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Universities Provide Legal Aid Service
Chinese colleges are showing interest in providing legal aid services for poor and disadvantaged people.

The law schools of two well-known Beijing-based universities, People's University of China and Qinghua University, signed an agreement Thursday with the city's Justice Bureau to cooperate on legal aid activities.

Under the agreement, the law schools are the first in China to set up volunteer legal aid centers on campus.

In addition, seven Chinese colleges and universities including the two above have added legal aid practice to their law students' curriculums.

"Colleges boast advantages in human resources and academic performance. They will provide powerful wisdom for China's legal aid undertaking," said Qiang Wei, deputy secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China.

Legal aid is a system providing non-profit legal services for poor and disadvantaged people at a reduced cost or free of charge, to help them protect their legitimate interests.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Justice, there are more than 2,300 legal aid institutions in China, involving over 8,000 professionals. Last year, more than 300,000 people received legal aid nationwide.

(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2002)

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