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Халықаралық аккредитация ACBSP (АҚШ) / Институциональдық жәнемамандандырылған аккредитация БСҚЕЖҚТА(Қазақстан)

Dering Natalia

Learning the difference. Experience in Law Offices in the USA

Dering NataliaKazakh–American Free University, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan

I think that nowadays law is becoming more required as it used to be, especially in fast growing countries like Kazakhstan. Because of the global process of integration my country needs good lawyers, leaders and managers which efforts will be directed towards the prosperity of Kazakhstan at the international scene. I believe that our country can reform our legal system and legislation, taking into consideration successful experiences from the United States. We can use best ideas and integrate them into our system, paying attention to national peculiarities.

I observed the work of different organizations and law offices in the USA. The first organization, where I practiced, was called the Christian Medical Fellowship. It is a nonprofit, Christian organization of individuals interested in the health care field. They encourage spiritual growth through fellowship meetings, educational opportunities and outreach projects. I helped to sort and register medicines that were for people from Nigeria.

The second firm was called Perlstein, Sandler & McCracken. They provide a broad range of legal services like collecting unpaid common charges, reviewing, negotiation and litigating contracts. Also condominium law is one of the most important areas. I had a lot of conversations with the workers from Perlstein, Sandler & McCracken and visited sitting of the courts.

The name of another firm was Kainen, Escalera & McHale. It is a law firm that focuses its practice on private and public sector labor, employment law and related litigation. I observed the meeting between the union of employees and the lawyers from Kainen, Escalera & McHale, which represented the employer.

I attended at the Alternative Board meeting. This firm is an advisory group made up of CEOs, presidents, business owners and partners. These people want to improve their businesses. Members can discuss issues in complete confidentiality, define problems and find the ways to solve them.

Other firm was called Gale & Kowalyshyn. It is a full service law firm, specializing in the needs of the individual and his or her small business. Their advice and representation in any matter always includes an analysis of how the case impacts the other areas of concern for each client. They call this providing "whole client" advice. The lawyers of Gale & Kowalyshyn try cases in all courts. I visited divorce suit and negotiation about the acknowledgement of paternity.

Also I was at the General Electric Company. GE Industrial produces the modern conveniences that keep the world working through appliances, lighting, factory automation systems etc. GE Industrial also offers equipment leasing, as well as management and operating services. Some of their technologies and products are really unique and up to date. Therefore they need to protect their rights and techniques and have good legal support. I observed the work of senior counsel from the intellectual property department, which deals with different types of patents and licensees.

One of the biggest law firms was Shipman & Goodwin. They represent many of the leading businesses, institutions, individuals and government entities in Connecticut and throughout the New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions. This firm is recognized for their depth of knowledge and experience in a number of industry sectors, including education, government, financial services, health care, non-profit organizations, real estate development, franchising, retail and software.  I had a lot of conversations with different attorneys and found out many interesting things about intellectual property.

Also I had an interesting experience at the Elim Park. It is a not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community whose mission is to provide quality care through comprehensive wellness programs and medical facilities for residents in a Christ-centered environment. Residents are encouraged to grow spiritually as they live out their lives at a level of wellness and independence appropriate to their individual situation. 

From my summer experience in America I got a new angle on law practice and gained experience of American legal system. I took back the understanding of quite different culture that is individualistically, achievement-oriented and emphasizes the value of freedom, equality and time.

I also learned the importance of professional ethic, because lawyers in the USA pay great attention to this element of legal practice. I like the idea of social help to different sections of the population, for example, medical help to poor people and social welfare to seniors. I think this is a great example of servant leadership, because the organizations have values and mission statements and they really care about their clients.

From my experience I understand more the importance of being a good lawyer, because it includes not only professional skills, but also psychological and ethical aspects. This profession requires good communication skills and I learned how to interact with people, avoid conflicts and solve problems. I understand that representing clients in courts is quite hard and requires high level of grounding and preparation. Today a lot of people file lawsuits to rehabilitate their rights and a skilled lawyer can help them to win lawsuits.

I think I can use the experience from legal counsel and representation for businesses. I think that nowadays almost every business needs legal help and support. Organizations today need timely, effective and cost efficient representation. Experience at American law firms means that they have no need to train lawyers at client expense. Their operating philosophy does not allow to use two attorneys to do the job of one.

Also I think the idea of creating good condominiums is useful, because our types of condominiums are not effective and not as developed as in the USA. I think creating legal entities will help Kazakhstan to improve the situation with dwelling houses. These legal entities will be responsible for the condition of porches, courts, playgrounds and communal-general service.

I believe that one of the most important problems in Kazakhstan is intellectual property. Sometimes this kind of property is more valuable than landed property; therefore it needs to be protected. Nowadays the mechanism of protection is not as good developed as in the USA. I think that we need to call trespassers to account for piracy.

I think that Kazakhstan has good potential to become one of the most flourishing countries in the world, at least in the Euro-Asian region. Kazakhstan has future prospects, but to be successful tomorrow means working hard today. That’s why I want to start with myself to develop as a good leader and lawyer today and help people in the future.

2008 year

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