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Student Work

The Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB) is unique among HLS programs of clinical legal education in that its legal services program is student-run. Founded in 1913, HLAB has a long history of responding to the legal needs of low-income people in the greater Boston area. The Bureau consists of approximately 50 second- and third-year student members who make two-year commitments to the Bureau’s program of clinical education and legal services to the indigent community. Student membership in HLAB carries with it an integrated two-year academic and clinical training in legal practice skills and ethics. HLAB members are expected to devote at least 20 hours per week of clinical practice and related activities.

Students represent indigent clients in civil matters in the Massachusetts courts, before administrative agencies, before legislative bodies, and in various other fora. Working under the supervision of eight clinical instructors who collectively have extensive public interest and private practice experience, all students assume direct responsibility for representation of clients from intake interview to final disposition. Each year the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau handles over 300 cases in varied practice areas, including family law, housing law, wage and hour law, government benefits, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) matters. Bureau practice frequently involves appearances by student attorneys before state courts, hearing officers, and administrative law judges. Students also have the opportunity to engage in other forms of advocacy, including the following task forces, community lawyering partnerships, and clinics for pro se litigants:

  • Attorney-for-the-Day at Boston Housing Court
  • Attorney-for-the-Day at Suffolk Family and Probate Court
  • Benefits Practice (SSI/SSDI/DUA)
  • Community Lawyering Task Force
  • Eviction Clinic
  • Family Practice Task Force (FPTF)
  • Racial Justice Task Force (RJTF)
  • Wage & Hour Practice (including Mass AG Wage Theft Clinic)
  • Y2Y Youth Homeless Shelter
  • City Life / Vida Urbana

Because the Bureau is a student-run legal services program, members and their elected student board of directors are responsible for the governance of the organization.

Student work includes:

  • Engaging in factual and legal research
  • Client interviewing and counseling
  • Negotiating agreements
  • Drafting legal memoranda
  • Arguing motions and trying cases before a court or jury
  • Drafting legislation and promoting policy reform
  • Cultivating and sustaining partnerships with community organizations

You can follow the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau on Twitter and Facebook.

ClinicTalk

Title Date Length Category

A info session presented by

The HLAB student board

02/22/2017
48:16 Audio Play

How to Apply

The Harvard Legal Aid Bureau is offered in a Fall-Spring semester. You can learn about clinical credits, pre-requisite requirements, and the clinical application process by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.

Deadline: March 22, 2017

In the News

  • Harvard Legal Aid Bureau takes foreclosure fight to Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

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  • HLAB Victory in Hague Convention & Divorce Cases

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Faculty and Staff

Esme Caramello (Clinical Professor of Law and Clinic Director)
Patricia Whiting (Senior Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Eloise Lawrence (Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Stephanie Goldenhersh (Senior Clinical Instructor)
Lee Goldstein (Senior Clinical Instructor)
James Verner Moore (Senior Clinical Instructor)
Patricio Rossi (Clinical Instructor)
Toiya Taylor (Clinical Instructor)
Annie Kurtz (Clinical Fellow)
Melissa Minaya (Program Administrator)
Susana Arteta (Administrative Director)

Contact

Harvard Legal Aid Bureau
23 Everett Street, First Floor
Harvard Law School
617.495.4408
hlab@mail.law.harvard.edu
Bureau’s Website