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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.

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Upcoming Clinic Application Deadlines

August 14, 2017

Please note the upcoming clinic application deadlines: Making Rights Real: The Ghana Project Clinic – Application Deadline Extended to August 25, 2017 Government Lawyer: Semester in Washington Clinic – Applications Due By August 25, 2017

Spanish for Public Interest Lawyers Fall 2017

August 14, 2017

Spanish for Public Interest Lawyers is a non-credit class that offers HLS students the opportunity to learn Spanish language skills in a legal context, emphasizing language most commonly used in civil and criminal legal services practice. The class will strengthen existing Spanish speaking and comprehension abilities and teach Spanish legal vocabulary to students involved in public […]

In Crimmigration Clinic victory, Supreme Judicial Court rules state law enforcement lacks ‘detainer’ authority

August 1, 2017

From Harvard Law Today—The court ruled in the case of Lunn v. Commonwealth that the Commonwealth’s law enforcement officers do not have the authority to arrest and detain an individual solely pursuant to a Detainer–a request from federal immigration authorities that a person placed under arrest by local authorities be further detained if Immigration and […]

It’s Time For Congress To Join The Fight Against Food Waste

August 1, 2017

From Food Law and Policy Clinic—This week, I am excited to join a group of advocates and chefs from Food Policy Action, the National Resource Defense Council, ReFed, and the James Beard Foundation in Washington, D.C. to put food waste on the plates of Congress.

Banning the Bomb: Reflections on the UN Negotiations for the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty

July 28, 2017

From International Human Rights Clinic—It was at times difficult to explain to those not involved in the negotiations why the ban treaty was an important or even a sensible cause.