History

The “Armenian Lawyers’ Association” (ALA) NGO was founded in 1995, by a group of students from the faculty of law at Yerevan State University with other young lawyers. It has been registered as a non-governmental organization in the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia on 14 March, 1995, and re-registered on 23 May 1997, 14 December 1999, and 27 December 2002 respectively.

The organization was established having the aim of coordinating the efforts of its members and supporters, as well as of the new generation of lawyers, to promote the establishment of Armenia as a sovereign, democratic, legal and social state. After its establishment, ALA rapidly started to realize its goals and objectives and actively got involved in the public life of Armenia. The association initially implemented activities aimed at clarification of Armenian law, as well as carrying out advocacy activities. The organization realized several projects aimed at the establishment of the legal field, which would then regulate the NGO sector. It also provided legal assistance to NGOs. Later ALA implemented projects to support socially vulnerable groups by providing free legal services and further protecting their rights and interests.

ALA has placed great importance on the development of professional skills since its establishment and works to establish favorable conditions for the fulfillment of this goal. The Association has established a legal resource center, equipped with computers and technical equipment, as well as up-to-date legal literature, a computer software program of Armenian legislation, Internet, and other required sources. From 1999, the organization has expanded its activities to the Armenian regions as well establishing regional branch offices in Vanadzor, Gavar, Gyumri, Kapan, Goris, and Ijevan.

ALA has established ties with different local and international organizations both in Armenia and abroad. The organization has been a member of the European Young Bar Association since 1998. The organization has established partner relations with a number of international organizations. In 2001 ALA prompted the establishment of the Coalition of Organizations Providing Free Legal Services, which now has 15 member organizations.

Since 2000, ALA has been administering the Armenian National Round of “The Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition”. The Competition was founded in spring 1959 and is being held in 80 countries of the world by the International Law Students Association (ILSA).

ALA’s Law Students’ Division (LSD) was established in 2004. The Division organizes various events, including conferences designed to raise the level of professional knowledge of the Armenian law students, support their self-organization, as well as to carry out studies in the legal sphere. In June 2006, the ALA started to publish its monthly “Legal Newsletter”, which is provided to the lawyers, advocates, judges and other entities.

In 2006 ALA participated and supported to the establishment of the Mediation Project and the Mediation Court.

In 2007 ALA carried out independent external evaluation, as well as elaborated and started its long-term Strategic Plan for 2007-2013.