Application is open for the following projects
Hurricane Maria Relief Projects – Puerto Rico
We anticipate being able to subsidize travel to Puerto Rico for approximately 25 HLS students and to be able to assign those students to specific volunteer opportunities providing legal assistance on the Island. Some projects may involve traveling to various disaster recovery centers throughout the Island to help residents submit FEMA appeals. Spanish speakers are particularly needed. We may also be able to send additional students to Puerto Rico over spring break to do humanitarian work that may not be legal in nature. Applications for these trips must be submitted online by 8am Wednesday, January 31. We anticipate making decisions shortly thereafter. Students will be expected to confirm their interest and to partially cover the cost of their airfare.
In addition to sending students to Puerto Rico, we may also have a local project in Massachusetts during spring break that would involve assisting resettled families. Please indicate interest via the online form.
Volunteer Lawyer’s Project (VLP) – Boston, MA
The mission of the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association is to increase access to justice by delivering high quality pro bono civil legal services to eligible clients in the Greater Boston area. Spring Break students will work with volunteer attorneys to assist litigants at the Lawyer for the Day programs at the local courthouses related to guardianship, small claims, and housing. Students will also help to screen and close bankruptcy cases, follow-up on client calls in the unemployment unit, engage in legal research and writing projects related to issues that arise at the Lawyer for the Day programs, and assist with advice and intake at the Eastern Regional Legal Intake.
8 – 10 Students
Project Citizenship – Boston, MA
Project Citizenship provides free services to legal permanent residents to help them become U.S citizens. Project Citizenship offers free workshops, eligibility screening, application assistance, legal referrals and all materials needed to apply for U.S. citizenship. Over spring break, students will do legal research, represent clients at interviews, follow up and contact clients to finish their applications, assist with citizenship applications, and advocate for disability waivers.
Application Process and Timeline
Hurricane Relief Projects for Puerto Rico Info Session
Monday, January 29 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm in Milstein East C
Join us to hear about the Law School’s Hurricane María relief for Puerto Rico initiative. We’ll discuss what the legal issues are and opportunities for student involvement including remote work and spring break trips.
Application deadline has passed for the following projects
The application deadline for trips to Mississippi and Texas was Tuesday, November 28 @ 8:00 am. An information session about these projects was held on Monday, November 13. You can view the PowerPoint presentation from that session here.
American Gateways – San Antonio, TX
American Gateways serves the low-income immigrant community in Austin, San Antonio, and throughout Central Texas delivering culturally sensitive, trauma-informed legal representation from start to finish of a case. American Gateways also provides legal orientation, immigration workshops, and pro bono legal representation at four immigrant detention facilities.
Students will be assisting pro se clients at the Pearsall Detention Center by helping them prepare for their merits hearings, gathering country conditions, and reviewing their 589 asylum applications. Students will also assist with know your rights trainings and will lead a bond application workshop.
Delta Directions – Clarksdale, MS
Students will help develop community and state-based policy strategies for improving water testing and childhood blood lead level surveillance policies in Mississippi to educate stakeholders and develop community change regarding lead testing and monitoring. Students will conduct legal research on the policy landscape regarding decentralized water systems, water testing and monitoring, and childhood blood lead level surveillance at both the state and municipal level. Students will also conduct in-person meetings and interviews with experts, local stakeholders, and Mississippi residents to garner context and insight on the issue in order to develop effective strategies.
A recent HealthGrove analysis ranked Mississippi as one of the top 20 (#18) worst states for lead poisoning. African-American children and children of low-income families, which make up a large percentage of the Delta, are at greater risk of lead exposure due to economic, health, and housing disparities (living in older or poorly maintained housing).