The Government Lawyer: U.S. Attorney clinic allows students to examine firsthand the roles and responsibilities of a federal prosecutor.
Students are placed at the United States Attorney’s Office in Boston. Work may include research, writing, witness preparation, working with evidence, and attending hearings. U.S. citizenship is required to participate in the clinic. The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs provides MBTA Charlie Cards to students traveling on public transportation to the placement in downtown Boston.
All students must complete a lengthy security clearance process by the Department of Justice, which involves numerous forms and fingerprinting. This process may take up to eight weeks for final clearance, which is then valid for only six months.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office offers placements in the following criminal divisions:
- Appeals Unit: The Appeals Unit is responsible for reviewing and approving all appellate briefs before they are filed.
- Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit: The Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit handles anti-terrorism investigations, those involving breaches of national security.
- Computer Crimes Unit: Investigates and prosecutes computer related crimes, including hacking, identity theft and other forms of computer fraud.
- Economic Crimes Unit: The Economic Crimes Unit handles complex economic crimes expected to require grand jury or other investigative effort.
- Health Care Fraud Unit: The Health Care Fraud Unit investigates and prosecutes complex health care fraud committed by corporate and individual defendants.
- Major Crimes Unit: The Major Crimes Unit handles violent crime, property crimes, fraud, theft, civil rights violations, and other matters of primary federal interest.
- Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force: Drug Unit cases range from “buy/bust” prosecution to sophisticated money laundering prosecution.
- Organized Crime Strike Force: The Organized Crime Force handles complex long term matters, utilizing extensive grand jury and electronic surveillance, often using statutes such as RICO.
- Public Corruption and Special Prosecution Unit: The Public Corruption Unit handles sensitive cases involving allegations of corruption against elected and appointed federal, state, and local officials.
How to Apply
The clinic is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. You can learn about the required clinical course component, clinical credits and the clinical application process by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.
Application Deadline: April 17, 2023
Fall 2023 Early Drop Deadline: May 19, 2023
Spring 2024 Early Drop Deadline: September 1, 2023
Meet the Instructor
Director; Lecturer on Law
Jonathan Wroblewski has been the Director of the Harvard Law School Semester in Washington Program since 2010. He is also the Director of the Office of Policy and Legislation in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In that capacity, he leads a team of policy analysts and attorneys in developing, reviewing, and evaluating national crime, sentencing, and corrections policy and legislation. Jonathan represents the Department of Justice on the United States Sentencing Commission, the Federal Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on the Criminal Rules, and the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Council.
Jonathan began his federal career in 1988 as a prosecutor with the Department’s Civil Rights Division, where he prosecuted criminal civil rights cases, including law enforcement misconduct, involuntary servitude and hate crimes. In 1994, Jonathan joined the United States Sentencing Commission, serving as Deputy General Counsel and then Director of Legislative Affairs. In 1998, he rejoined the Department of Justice in the Criminal Division’s Office of Policy and Legislation. Prior to his federal service, Jonathan served as an assistant public defender in the Alameda County Public Defender’s office, where he represented indigent criminal defendants at all stages of litigation. Jonathan’s prior academic work includes being a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge in 2005 as part of the Atlantic Fellowship in Public Policy program and serving as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University’s National Law Center and George Mason University School of Law. Jonathan graduated from Duke University in 1983 and from Stanford Law School in 1986.
In the News
Anoush Baghdassarian ’22 receives the 2022 Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Award
By Olivia Klein Anoush Baghdassarian ’22 is the recipient of the 2022 Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Award. Graduating with an unprecedented 4,000 pro bono hours during her time at Harvard Law School, Baghdassarian is a stand-out student in the clinical and pro bono community. Having participated in a variety of clinics spanning international human
May 19, 2022
A “Perfect Capstone” with the U.S. Attorney Clinic
By Laurel Zigerelli, J.D. ’22 Participating in the Government Lawyer clinic was the perfect capstone to my time at HLS. As part of the United States Attorney’s Office in Boston, I had a front row seat to all stages of the federal criminal justice system, from the earliest stages of an investigation to post-conviction appeals.
April 28, 2022
Pro Bono Week 2019 Recap
Every year, the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs (OCP) at Harvard Law School (HLS) participates in the American Bar Association’s National Celebration of Pro Bono. Held from October 21st – 25th, 2019, Pro Bono Week serves as a time where HLS celebrates and reflects on the pro bono work that staff, faculty, and
November 5, 2019