The Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB) is unique among HLS programs of clinical legal education in that its legal services program is largely student-run. Founded in 1913, HLAB has a long history of responding to the legal needs affecting low-income persons in the greater Boston area. The Bureau consists of approximately 45 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. Working under the supervision of seven clinical instructors, each with extensive public interest and private practice experience, all students assume direct responsibility for representation of low-income clients from intake interview to final disposition. Each year the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau handles approximately 275 cases in varied practice areas, including family law, housing law, wage and hour law, and government benefits. 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 a foreclosure task force and running clinics for pro se litigants. As a student-run legal services program, members and their elected student board of directors are responsible for the governance of the Bureau organization.
Student work includes:
- Engaging in factual and legal research
- Client interviewing and counseling
- Drafting legal memoranda
- Arguing motions and trials before a court
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, 2016
In the News
- Continue Reading
Community Lawyering for ChangeContinue Reading about Community Lawyering for Change
In a cramped church basement in East Boston, people gather together for a common purpose: to stay in their homes. East Boston is ground zero for no-fault evictions brought by investors seeking to increase rents and profit off of increased housing demand in the Greater Boston area.
- Continue Reading
Interviews with the Bureau Community: Student Attorney Courtney LynchContinue Reading about Interviews with the Bureau Community: Student Attorney Courtney Lynch
“I want to do what I can to encourage people in society to realize that marginalized people are people first.”
Faculty and Staff
Esme Caramello (Clinical Professor of Law and Clinic Director)
Stephanie Goldenhersh (Senior Clinical Instructor)
Lee D. Goldstein (Senior Clinical Instructor)
James Verner Moore (Senior Clinical Instructor)
Patricia Whiting (Senior Clinical Instructor)
Patricio Rossi (Clinical Instructor)
Eloise Lawrence (Clinical Instructor)
Toiya Taylor (Clinical Instructor)
Lisa Fitzgerald (Clinical Fellow)
Melissa Minaya (Program Administrator)
Susana Arteta (Administrative Director)