The Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) provides students with the opportunity to practice using legal and policy tools in order to address the health, environmental, and economic impacts of our food system. The FLPC utilizes substantive expertise in food law and policy and a robust policy skill set to assist clients and communities in understanding and improving the laws impacting the food system. Clinic projects aim to increase access to healthy foods, prevent diet-related diseases, assist small farmers and producers in participating in food markets, and reduce the waste of healthy, wholesome food.
Students enrolled in the Clinic get hands-on learning experience conducting legal and policy research for individuals, communities, and governments on a wide range of food law and policy issues. Students have the opportunity, for example: to comment on major federal regulations, such as the Food and Drug Administration rules impacting food safety on the farm; to identify and draft legislation to reduce the 40% of food that goes to waste in the U.S.; to train and empower food policy councils and other community coalitions to achieve their food system goals; and to research and recommend policies increasing access to healthy food at all levels of government.
Students will develop a variety of transferable skills in areas such as research, writing, creative problem-solving, project management, oral communication, and leadership. In particular, students will have the opportunity to draft memoranda, white papers, and regulatory comments; conduct statutory interpretation; compose legislation and regulations; petition for agency action; conduct interviews and fact-finding; and train communities about civic engagement, the food system, and policy change. Clinic clients are located around the United States, and some students will have the opportunity to travel, as we work closely with partners in New England, as well as places like Mississippi, West Virginia, and Navajo Nation. The clinic has an on-campus office in the WCC clinic wing, where students meet with clinic staff and conduct the majority of their clinical work.
How to Register
FLPC is offered in the Fall, Winter, and 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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Food Law and Policy Clinic releases short film on food waste in AmericaContinue Reading about Food Law and Policy Clinic releases short film on food waste in America
Every year, 40% of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten, leading to 160 billion pounds of wasted food. The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC), in partnership with Racing Horse Productions, has released a short film, “EXPIRED? Food Waste in America,” that explores how the variety of date labels on food products contributes to food waste in America.
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Film as Advocacy in the Food Law and Policy ClinicContinue Reading about Film as Advocacy in the Food Law and Policy Clinic
Over the past few months, I have learned that non-legal tools like film can play an important role in supporting legislative and policy efforts by generating conversation and awareness. The Expired film, for example, tells one story, accompanied by vivid images, that illustrates a larger problem in only a few minutes. As a result, the clinic sees it as an important tool for raising public awareness about the connection between date labeling and food waste, in advance of the upcoming federal legislation and related efforts at the state or local levels.
Faculty and Staff
Food Law and Policy Clinic
Harvard Law School Office
Wasserstein Caspersen Clinical Building
Legal Services Center office
122 Boylston Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
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