Jim Greiner, an HLS assistant professor of law, created a unique course as a joint endeavor between HLS and the Harvard statistics department, where Greiner, who holds a Ph.D. in statistics, is an affiliate. The 13 law students will be taking and defending two depositions each, one involving a political redistricting hypothetical and the other involving an employment discrimination case.
The number of students learning by doing at Harvard Law School has more than doubled over the past five years. In 2002-03 there were 291 clinical placements; in 2006-07 there were nearly 800 students doing clinical work. Since Professor Gary Bellow ’60 founded the school’s first clinical practice program 30 years ago in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, the WilmerHale Legal Services Center has provided placements in a variety of subject matter areas and now has 14 sub-clinics. But there are now also 15 other clinical options at HLS—five of them new this year—offering students a wide variety of hands-on experiences in addition to the provision of direct legal services and representation to low-income clients.
“Stay in role!” exhorts Professor Carol Steiker ’86, as some 90 students in her upper-level course Capital Punishment in America split into groups for an exercise in which they’ll argue whether a death sentence should be reversed due to ineffective assistance of counsel. “Don’t say, ‘If I were the lawyer, I would … ’”
When Professor Elizabeth Bartholet ’65 spoke at a conference on international adoption in Guatemala City early this year, she addressed a room full of activists, lawyers and politicians. But at the heart of her speech, and her pro bono advocacy, are children–living in institutions or foster care around the world.