The Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) offers a unique union of classroom instruction and hands-on experience for students who represent indigent adults and juvenile clients facing misdemeanor and felony charges in the Boston criminal courts. CJI also performs research in a variety of criminal justice areas and provides valuable educational experiences. Students are assigned cases in local district and juvenile courts, handling everything from the arraignment to investigation to motions to trial. Under the supervision of experienced clinical instructors, students handle an average of six to eight misdemeanor and felony cases during the semester. Students also represent juvenile clients in administrative and school hearings. In addition, student practice includes interlocutory appellate representation in the Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court. CJI students learn to provide client-centered representation, developing their advocacy skills to help their clients both in and out of the courtroom.
Students conduct criminal defense work, including but not limited to:
- Engage in factual and legal investigations of criminal cases
- Interview witnesses and indigent clients
- Argue motions and try cases before a court
How to Register
CJI is opened to 3Ls only and is offered in the Fall-Winter and Winter Spring semester. You can learn about the required clinical course component, clinical credits, additional requirements, and the clinical registration process, by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.
In the News
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First Line of DefenseContinue Reading about First Line of Defense
On a frigid, snow-packed morning in mid-February, the galleries in the Roxbury division of Boston Municipal Court were jammed with people waiting for their cases to be heard, and half a dozen Harvard Law School students, part of the Criminal Justice Institute’s Criminal Defense Clinic, were waiting to defend their clients.
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Learning how to be a lawyer at the Criminal Justice SystemContinue Reading about Learning how to be a lawyer at the Criminal Justice System
The criminal justice system is a violent, harsh, and unjust system. In courts across the country, including many courts in the Boston area, people are caught in the system, turned into a number, and fined money that they cannot pay. In too many situations, people are permanently branded by the state as the worst thing that they have ever done.
Faculty and Staff
Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. (Clinical Professor of Law and Director)
Dehlia Umunna (Clinical Professor of Law and Deputy Director)
Robert E. Proctor (Senior Clinical Instructor)
Lia Monahon (Clinical Instructor)
Sadiq Reza (Clinical Instructor)
Chris Pierce (Social Worker)
Amy E. Soto (Administrative Director)
Carol M. Flores (Administrative Coordinator)
Criminal Justice Institute
6 Everett Street
Suite 5116 (WCC)
Harvard Law School