The clinic provides students a hands-on, supervised experience representing a diverse group of clients in legal matters raising First Amendment and religious liberty issues.
As a pro bono program dedicated to building bridges in service to those in need, the clinic focuses on representing members of minority faiths, the vulnerable, and those who serve or support them in our pluralistic society. This includes helping the imprisoned, victims of workplace discrimination, and those facing obstacles in ministering to migrants, the poor, and their communities.
Admission to the Religious Freedom Clinic is by permission of the Clinic Director, Josh McDaniel. Students should submit an application to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15, 2023. (Applications after that date will be considered if additional seats become available.) The application should be in a combined PDF that includes a resume (with expected graduation date) and short (250 words or less) statement of interest describing the student’s reasons for applying to the clinic, relevant coursework, and which semesters (fall and/or spring) the student is applying for.
How to Apply
The Religious Freedom 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.
Applications are due by May 15, 2023.
Meet the Instructors
Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law
Josh is the Director of Harvard Law School’s Religious Freedom Clinic, a pro bono program that gives students a hands-on, supervised experience representing a diverse group of clients in First Amendment and religious freedom cases. Before entering clinical teaching, Josh clerked for the Honorable Cormac J. Carney of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and the Honorable Jay S. Bybee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In addition to serving as a staff attorney in the clinic’s inaugural semester in 2020, he was previously a trial litigator at Munger, Tolles & Olson and an appellate litigator at Horvitz & Levy, where he specialized in representing individual and organizational clients in both commercial and civil rights cases, with particular expertise in First Amendment and religious freedom issues. Josh earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University and graduated first in his class from UCLA School of Law.
Kelsey Flores is a clinical instructor for the Religious Freedom Clinic. Before joining the clinic team, Kelsey worked as a lawyer on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution where she focused on religious freedom matters. She also previously worked in religious freedom litigation at First Liberty Institute.
Kelsey received her J.D. from SMU Dedman School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the SMU Law Review. She received her B.A. from Brigham Young University.
Clinical Instructional Fellow
Parker is a fellow at the Religious Freedom Clinic, where he guides teams of students representing clients in First Amendment and statutory religious liberty cases. His research focuses on the relationship between legal texts and judicial values, especially the influence of rule structures on interpretive methods. Before joining the clinic, Parker clerked for the Honorable David J. Porter of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and, as an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, litigated First Amendment cases in the Supreme Court of the United States and federal district and appellate courts. Parker received his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He holds an LL.M. from the University of Cambridge, where he studied legal philosophy, and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Fordham University, where he studied mathematics, economics, and philosophy in the university’s honors program.
Clinical Instructional Fellow
Matt is a Clinical Instructional Fellow for Harvard Law School’s Religious Freedom Clinic. Before joining, Matthew clerked for the Honorable Alice M. Batchelder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Honorable Michael J. Truncale of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Prior to his clerkships, he was the Sudreau Global Justice Fellow in Kampala, Uganda, where he worked with pretrial detainees and helped implement public defender and plea bargaining programs in the Ugandan legal system. Matthew received his J.D. from Pepperdine School of Law, where he served as a Literary Citation Editor on the Pepperdine Law Review, a teaching assistant in Legal Research & Writing, and President of the Christian Legal Society. He also received Order of the Barristers in Appellate Advocacy for his work on the moot court team, and he participated in the Anti-Human Trafficking Clinic and the Domestic Violence Clinic. He received his B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from Pepperdine University.
In the News
Fighting for the freedom to practice religion in prison
Faculty and students in Harvard Law’s Religious Freedom Clinic work on a pair of cases seeking justice for incarcerated Rastafarians whose dreadlocks were shorn by prison officials
July 18, 2023
‘Religious freedom for all’
“It’s incredibly special to find a group of devoutly religious people who are eager to learn from each other’s faiths and who stand for religious freedom for its own sake.”
May 23, 2023
Protecting Faith: My Time at the Religious Freedom Clinic
By David Tye ’23 I came to law school as a Christian with a passion for faith, and I chose Harvard in large part because of the University’s thriving religious community. So when I heard about the Harvard Religious Freedom Clinic (coincidentally opening my first day of 1L classes), I was intrigued. My friends had
April 25, 2023
Combining degrees and passions in the religious and legal worlds
By Emily Chazen, J.D. ’22 When I tell people that I am a joint-degree candidate across the Law School and the Divinity School, I am often asked: “How do you plan on combining your degrees?” Until recently, I was unsure of the answer. Sometimes, I would explain that my passion for academic religious studies–the general
May 5, 2022