The Harvard Law School Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs offers students the opportunity to conduct pro bono work during spring break through organized group trips and projects. This year trips will run during March 10-18, 2018. Typically students engage in pro bono service for a minimum of five days within that period. Each trip must have more than one student participant and a student leader.
The work must be concrete and defined well in advance and limited in scope for a one-week project. The work should be legal in nature (rather than community service) and supervised by a licensed attorney. All trips must be open to application by all students, though pre-requisites such as language proficiency are fine.
Trips outside of the Boston area should be focused on issues or work that is unique to that local area. We encourage proposals for projects with local organizations as well.
There is a limited amount of funding available for administrative costs and student travel. Our goal is to fund as many students as possible for valuable learning and service experiences. Students may need to contribute to airfare or other transportation costs depending on final numbers of student participants. Each trip must have more than one student participant and a student leader.
Monday, November 13 @ 12:00 pm in WCC 1010 - Information Session
Students are encouraged to attend the information session to learn more about the planned spring break trips/projects and the application process.
Tuesday, November 28 @ 8:00 am - Application Deadline
This application deadline applies to the trips to Mississippi Delta and Texas.
Thursday, December 7 - Student Commitments
December 7 is the deadline for students to commit to their 2018 Spring Break Pro Bono Trips to Mississippi Delta and Texas.
January – Application Deadline for Boston-area and Hurricane Relief related projects
More information will be shared in January about local projects, a project to Texas, and the hurricane relief related project in Puerto Rico. Applications will be due in late January/early February with student commitments required in early February.
Spring 2018 Projects
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 / Mississippi Delta Project
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).
Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Project
Information is forthcoming.