Ted Parran (2013-14)
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Cuyahoga County Office of the Prosecutor & Planethood
Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve School of Law, Cleveland Ohio
I can certainly say that PROLAW gave me added value both professionally and personally, and while this might not be immediately apparent in my current career, it is certainly there. First, it increased and deepened my theoretical/legal knowledge because the program on the one hand took a deeper look at the social, cultural, and philosophical underpinnings of legal systems in general. Second, if made me a more effective lawyer because the program on the other hand also places strong focus on practical skills needed by development professionals (all professionals really) in a hands-on, experiential curriculum that builds personal capacity quickly. As a public service lawyer in the U.S., those aspects of my skills and perspective place me apart from most of my peers.
From a development perspective, this kind of a program is, in my opinion, invaluable. Not only do you gain the perspective and tools above, the development-practitioner-in-training gains something even more important - 8 months of continuous immersion into a group of legal professionals from countries across the entire scope of legal and economic development. This experience, above all others, makes PROLAW a truly enriching experience, and a must for any practitioner from an OECD country. If practitioners from OECD countries are to truly make the impact they desire, they must learn to approach their partners in "developing" countries as true equals. It is my firm position that studying together on common projects and goals is a wonderful, if not the only way, to learn this fundamental lesson.