Project Bosnia began with the
donation of a laptop computer and modem to three law school faculty
members from the University of Sarajevo who visited the Villanova's School
of Law in January of 1996. After a demonstration of the school's computer
and information technology capabilities, the Bosnian law professors realized
the potential importance technology could have in rebuilding their country.
In the two years since the
initial visit from the Bosnian legal scholars, student involvement has grown
tremendously. Project directors from both schools have focused their
collective energies to develop and maintain a strategic plan to ensure the success
of Project Bosnia. Toward that end, students have created a Bosnia Home
page on the World Wide Web (http://www.project-bosnia.org) to
broadcast the Project's accomplishments. This links Web browsers to a universe
of information regarding the country and its history, and tells the story of
volunteers continuously work with administrators and faculty from their
respective schools to coordinate various support programs. Students are currently
canvassing local businesses and area law
"The project enhances and
expands our school's mission. It puts a practical
face on the legal learning that takes place in our classrooms."
Assistant Dean Charles Rudnick.
firms seeking either monetary contributions or
donations of personal computers which are necessary for Bosnian access
to the Internet.
"It is impressive
that such small group of people can effectuate
Always a teacher, Dean Perritt firmly believes the best
education occurs through active student participation. Here,
Alex Rozman and IV Ashton practice giving a computer slide
presentation prior to meeting with the members of the
Bosnian Constitutional Court in Sarajevo.
change," comments third-year law student
IV Ashton. "When we joined Project Bosnia, we
were just a group of students who wanted to lend a
helping hand. Now, through a lot of hard work and
dedication, we are helping a country ravaged by war rebuild its infrastructure. Helping bring stability to Bosnia via the
only reinforces the commitment that we made at the beginning our legal
education to utilize our abilities as future attorneys to assist others."
It is this type of student
enthusiasm that Dean Perritt credits for motivating him. He said his close
association with students is an unusually good example of the mentor/protege
relationship and has become a productive combination. "I'm not quite the same as
I was at 25, not as bold. Students say `come on, let's call this person,
let's contact that organization,'" commented Perritt.
Dean Perritt graduated from
MIT in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering
and received a Master in Science degree from MIT's Sloan School of
Management in 1970. In 1975, he received a law degree from Georgetown.
"I think Dean Perritt's
experience lends credibility," comments Alex Rozman, fellow Project Director
and second year student. "His grasp of technology allows us to be more
creative as we apply that technology to the law. He has worked in Washington
and understands how public policy
is made, how the legislative process works and how senior policy
makers operate. He has taught us that if you don't understand how institutions
interact, you marginalize your efforts."
With these dynamics,
Project Bosnia has successfully created a working environment that is
atypical for both students and administrators. "The project has changed me in that
I have never worked with students in this way before," said Dean
Perritt. "The intensity is great. When you spend so much time together
inevitably you get to know students in a much more personal way. We interact
as equals and colleagues. We have come to trust each other and we have
formed lasting friendships."
Indeed one thing is for certain,
no grade can measure what students and the law school communities are
learning from Project Bosnia. On a technological level, both schools are
committed to exploring various methods to advance their leadership in
Internet research and development as it applies to legal systems. In fact, as
technicians at CILP test theories pertaining