Internationally Focused Offices and Programs
Berkman Center for Internet and Society
Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising
The primary goal of the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising (OPIA) is to encourage law school students and lawyers to incorporate an ongoing commitment to public service work throughout their careers. We view our role as one of helping students and alumni find a vision of the type of work they want to do that will fit their unique values, interests and personalities. We aim to instill this vision not only in the students and graduates going directly into full-time public interest jobs, but also to those moving into public service at a later stage in their careers and those embracing public service work as an integral part of their professional lives through significant pro bono work in the private sector. To meet these goals, OPIA offers numerous events to expose students to the wide array of options available to them and build community and support for public interest.
Child Advocacy Program
The Child Advocacy Program (CAP) at Harvard Law School is committed to advancing children’s interests through facilitating productive interaction between academia and the world of policy and practice, and through training generations of students to contribute in their future careers to law reform and social change. Our focus is on: child welfare (abuse and neglect, foster care, adoption), education, and juvenile justice.
Dean of Students Office
The Dean of Students Office exists to support Harvard Law students. Our office advocates for students, assists with personal matters, supports and coordinates a range of extracurricular activities at the Law School from Moot Court competitions to student journals, to student organizations and residence life as well as a variety of all-school activities including orientation, graduation, wellness programming, conferences, and other events which serve to entertain, educate and cultivate community in the Law School. The Dean of Students Team is dedicated to ensuring that students have the best possible experience at Harvard Law School and welcomes suggestions for ways to enhance the student experience. Our office also coordinates campus housing, supports students with disabilities, short term medical concerns, and family emergencies. Members of our staff can connect students to useful resources around the university as well as to the Administrative Board (a nine member board comprised of faculty, staff, and students who are charged with handling exceptions to academic and administrative rules and student discipline).
East Asian Legal Studies
The East Asian Legal Studies Program (EALS) is the country’s oldest and most extensive academic program devoted to the study of the law and legal history of the nations and peoples of East Asia and their interaction with the United States. We host a number of Visiting Scholars each year and invite guest speakers for lunchtime talks on aspects of East Asian law and legal practice.
Environmental Law Program
Harvard Law School Project on Disability
The Harvard Law School Project on Disability (HPOD) works to promote the human rights of people with disabilities worldwide. Our central mission is facilitating domestic-level implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a human rights treaty that impacts the lives of some 650 million disabled persons globally. Founded in 2004 by Vice Dean Alford and Visiting Professor Stein, HPOD engages in academic research, international advocacy, and human rights training.
Human Rights Program
Institute for Global Law and Policy
International Legal Studies
International Legal Studies (ILS) is an HLS administrative office that organizes, promotes, and facilitates a wide range of programs and events related to international, foreign, and comparative law. These include semester abroad, a joint-degree program with the University of Cambridge, Winter Term International Travel Grants which provide funding for students conducting independent writing or clinical projects abroad, and the Chayes International Public Service Fellowship which supports students engaged in summer public interest work in countries across the globe. ILS coordinates exchange programs with select law schools around the world, bringing students and faculty with a diverse range of knowledge and experiences to spend time at HLS, and enabling HLS students and faculty to study, conduct research, or teach at partner institutions. ILS works with HLS research centers and student organizations to sponsor talks, panels, and conferences on an array of international topics. Through its website, information sessions, and other outlets, ILS also provides students, faculty, and alumni with information on internationally focused opportunities, activities, and resources.
Islamic Legal Studies Program
The Islamic Legal Studies Program (ILSP) is dedicated to promoting cutting-edge research and providing access to interdisciplinary resources on the academic study of Islamic law, with an emphasis on legal history, law and society, and comparative law. The Program facilitates and sponsors individual scholarly research and collaborative research projects. It also sponsors lectures, workshops, conferences, and other events to both facilitate exchange among scholars and to educate the HLS, HU, and broader intellectual community.
