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Please Note: Remote clinical work may be acceptable for Fall 2021 in certain circumstances.  Please contact our office (clinical@law.harvard.edu) to discuss your individual situation with one of our OCP advisers. Students wishing to travel abroad need to meet two sets of safety requirements, one related to Covid-19,  https://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus/travel-guidance/, and one related to travel, https://www.globalsupport.harvard.edu/travel/risk-ratings

The Independent Clinical Program gives students — who are interested in a specialized area of the law or field of practice that is not currently offered in HLS’s existing clinical curriculum — an opportunity to be entrepreneurial and design a custom placement that will meet their individualized learning goals.

Eligible 2L, 3L, and LLM students may do a local independent clinical project in the Fall, Winter, or Spring term. They may also work at organizations throughout the United States and around the world during the winter term.  Remote placements are approved on a case-by-case basis. During the Fall 2021 remote semester, students can work remotely for organizations anywhere in their country.

Work on political campaigns is not eligible for clinical credit (see Section I(K), Section I(L), and Section III(B)(4) of the HLS Handbook of Academic Policies).

Students who are on F-1 visas and are physically present in the U.S. are not eligible to do independent clinicals.  During the winter term, students may participate in independent clinical placements if the student is physically located outside the United States with a placement located outside the U.S.

Students cannot develop independent clinical placements with existing clinics during the fall and spring terms; winter term placements may be eligible if there is no existing winter term clinic offered and the clinic and OCP approve your application.  OCP does not provide funding for independent clinical projects sponsored by existing clinics.

To participate in an independent clinical, students must secure an organization where they can complete their independent clinical placement under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Students must also write a 15 page academic paper and a set of reflection essays under the supervision of a faculty sponsor.

Additional Requirements and Restrictions

Additional Requirements and Restrictions

Please find additional requirements and restrictions below.

Fall and Spring Term

For fall and spring terms, students receive either 2 clinical credits for working 8 hours per week or 3 clinical credits for working 12 hours per week.

Winter Term

Over winter term, students receive 2 clinical credits. Winter term students must be in residence working full-time at their placements, from the first day of winter term through the last day of winter term.

Independent Clinicals

  • Are for clinical credit only and must be uncompensated.
  • Do not count towards the experiential learning requirement.
  • May count towards the HLS pro bono requirement.  Please consult the necessary requirements to receive HLS pro bono credit if you intend on using the work towards this requirement.
  • Are graded Credit/Fail based on the student’s submission of reflection essays, academic paper, and supervisor’s placement evaluation.
  • Work on political campaigns is not eligible for clinical credit, but may count toward the pro bono requirement if it meets certain criteria (see section I(K), Section I(L), and Section III(B)(4) of the HLS Handbook of Academic Policies).

Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines

Fall 2021: August 27, 2021 (midnight)
Winter 2022: October 29, 2021 (midnight)
Spring 2022: January 21, 2022 (midnight)

How to Apply

How to Apply

Find the necessary requirements, forms, and instructions on how to apply on the Submit Application page.