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The Clinical Legal Education Program is one of the most important and valued aspects of a Harvard Law School education, confirming our commitment to providing our students with the best possible educational experience. With dozens of in-house clinics and hundreds of externships, Harvard Law School has more clinical opportunities than any law school in the world. Some of the clinics include:



Clinical education at HLS helps to introduce and explore the roles and responsibilities of a lawyer. Taking a clinical course may aid students in thinking about what sort of law practice or lawyering work they like most. Mentored practice, in an educational setting, also helps students begin to understand their learning styles while getting a head start on learning the skills they will need when they begin their careers.

The Clinical Legal Education Program at Harvard Law School has three basic components:

  • direct student responsibility for clients in a realistic practice setting;
  • supervision and mentoring by an experienced practitioner; and
  • companion classroom sessions in which clinical experience supports and contributes to further discussion and thought.

Seventy-five percent of the class of 2015 participated in clinical work while at HLS. Many students find that this practical lawyering produces a sense of personal accomplishment as well as professional development because, in many cases, they are truly increasing access to justice for the most marginalized members of society. HLS also offers externship placements at various government agencies, nonprofits, and small firms. Many students take advantage of the winter term, spending three to four weeks off campus in a clinical setting and then coming back to campus and continuing the work remotely for the following semester. Students can also design independent clinical work projects that are tailored to unique interests.

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Clinical and Pro Bono Programs Blog

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HLS Students Honored for Their Pro Bono Work

October 22, 2018

The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs offers its heartfelt congratulations to the 55 Harvard Law students that were recognized by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services for their commitment to pro bono work. The ceremony was held at the Adams Courthouse on October 18 and the students are listed on […]

Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute Honors Jemele Hill as its 2018 Trailblazer Lecturer

October 22, 2018

On September 19, 2018, Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) presented its 4th Annual Trailblazer Lecture Series: A Discussion with Jemele Hill.  Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) is the nation’s premier public defender clinic.  Its students learn to provide client-centered representation, developing their advocacy skills to help their clients both in and […]

Clinical Professor Esme Caramello Honored as one the 2018 Top Women of Law

October 19, 2018

Clinical Professor Esme Caramello ’99 is among the 2018 Top Women of Law honored by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The award ceremony, held on October 18, honors “legal educators, trailblazers, and role models who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in social justice advocacy and business.” Professor Caramello joined the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB) in 2009 as deputy director […]

Delayed Obama-Era Rule on Student Debt Relief Is to Take Effect

October 17, 2018

Via The New York Times    By: Stacy Cowley A long-delayed federal rule intended to protect student loan borrowers who were defrauded by their schools went into effect on Tuesday, after a judge rejected an industry challenge and the Education Department ended efforts to stall it any longer. The new rule, finalized in the last few […]

Defrauded Students Win Class Certification in Lawsuit Against DeVos

October 17, 2018

Via Courthouse News Service By: Nicholas Iovino More than 100,000 students defrauded by Corinthian Colleges can team up to sue Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for rolling back Obama-era rules that provided full debt forgiveness, a federal judge ruled Monday. U.S. District Judge Sallie Kim certified a nationwide class of approximately 110,000 students who claim the Education Department […]