Legal Education Support Program – Afghanistan

The University of Washington's Legal Education Support Program – Afghanistan (LESPA) is a collaborative effort of the United States Department of State (INL), the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education, and the Shari’a and Law and Political Science faculties at Afghan public universities. LESPA is implemented by the University of Washington School of Law and is currently funded into 2020.

Initiated in 2004 and previously known as the UW-Afghanistan Legal Educators Program (UW-ALEP), LESPA aims to strengthen legal institutions in Afghanistan by offering higher education opportunities to law professors and professionals who will become legal educators in the future. We have proudly partnered with 29 faculties at 19 public universities in Afghanistan. Participant study takes place in Afghanistan and at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle.

To date, LESPA has given over 100 Afghan law professors and graduates the opportunity to study at UW. Currently over 50 participants are enrolled in or have successfully completed the LLM program at UWLS. In addition, the program has enrolled seven candidates into the PhD program at UW Law; as of 2017, two have earned doctorates.

LESPA continues to develop and deliver innovative programming in Afghanistan, including semi-annual intensive Academic Legal English programs, local language moot court competitions, research and publication symposia, and embedded ESL programs at universities across Afghanistan that have included over 700 professors and upper level students. LESPA alumni have successfully published chapters in books, articles in U.S. and international law journals, and pieces online.

LESPA Faculty and Staff

Affiliate Faculty