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Legal capacity building is an integral part of both NML’s structure and programmatic work to improve the design and implementation of economic laws and regulations, address regulatory bottlenecks as they arise, and support local efforts to strengthen the feedback loop between regulators and local communities. NML works to build legal capacity through its projects and partnerships, legal tools and scenario-based regulatory modules, and legal fellowship program. 

Legal Fellowship Program 

Despite the growing number of young lawyers interested in pursuing careers in law and development, there simply are not enough practical training programs during or, in particular, following law school. In response, NML has established a legal fellowship program to provide both technical knowledge, mentoring, and practical skills through “learning by doing,” creating a global community of practice in law and development and an important in-country resource for NML and its partner organizations.  NML has already proven to be a stepping stone to careers in legal reform and policymaking, with NML’s alumni working in government, international institutions, and the private practice of international law.  NML sponsors cohorts of Legal Fellows throughout the academic year (typically Spring, Fall, and Summer). For more information about our current Fellowship opportunities, contact us.


NML’s founder has also developed a unique law school curriculum over the last decade to teach law students the dynamic nature of law and development through interactive case-study-based classroom exercises and in-field training. NML hosts law student externs and interns throughout the year, and works closely with student groups in law schools in the US and Africa. For examples of our student partnerships, click here

Project Based Capacity Building

Law and regulation can create binding rights and obligations, but in many markets, the majority of stakeholders are not aware of the range of rules affecting them, limiting economic opportunity to a select few.  In order to create a legal framework that is more fit for purpose, NML works to build capacity across lawyers, policymakers, and enforcement officials alike to better implement legal solutions to development challenges. NML’s projects are designed to present the law in a way that is more accessible for a wider variety of stakeholders. This is especially important for sectors that are complex, heavily regulated, and often misunderstood. 

Importantly, NML seeks to develop sustainable capacity at local, regional, and international levels.  We aim to learn just as much from those we are trying to "teach." Our approach is interdisciplinary, and we often work with local researchers, economists, professionals, and others to better understand the specific needs of stakeholders in context. 

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