Position title: Graduate Research Assistant 2017-2018
While conducting his 2017-2018 WRP-funded research, which focuses on legal education in Russia, Straka was a second-year law student in the University of Wisconsin Law School. He was primarily interested in understanding the scope of experiential learning opportunities that Russian law students complete as well as their perceived degree of satisfaction with such opportunities. The range of experiential learning opportunities includes, but is not limited to, required on-site internships (“stazherovka”), internships coordinated on the student’s own initiative, legal clinics, and paid legal-related work. Furthermore, he supplemented his findings with a comparison of the Russian context to the American (U.S.) context in an effort to explore how these two legal education systems can learn from one another despite unique development pathways and market demands. This project was an opportunity to not only tell a story about what Russian law students value most in their professional development, but also to shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of various pedagogical methods in Russian law faculties—from the perspective of law students.
Professor Kathryn Hendley is Straka’s faculty advisor.