Office of Career Services
Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics
The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School was founded in 2005 with the goal of promoting interdisciplinary analysis and legal scholarship in these fields. The Center is not an advocacy organization, but rather is dedicated to the unbiased analysis of pressing questions facing health policymakers. The future promises to raise new and fascinating issues that will make these interdisciplinary analyses all the more important. Scientific advances are pushing the boundaries of existing thinking on everything from what defines a human life to what constitutes an ethically tenable area of research, as well as raising complex issues about the appropriate role of intellectual property. At the same time, transformations in health care financing and business practices, changes in the role of health law, and the growing realization that the environment has a direct link to human health have upset traditional professional and market paradigms. The founding vision of the Petrie-Flom Center is to promote scholarly inquiry that breaks away from existing disciplinary lines and brings the totality of these disciplinary methodologies under its compass to inform policy. To achieve this goal, the Center fosters a community of leading intellectuals, practitioners, and policymakers from a variety of backgrounds and at all stages in their careers.
Program on International Financial Systems
Harvard Law School’s Program on International Financial Systems (PIFS) produces internationally-recognized symposia and rigorous research on topics relating to financial regulation. Each year PIFS produces up to four international bi-lateral symposia that focus on key regulatory topics relating to specific markets.
Program on the Legal Profession
The Program on the Legal Profession (PLP) seeks to make a substantial contribution to the modern practice of law by increasing understanding of the structures, norms and dynamics of the global legal profession. To this end, we:
- Conduct, sponsor and publish world-class empirical research on the profession;
- Innovate and implement new methods and content for teaching law students, practicing lawyers and related professionals about the profession; and
- Foster broader and deeper connections bridging between the global universe of legal practitioners and the academy.
Globalization has shifted priorities in many industries, including legal practice. Once dominated by specialized independent firms, the industry is becoming increasingly characterized by global firms that compete for business around the world. These firms go beyond litigation and offer a wide range of corporate consulting and advisory services – often through joint ventures. At the same time, “non-legal” professional services firms now offer quasi-legal services, creating increased global competition. These trends will increase over time as international agreements on trade in services take root and the traditional barriers to the delivery of legal and professional services on a global scale continue to fall. These developments in the industry are what compel the Program on the Legal Profession to investigate the effects of various market changes on legal practice and conduct extensive research in such a rapidly changing field.
Program on Negotiation
The Program on Negotiation (PON) is a university consortium dedicated to developing the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution. Founded in 1983 as a special research project at Harvard Law School, PON includes faculty, students, and staff from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University. At PON, we are committed to developing the theory and practice of negotiation, to nurturing the next generation of negotiation teachers and scholars, and to helping students become more effective negotiators. We accomplish this through research, seminars, courses, conferences, publications and special events.
Internationally Focused Student Organizations and Journals
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
APALSA is a political, academic, community service, and social group dedicated to fostering a supportive atmosphere for Asian Pacific American students at Harvard Law School. APALSA strives to promote a greater understanding of Asian Pacific American issues and culture, serve as a vehicle for Asian Pacific American political activity, and provide a social and academic network for Asian Pacific Americans and the Harvard Law School community.
Caribbean Law Association
HCLA seeks to unite HLS students, alumnae, and/or prospective students with Caribbean interest by hosting events that will foster a strong sense of community among Caribbean students. Caribbean identity and/or interest in Caribbean culture is a vital aspect of some students’ lives and should be celebrated within the HLS community. In furtherance of this goal, HCLA’s events include networking with alumnae of Caribbean descent, group community service events in Caribbean neighborhoods in the larger Boston area, social outings, and other events with the central purpose of enabling Caribbean students to rely on HCLA as a place where they feel welcomed and engaged.
