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Fall-Spring 2021 Course

Introduction to Advocacy: Civil Legal Aid Ethics, Theory, and Practice

Required Clinic Component: Harvard Legal Aid Bureau 2L (4 fall clinical credits + 4 spring clinical credits). This clinic and course are bundled; your enrollment in the clinic will automatically enroll you in the required course.

Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: Evidence. Students must enroll in Evidence separately from clinic enrollment.

By Permission: Yes.

Add/Drop Deadline: Please contact HLAB for more information.

LLM Students: LLM students are not eligible to enroll.

Multi-Semester: This is a fall-spring course (2 fall classroom credits + 1 spring classroom credit).

This course introduces students to civil law practice and is required for all 2L members of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. Student practice experience at the Bureau is the primary material for all class meetings and discussions. The goals of the course are: (1) to provide a strong foundation for developing lawyering skills; (2) to enhance student understanding of what lawyers do, with particular attention to professional role, values, and ethics; and (3) to develop skills of peer and self-assessment so that students will have the ability to continue to learn in practice after law school. The majority of class meetings will focus on specific lawyering tasks such as client counseling and interviewing, investigation of claims, negotiation, and argument and case presentation, as well as the civil legal aid system and management of a multi-issue, multi-strategic legal aid organization. With respect to each skill studied, attention will be paid to the ethical, relational, strategic, and tactical issues involved. Additional class sessions, led by Bureau Clinical Instructors, will provide opportunities for analysis of the substantive and procedural law applicable to the students’ clinical practice; development of litigation skills through role-play exercises; and rounds of discussions of challenging issues in the students’ casework.

There will be no examination, but students are expected to attend all class sessions and complete periodic written assignments and a final project or paper that addresses an ethical or professional issue related to their casework, the course readings, or other aspects of the legal profession.

Enrollment in this course is restricted to 2L Harvard Legal Aid Bureau members and will not be in clinical registration. The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs will enroll all HLAB 2L members in this course.