The war in Ukraine has put a hold on all livelihood and business. One area that is affected is the legal profession, along with undergraduates and graduates. With teaching and learning on hold for the foreseeable future, the University of Pittsburgh, along with a handful of other US law schools, have offered to pay tuition fees for graduates and lawyers.

What is Happening

The University of Pittsburgh School of law is working to welcome Ukrainian lawyers to the states to complete pro bono work related to their home country. The aim is to have these lawyers over for a year of study. This highly commendable effort makes up part of Pittsburgh’s ‘Ukrainian Legal Assistance Project’ which launched in late May of this year to aid the country through the war.

What is Being Provided?

Pittsburgh has committed to paying Ukrainian LLM students’ tuition fees along with fronting the bill for travel and living costs. Not only this, but they have advisors on hand to advise on visa costs and applications. The students will learn to be future leaders in the legal field, rebuild Ukraine and the use of law to defeat Russia and hold it accountable for its actions.

Pittsburgh has the largest law program, but other institutions are aiming to do their bit also. These include The University of Miami School of Law and The University of Florida Levin College of Law.

For now, due to Ukrainian’s Conscription rules, it is mostly women being flown over to the states. All men aged 18-60 are required to stay in the country to help with the war effort. An issue on the horizon for those being flown over for a year program is what happens when the war inevitably continues for longer than a year. It has already been suggested by an Officer in the Rifles that Ukraine now are facing a ground war where they will need to hold their ground and territory for as long as possible against Russia.

The University’s Aims

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law aims to spread the word to students through the school alumni and through contacts from law firms in Kyiv. The school aims once this happens to encourage as many to apply as possible. The law school has done similar in the past when the professors helped to educate lawyers from Afghanistan to Kosovo in the early 2000’s.

University of Miami

The University of Miami school has done very similar to Pittsburgh in that they will take in any eligible student from the next academic year, including not just law programs but 50 online courses ranging from music to medicine.

The university has said that the students must fill out an online application form through the study aboard office and after this is completed, they will find further instructions emailed to them. The aim is to start enrolling as many students as fast as possible to do their bit for the war and to help those disadvantaged by Russia’s actions.

So far, apart from the asylum program set out by the UK government, nothing of the sort we are seeing in US institutions has been announced in the UK by the universities or the UK government. Whether this will happen is for time to tell.