Потрібна юридична консультація? Наш юрист надасть її безкоштовно

Assistance is more efficient and qualified when working with lawyers. Two stories from the practice of paralegal Mykola Okhonko

Publication date: January 8, 2024

The cooperation of paralegals with lawyers of the member organizations of the Legal Development Network is practical, qualified and produces actual results. Two successful examples from the practice of Mykola Okhonko, a paralegal from Chernihiv oblast, confirm this.

Mykola Okhonko (pictured) is a paralegal with the Ukrainian Paralegal Association and lives in the rural area of Mena community in Chernihiv oblast.

Maryna Tsarapaieva, paralegal at the Ukrainian Paralegal Association.
  • “Mykola is very outgoing and responsive to his fellow villagers. He is actively involved in the life of his community. People often turn to him with their problems and questions. And with the start of cooperation with lawyers from member organizations of the Legal Development Network (LDN), his assistance has become more qualified and effective,” says Maryna Tsarapaieva, coordinator of the Regional Coordinators Initiative*, and a paralegal with the Ukrainian Paralegal Association.

She explains that before using the client-paralegal-lawyer model, paralegals most often referred people who came to them to the appropriate structure or institution for their appointment.

  • “The established cooperation has shown greater efficiency, as the paralegal keeps the client’s request in focus, encourages a solution, and helps with various additional nuances in the process,” adds Maryna Tsarapaeva.

For example, one of Mykola Okhonko’s appeals was the story of a resident of Nizhyn. The woman told the paralegal that she often travels on the Mena-Makoshyne national road, which is in a terrible condition and needs to be repaired.  The client did not just want to complain. She tried to make a real difference. So the paralegal first sought the advice of Mykhailo Bardyn, a lawyer at the Podil Center for Human Rights.

Mykhailo Bardyn, lawyer, head of the Podil Center for Human Rights. 

The lawyer helped determine which agency was responsible for this particular stretch of road.

He also offered the following options for resolving the request:

1. Create and post a petition on the government’s petition portal regarding the need to repair the pavement of the Mena-Makoshyne road.

2. Address the deputies of the Regional Council with a proposal to support the petition by sending deputy appeals on this issue and consider the possibility of deciding on such an appeal on behalf of the session of the Regional Council.

3. Apply directly to the Office of the President of Ukraine with a request to include the repair of the Mena-Makoshyne state road in the presidential program “Big Construction”.

– It is essential to sign the appeal on behalf of several CSOs, local deputies, regional council members, etc., Mykhailo Bardyn advised.

After the consultation, they began working together. The paralegal and other local activists wrote and submitted a petition to repair the road. In this way, community members brought attention to the problem and controlled it.

Mykola Okhonko also helped Fedir, a Makoshyne village Mena community pensioner, get a solid fuel subsidy. The pension fund had denied him this benefit.

Andrii Korbetskyi, lawyer at the Center for Economic and Legal Development.

With the assistance of Andrii Korbetskyi, a lawyer from the Center for Economic and Legal Development, the paralegal explained that Mykola’s package of documents for the subsidy lacked an inspection report for the residential premises.

The lawyer advised him to order this document from the Center for Administrative Services, the local Department of Social Protection, or the Starostat (an institution created to ensure that the interests of all residents of villages in territorial communities are appropriately represented). Mykola went to the village Starosta (starosta is a local self-government official, head of Starostat) and his problem was solved. Now, the pensioner receives a state allowance for solid fuel.

* The material was created within the framework of the Regional Coordinators Initiative. The Initiative is released with the support of the international charitable platform GlobalGiving and Legal Empowerment Fund (a program of the Fund for Global Human Rights) and the Legal Development Network. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Legal Development Network and do not necessarily reflect the views of the previously mentioned organizations.

If you have notices an error on the web-site, please, highlight the text and press ctrl-enter.

Have you found your solution? Help others!

Share on social media

Print a poster

Print and place the Network's poster on a notice board in your entrance hall

Become a volunteer

Become a volunteer and assist others in finding problem solutions

Do you need a consultation ?


Поставте питання, i один з експертiв Мережi надасть вiдповiдь.
Графік роботи чату: з 10:00 до 16:00
(обідня перерва з 13:00 до 14:00).

In an office

Find the nearest consulting room in your city and apply for a consultation.





Inform on error