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 Harvard Law Today—A number of Harvard Law students from the Class of 2017 received special awards during the 2017 Class Day ceremony on May 24. They were recognized for outstanding leadership, citizenship, compassion and dedication to their studies and the profession.
From Harvard Law Today—Mana Azarmi ’17 is the winner of the Outstanding Clinical Student Award from the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).
From the Harvard Law Bulletin—It began with the stroke of a pen: President Donald Trump’s signature on a January executive order banned entry into the U.S. by people from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Travelers were detained at airports. Students were unable to return to their schools.
A disarming leader: Bonnie Docherty recognized for contributions to human rights, clinical community
From the International Human Rights Clinic—When Nicolette Boehland, JD ’13, began the daunting work of documenting torture and mass hangings in a Syrian prison, she was prepared. She knew how to interview survivors of trauma.
From the Harvard Law Bulletin—It takes a lot of preparation to rev up a new case. That’s true in all law offices, including Harvard’s legal clinics. As a clinical law student who was cross-enrolled in an undergraduate computer science course, Jeffrey Roderick ’17 wondered whether he could streamline the process through technology.