The Clinical Legal Education Program is one of the most important and valued aspects of a Harvard Law School education, confirming our commitment to providing our students with the best possible educational experience. With dozens of in-house clinics and hundreds of externships, Harvard Law School has more clinical opportunities than any law school in the world. Some of the clinics include:
Clinical education at HLS helps to introduce and explore the roles and responsibilities of a lawyer. Taking a clinical course may aid students in thinking about what sort of law practice or lawyering work they like most. Mentored practice, in an educational setting, also helps students begin to understand their learning styles while getting a head start on learning the skills they will need when they begin their careers.
The Clinical Legal Education Program at Harvard Law School has three basic components:
- direct student responsibility for clients in a realistic practice setting;
- supervision and mentoring by an experienced practitioner; and
- companion classroom sessions in which clinical experience supports and contributes to further discussion and thought.
Seventy-five percent of the class of 2015 participated in clinical work while at HLS. Many students find that this practical lawyering produces a sense of personal accomplishment as well as professional development because, in many cases, they are truly increasing access to justice for the most marginalized members of society. HLS also offers externship placements at various government agencies, nonprofits, and small firms. Many students take advantage of the winter term, spending three to four weeks off campus in a clinical setting and then coming back to campus and continuing the work remotely for the following semester. Students can also design independent clinical work projects that are tailored to unique interests.
From Cyberlaw Clinic—We had two students enrolled in the Clinic during winter 2017, thirty-four in the spring, and 31 in the fall. Three summer interns ably helped to keep our docket of projects afloat during the summer months.
By Matthew Rosenthal, J.D. '19—When I learned that I would be attending Harvard Law School, I was immediately drawn by the opportunities available to students interested in learning about and working in the sports industry.
By Matilda Jansen Brolin, LLM ’16—From the application process to what I do at present, I’ve put the pedagogical skills in alternative dispute resolution—developed at HLS through the Negotiation Workshop, courses in mediation and Dispute Systems Design, and in the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program and the Harvard Mediation Program—into practice.
From Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program—The case study has students play various roles in a legislative simulation before the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. You can download a free copy.
By Jimmy McEntee, J.D. '18—Thirty-four. That’s how many Harvard Law students participated in the Sports Law Clinic this year. Students worked in all types of sports organizations, such as teams, leagues, agencies, player associations, and athletic departments.