Harvard Advocates for Human Rights
Advocates for Human Rights works with the Harvard Human Rights Program to engage Harvard Law students in concrete human rights advocacy projects both domestically and internationally. Enrollment in the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School is only available to second and third-year students. However, as members of the Advocates for Human Rights, first-year students can support and work on clinical projects during their first semester as a member of a project team under the supervision of clinical faculty and clinical students. Advocates members also work on student-led projects in collaboration with national and international NGOs. Finally, Advocates for Human Rights hold a number of events and trainings for members throughout the school year including speaker events, peer career and academic advising, direct action projects, and advanced skills workshops. Advocates for Human Rights is comprised of LLMs, first, second, and third-year Harvard Law School students who are interested in becoming involved in human rights advocacy both domestically and internationally. The organization in particular offers an opportunity for first-year students to gain a practical and meaningful hands-on experience before their first summer internship. Advocates is currently comprised of over 80 members who work on 15 different projects.
Harvard African Law Association
The Harvard African Law Association (“HALA”) is a student organization at Harvard Law School with the mission of uniting Africans andAfricanists together to explore issues that shape and concern the continent of Africa. The ever-increasing number of continental Africans joining the law school’s student body motivated the establishment of HALA in 2001.Since then the organization has been a leader in the Harvard community for the discussion, celebration, and exploration of all issues impacting the development and progress of Africa and its people.HALA is committed to developing the discourse on Africa Harvard-wide, a task that is accomplished through panel events, speaker series, social functions, and the annual Harvard African Law and Development Conference, an interdisciplinary gathering of policy-makers, scholars, students, and professionals, where ideas for Africa’s continued growth and development are exchanged.
Harvard Asia Law Society
The Harvard Asia Law Society (HALS) brings together students and faculty on the law school campus who share an interest in Asian legal practice. Our programming centers on Asia-focused academic and career events, including our annual spring break delegation to Asia. HALS also co-hosts the yearly Asia Business Conference at Harvard together with HBS’s Asia Business Club. In addition, we sponsor year-round social events and weekly language tables that allow J.D.s, LL.M.s, and Visiting Scholars to build connections and share their interest in Asian languages and cultures. HALS maintains strong connections with alumni who are leaders in Asia practice, and provides valuable opportunities for members to network with top practitioners. We welcome all students with an interest in learning more about Asia and the law, and we especially encourage 1Ls considering careers in Asia practice to join our organization.
Harvard Canadian Law Society
CLS is an organization for Canadian students at Harvard Law School, offering a chance to meet your fellow expatriates in an informal setting, while also enjoying a range of events planned throughout the year. CLS is above all quintessentially Canadian – a group of unpretentious students that hail from that “socialist country up North”, patriotic in the way that Canadians only seem to show once outside of their borders. Our group continues to grow each year, as HLS attracts a surprising number of both JD and LLM students from all universities across Canada. CLS plans a number of events each year, from casual get-togethers to hockey games and dinners. Our members are also a repository of information on visa issues, how to find a job in the US, and how to find your way back home with a US law degree, should you want to pursue that route. Overall CLS is simply a way to relax and talk with people who share you perspective, as well as your views on the correct spelling of such words as ‘colour’, ‘defence’, and ‘cheque’. If you enjoy a low-commitment, informal and fun-inclined student organization, the Canadian Law Society is the place for you.
Harvard European Law Association
The Harvard European Law Association (HELA) is an organization of J.D.s, LL.M.s, and S.J.D.s of all nationalities interested in European and international legal and political issues. HELA aims at creating a dynamic forum for discussing and debating issues, events and theories related to European integration. In part, it pursues this goal by inviting members of European institutions, practicing lawyers and academics engaged in the study of European integration to come share their views at Harvard. HELA also endeavors to create opportunities of interchange among the Euro-curious at the Law School and in the rest of the Harvard and Boston community.
Harvard Human Rights Journal
The Harvard Human Rights Journal was founded in 1988 and has since endeavored to be a site for a broad spectrum of scholarship on international and domestic human rights issues. The Journal publishes a range of original scholarly works on human rights issues of contemporary relevance, and in the past has featured pieces on subjects as diverse as refugee asylum law, female prisoner’s rights, rights of child soldiers, oil and the role of the World Bank, detention, rendition, and domestic violence.
