Harvard Law School Clinics provide students hands-on legal experience under the supervision of licensed 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 across the country, in more than 30 areas of the law, in both public and private sectors, and the opportunity for students to create their own independent placements, HLS offers more clinical opportunities than any law school in the world.
At a Glance
For an overview of the clinics and the work that students do in each clinic, you can read:
Taking a Clinic
Clinics are open to 2L, 3L, and LL.M. students. Each clinic is tied to a classroom component: students receive clinical credit for their legal practice in clinics and academic credit for the course component. In addition, most clinics allow students to fulfill HLS’s 50 hours pro bono graduation requirement.
Students enroll in clinics through a preferencing registration process, which takes place once a year at the end of March, or through an application process, as detailed in the clinic’s course catalog description. Registration is for the full upcoming academic year. LL.M. students apply to clinics in August.
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
- drafting policy
- investigating and analyzing facts
- developing negotiation skills
Winter Term Funding for Clinical Placements
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.