With a $415,000 grant from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office—and the help of a groundbreaking new law that offers homeowners strong pre-foreclosure protections—the HLS WilmerHale Legal Services Center (LSC) has launched a new program to help fight foreclosures in Mattapan, one of Boston’s most challenged neighborhoods.
Ernest Shackleton’s first journey to the Antarctic in the early 1900s ended in a very public failure. On his second journey, in a race to the South Pole, he turned back within 100 miles of his goal. In his third expedition, not only did he fail to traverse Antarctica, but his ship was destroyed by ice, stranding the crew on ice floes for more than a year. So why do law and business students and executives in legal and business organizations study Shackleton as an example of successful leadership?
As the groundbreaking anti-foreclosure work by HLS students continues to land significant victories for homeowners in Massachusetts, a recent conference to spread the Harvard model was attended by more than 150 lawyers, law students and community organizers from around the country who want to halt foreclosures in their own communities. The second annual HLS “Community Responses to the Foreclosure Crisis” conference, organized by the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB), ran for three days and included panel discussions and small, interactive workshops where participants received practical advice for fighting foreclosures.
Just two months after landing a major victory in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of homeowners fighting eviction, the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB) was back before the high court last week seeking more protections for people with homes in foreclosure. The court’s decision, expected to come down in several months, could lead to greater accountability for lenders trying to foreclose.
Elizabeth “Libby” Benton ’11 is the winner of the 2011 Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Service Award, after performing over 2,300 hours of free legal services while at HLS. The Class of 2011 surpassed the HLS record for pro bono hours, performing a total of 366,204 hours, an average of 628 hours per student.