Harvard Women’s Law Association
The Harvard Women’s Law Association’s mission is to support women at Harvard Law School by preparing them to succeed as students and lawyers, while providing exceptional programming that enhances the social, political, and professional lives of HLS students. In addition, the WLA encourages HLS women to make positive changes in the world by connecting them with HLS alumni and other domestic and international leaders, and by offering programming on tackling gender inequality within the legal profession and in the world at large. The International Issues Committee works to create awareness of international women’s issues on the HLS campus, provides HLS women interested in international issues and international jobs with opportunities to pursue those interests, and reaches out to international students on the HLS campus.Specific events organized by the Committee include presentations by international judges and activities and a JD/LLM networking banquet.
International Law Journal
The Harvard International Law Journal publishes articles on international, comparative, and foreign law, the role of international law in U.S. courts, and the international ramifications of U.S. domestic law. These articles are written by some of the most prominent scholars and practitioners in the field and have been recognized as important contributions to the development of international law. ILJ articles have been cited in decisions by the United States Supreme Court, European Court of Justice, International Court of Justice, Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, and World Trade Organization Dispute Panels. Please visit our website for more information about the ILJ and ways to participate as a student.
International Law Students Association
The Harvard International Law Students Association is dedicated to promoting and supporting Harvard Law School’s various international moot court teams. Currently, Harvard fields a Jessup International Court of Justice moot team, a Vis International Commercial Arbitration moot team, and an ELSA WTO Moot team. This year, ILSA has expanded the international moot court offerings, including a Foreign Direct Investment moot team. In addition, ILSA coordinates events related to international moots on campus, including bringing international law experts and practitioners to Harvard to speak about their careers and expertise.
Justice for Palestine
Justice for Palestine (JFP) is a community of HLS students concerned about the lack of campus-wide debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and widespread misperceptions of the fundamental issues related to Palestine. JFP is committed to a secular, humanist, and legalistic approach to dialogue about Israel/Palestine and seeks to advocate the rights of the Palestinian people. JFP engages in raising awareness within the law school and in promoting dialogue and exchanging ideas on-campus among people and groups of various backgrounds, experiences, and views.
Law and International Development Society
The Harvard Law & International Development Society (“LIDS”) is the premier student-run organization at Harvard University focused on issues at the intersection of law, policy and international development. LIDS was founded in light of the growing recognition that many pressing challenges in international development are legal in nature. For instance, rule of law development, regulatory reform, contract design, litigation of economic and social rights and land titling programs all require a deep understanding of both development practice and the law. We actively promote dialogue on these issues among our members, leading academics, and development practitioners. LIDS actively welcomes graduate students at Harvard Law School, the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Fletcher School. We believe that bringing together students with diverse perspectives and backgrounds makes our community stronger and improves our ability to support our NGO partner organizations. If you are a student interested in these topics, we hope that you will consider joining our organization.
Middle Eastern Law Students Association
MELSA is a group that seeks to engage the HLS community in a discussion of the unique and vibrant (legal) cultures of the Middle East and of the legal aspects of the ongoing U.S. engagement in the Middle East. The war in Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, as well as the human rights challenges within many Middle Eastern countries are situations in which the laws of war, the law of occupation, human rights law, international law and national laws all intersect.MELSA seeks to focus the debate on the Middle East in a legal context by inviting speakers, screening films, and hosting other activities at HLS. It is open to all members of the Harvard community.
South Asian Law Students Association
The South Asian Law Students Association provides a forum for students in the Harvard Law School community interested in South Asian American and South Asian legal issues.The organization provides a sense of community for students of South Asian origin, and reaches out to the wider law school student body to facilitate dialogue between all students interested in the legal, cultural, and political happenings in the region.We benefit the community through a variety of lectures, panels, film screenings, and social events aimed at educating and motivating students interested in South Asian legal issues and connecting students to law firms interested in diversity outreach.