Harvard Law School Clinics provide students with hands-on legal experience under the supervision of attorneys who are not only great practitioners but also trained in individually educating and mentoring students. With clinical placements through In-house Clinics (internal to HLS with an on-campus office) and Externship Clinics with hundreds of placements at independent organizations outside of HLS, in more than 30 areas of the law, in both public and private sectors, and the opportunity for students to create their own independent projects, HLS offers more clinical opportunities than any law school in the world.
Through their participation in clinics, students gain a wide range of skills, including:
- interviewing, counseling, and advising clients
- representing clients in court
- conducting legal writing and research
- investigating and analyzing facts
- drafting policy
- developing negotiation skills
- collaborating with other students and attorneys
Clinics are open to 2L, 3L, and LL.M. students. Students in their 1L year can participate in Student Practice Organizations. Along with a clinic, students take a companion course in which their clinical experiences supplement and contribute to further discussion and insight. Students receive academic credit for the course component and clinical credit for the practice component. Most clinics fulfill the Pro Bono Graduation Requirement.
At a Glance
For an overview of the clinics and the work that students do in each clinic, you can read:
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Participating in ClinicsLearn More
Most clinics are offered through a preferencing registration process, which takes place once a year at the end of March. For these clinics, students enroll by preferencing them through Helios. Some clinics are offered on a by-application basis where students submit an application according to the instructions provided in the Course Catalog. Registration is for the full upcoming academic year. LL.M. students can apply to clinics in August.
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Winter Term Funding for Clinical PlacementsLearn More
The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs provides limited domestic funding to students enrolled in a course with a companion externship clinical placement and selected students who have proposed the most well-constructed, realistic independent clinical projects during the winter term. This funding is to offset the cost of transportation and housing while the student is off-campus.