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Fall 2020 Clinic

LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic

Enrollment in this clinic will fulfill the HLS JD pro bono requirement.

Required Class Component: Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and the Law (2 fall classroom credits). Students who enroll in this clinic will be enrolled in the required clinical course component by the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs. This course is only offered in the fall. Students who are enrolled in the clinic in the spring must take the course in the fall. Note: having taken the Gender Identity and the Law course in Spring 2020 satisfies this co-/pre-requisite requirement.

Additonal Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.
By Permission: No.
Add/Drop Deadline: August 14, 2020.

LLM Students: LLM students may apply to this clinic by submitting an application.
Placement Site: Clinic work is done at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center (Jamaica Plain).

The Harvard LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic (HLAC) offers students the opportunity to work directly on cutting-edge issues involving LGBTQ+ rights, with a particular emphasis on issues affecting underrepresented communities within the LGBTQ+ community. Clinic offerings include local and national projects covering the spectrum of LGBTQ+ issues. Students will have the opportunity to engage in a range of work encompassing various strategies for advancing LGBTQ+ rights, including impact litigation and amicus work, policy and legislative advocacy, and direct legal services for LGBTQ+ clients.
Students work under the direct supervision of the Clinic Director, Alexander Chen.
Past projects have included:

  • Developing legal arguments for a First Amendment amicus brief in a federal case involving a professor challenging his termination by a state university for refusing to use a transgender student’s pronouns.
  • Researching Supreme Court Eighth Amendment jurisprudence in support of an opposition to a petition for certiorari in a federal case involving access to gender confirmation surgery for a transgender inmate.
  • Analyzing the impact of health law precedents upon potential constitutional challenges to state bills seeking to criminalize or penalize providing gender-affirming care to transgender minors.
  • Assisting national transgender organizations in drafting public comments regarding University of California medical school partnerships with hospitals that operate under religious restrictions.
  • Providing assistance to community members who have reached out to a LGBTQ+ legal information helpline.