Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape

More than 100 years after students started the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, there are now 40 clinics and Student Practice Organizations at HLS, focused on everything from cyberlaw to veterans’ rights.

Clinic Icon= Clinic Externship Icon = Externship SPO icon = Student Practice Organization

1913 HARVARD LEGAL AID BUREAU

The nation’s oldest student-run legal services organization, it focuses on areas from family law to special immigrant juvenile status matters.

1949 HARVARD DEFENDERS

Students represent clients in criminal show-cause hearings before clerk-magistrates. It’s the only legal services organization in Massachusetts that represents low-income defendants in these hearings.

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1970 HARVARD PRISON LEGAL ASSISTANCE PROJECT

Students represent inmates in Massachusetts prisons at disciplinary hearings, parole rescission and revocation hearings, second-degree life sentence hearings, and more.

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1975 JUDICIAL PROCESS IN TRIAL COURTS CLINIC

Students work alongside judges in Massachusetts state and federal courts doing research and writing related to cases, sentences, and opinions.

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1979 LEGAL SERVICES CENTER

HLS’s first in-house clinic, housed in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood of Boston. The LSC includes the two clinics listed directly below as well as the more recent Federal Tax Clinic, the Predatory Lending and Consumer Protection Clinic, and the Veterans Law and Disability Benefits Clinic.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND FAMILY LAW CLINIC

Students manage all aspects of a family law case, from the initial client intake to representing clients, in both family and district courts.

Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape
HOUSING LAW CLINIC

Students represent tenants who are facing evictions by private-market and subsidized landlords. In the Housing Justice for Survivors Project, they represent tenants facing housing instability as a result of domestic or sexual violence.

Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape
1980 GOVERNMENT LAWYER: U.S. ATTORNEY CLINIC

Students are placed in the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston, where they handle work in such areas as anti-terrorism, organized crime and computer crimes

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1981 HARVARD MEDIATION PROGRAM

Students are trained in mediation and mediate court cases in Boston as well as conflicts outside of the legal system.

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TENANT ADVOCACY PROJECT

Students represent tenants of and applicants to public and subsidized housing at Housing Authority hearings throughout Greater Boston. The organization started as Students for Public Interest Law.

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1984 HARVARD IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE CLINICAL PROGRAM

Students represent international clients who are seeking protection from being returned to human rights abuses in their country of origin.

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1987 HEALTH LAW AND POLICY CLINIC

Originally the AIDS Law Clinic, it focuses on legislative and regulatory reforms to improve access to healthcare for low-income clients, in particular those living with chronic conditions.

Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape
1990 CRIMINAL JUSTICE INSTITUTE

Students represent indigent clients charged in Massachusetts courts with crimes ranging from misdemeanors to felonies.

Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape
1995 CRIMINAL PROSECUTION CLINIC

Students in district attorneys’ offices represent the commonwealth of Massachusetts in prosecuting nonjury criminal cases.

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TRANSACTIONAL LAW CLINICS

Students provide legal assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs in a variety of transactional matters, from contract review to commercial financing and leasing.

Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape
1998 RECORDING ARTISTS PROJECT

Students do sophisticated, hands-on legal work for musicians and other entertainment clients throughout the Boston area.

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1999 CYBERLAW CLINIC

It provides legal services to clients on issues relating to the internet, new technology and intellectual property.

Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape
2001 MAKING RIGHTS REAL: THE GHANA PROJECT CLINIC

Students work with Ghanaian organizations that focus on the human rights dimensions of Ghana’s health policies and practices.

Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape
2002 HLS ADVOCATES FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Students engage in legal projects with partner organizations around the world that advance human rights.

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2003 INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC

Students work to protect the human rights of clients and communities around the world while learning the responsibilities and skills of human rights lawyering.

2004 CHILD ADVOCACY PROGRAM

Students are placed with organizations and agencies that work to advance children’s interests through direct services, impact litigation, and policy reform.

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EDUCATION LAW CLINIC OF THE TRAUMA & LEARNING POLICY INITIATIVE

A collaboration between HLS and Massachusetts Advocates for Children, it helps children impacted by family violence and other adverse experiences succeed in school.

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EMPLOYMENT LAW CLINIC

Originally an inhouse clinic, it focuses on workplace rights, with a particular emphasis on state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on protected characteristics.

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2005 PREDATORY LENDING AND CONSUMER PROTECTION CLINIC

Students represent low-income people in cases related to predatory lending and other consumer matters including bankruptcy and debt collection defense.

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2006 CAPITAL PUNISHMENT CLINIC

At capital punishment resource centers, primarily in the southern United States, students represent clients with capital sentences.

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HARVARD NEGOTIATION AND MEDIATION CLINICAL PROGRAM

Students focus on dispute systems design, negotiation, mediation, and facilitation for U.S.-based and international clients.

2007 EMMETT ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY CLINIC

Students work on local, national and international projects covering the spectrum of environmental issues.

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HLS NEGOTIATORS

Working closely with the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program, it offers students the chance to represent clients in the fields of negotiation, dispute resolution, and conflict management.

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SPORTS LAW CLINIC

Students are placed in legal departments of major leagues or sports franchises and with law firms that represent individual players,

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SUPREME COURT LITIGATION CLINIC

Students gain experience in Supreme Court- and appellate-level litigation through involvement in pending cases.

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2008 PROJECT NO ONE LEAVES

A student-run, Boston-based canvassing group, it partners with local organizers to connect low-income communities to resources to protect and assert residents’ rights.

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2009 GOVERNMENT LAWYER: SEMESTER IN WASHINGTON

Students work as legal interns in Washington, D.C., in a variety of federal offices—with a focus on policy, legislative or regulatory matters—while taking a government lawyering course.

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HLS MISSISSIPPI DELTA PROJECT

Students provide policy and legal services to clients in the Mississippi Delta region, one of the poorest regions in the U.S.

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2010 FOOD LAW AND POLICY CLINIC

Students learn to use law and policy to impact the food system, and provide advice to nonprofits and government agencies and sustainable food producers.

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GOVERNMENT LAWYER: ATTORNEY GENERAL CLINIC

Students work in the offices of state attorneys general in Massachusetts or around the country in such areas as environmental crimes, public integrity, and major crimes.

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2011 HARVARD IMMIGRATION PROJECT

Students provide direct representation to asylum seekers, refugees and individuals in deportation proceedings.

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2012 HARVARD LAW ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROJECT

Students provide pro bono legal research and analysis to entrepreneurs at Harvard and MIT.

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VETERANS LAW AND DISABILITY BENEFITS CLINIC

Students work in a variety of settings to protect the rights of military veterans and their families and people with disabilities.

2013 CRIMMIGRATION CLINIC

Students work at the intersection of criminal and immigration law.

Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape
2015 FEDERAL TAX CLINIC

Students represent low-income taxpayers in conflicts with the Internal Revenue Service.

Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape
2016 DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW CLINIC

Students participate in an externship with the Protect Democracy Project, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to holding the executive branch accountable to the laws and practices that protect democracy.

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