience with her presentation, emphasizing the importance of public speaking and the direct correlation to self-confidence. To break the ice, participants were tasked with completing a questionnaire titled "If I were... I would be..." and presenting their responses to the group.
Students shared their work one by one, bravely explaining their ideas and choices. Mrs. Nadia Bouziane provided valuable feedback, addressing each individual's unique stress manifestations and suggesting personalized techniques for effective stress management. The practical exercises tailored to each student allowed the concepts to be immediately practiced. Mrs. Bouziane also gave an overview of public speaking strategies like addressing the audience with a confident posture, captivating them with well-crafted discourse, and using voice modulation and persuasive gestures.
The interactive exchange between students, the trainer, and the ANAPEC representative deepened the learning experience. By embracing the vulnerability of sharing personal and professional experiences, we grew our confidence and our ability to speak with conviction. Through this training, I gained insights into effective emotional management, conquering anxiety, stress, fear, and other emotions that may hinder success. It was clear to me through the training that the first step to convincing an audience is believing in oneself.
In conclusion, effective public speaking is a powerful catalyst for change. By harnessing the power of good communication, clinicians at the Legal Clinic can amplify their voices, advocate for underrepresented communities, and create a more equitable society.
Improvisation and public speaking exercises, June 2023. Photo: HAF
The Legal Clinic of the Faculty of Law (Clinique juridique de la faculté de droit - CJFD) in Fes aims to elevate the status of youth, women, and underrepresented communities by providing pro-bono legal aid and entrepreneurship training as a means to engage civically and economically.
Over the three years since its inception, the program has trained 369 (50% women, 50% men) master’s and doctoral students of law to administer legal aid and facilitate capacity building with community beneficiaries in the Fes-Meknes region of Morocco. In that time, student clinicians have worked on a total 267 case files pertaining to entrepreneurship, immigration and asylum, family mediation, psychological support, human trafficking, employment, and real estate. Additionally, 256 have benefited from the establishment or growth of 39 private income-generating projects and entities following entrepreneurship training and mentorship.
The program was established first as a pilot project in 2019 as a collaboration between the High Atlas Foundation and the Faculty of Legal, Economic, and Social Sciences at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Fes. From 2020 to 2022, the program’s continuation and expansion to include concentration on the promotion of entrepreneurship was funded by the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).
A new cohort is being trained in 2023 to ensure the program's sustainability in the future.