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Fall 2021 Reading Group

HLAB: Spanish for Public Interest Lawyers

Prerequisites: This reading group is by application and only open to members of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. Please contact Nicole Summers with any questions.

Exam Type: No Exam

The goal of this course is to prepare students to communicate effectively in Spanish with Limited English Proficient Spanish-speaking legal aid clients. Students will be introduced to legal terminology and will become familiar with the substantive vocabulary applicable to HLAB’s core areas of practice, including housing, benefits, and family law. At the same time, a primary objective of the course is to prepare students to communicate with clients about complex legal issues and processes in terms clients will understand. To achieve this objective, the course will be organized around particular client interactions that legal aid lawyers encounter, such as conducting an intake interview, discussing settlement, and preparing an affidavit. The course will be taught in Spanish and will consist of paired, small group and class-wide discussions; role-playing; games; and some writing and listening activities. The course will also include some translation exercises.