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Remote Policy: Remote clinical work shall be permissible if the organization’s primary or sole method of operating is a remote or hybrid work environment (e.g. you cannot work remotely if the majority of the office is working in-person). As part of the application process, the supervisor and student must attest to the working operation of the office and demonstrate that the remote independent clinical will be a successful academic, skill building, and mentorship experience. Students who have worked with an organization, in-person, for at least three weeks (e.g. summer internship or winter term) may apply for a remote independent clinical over fall and spring term. Please note: International students on F-1 visas may have additional restrictions. Please refer to the International JD Student Information page.

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. 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 secure an HLS faculty sponsor, who will review the student’s final writing product, supervisor evaluation at the end of the term, and submit the final grade.

Overlap with Existing HLS Clinics:

Students interested in developing an independent clinical placement where there is an existing clinic, must first discuss their proposal with an OCP advisor who will consider the following:

if the student has already taken the corresponding clinic with potential subject matter overlap OR has attempted to register in the corresponding clinic but has been unsuccessful in securing placement

if the proposed placement organization is different than our own externship placements and partner organizations;

if there are no legal or ethical conflicts with the proposed placement organization and our own clinical program; and 

if the work undertaken does not require sophisticated academic instruction or supervision to ensure success. 

Final Writing Product:

Option A: Students may agree to submit via email a 15-page academic paper. The paper must include original research and involve some type of policy and/or practice issue related to the placement, or some analysis of the organization.  Students could use this work product to fulfill half of Option 2 for the HLS Writing Requirement.

Option B: Students may agree to submit via email an 8-10 page reflection paper that builds on the weekly reflection responses completed throughout the placement. The reflection paper is an opportunity for students to give serious attention to drawing out what they have learned from their placement experience, not only about the law and legal practice, but insights gained about themselves as well. These insights could relate to a student’s professional identity, their legal skills, and which ones they would like to improve, and how the placement might have shaped or changed their professional identity and goals. In addition, they may reflect on some of the soft skills they needed at their placements such as developing professional relationships, working on a team, and making good use of supervision. Other topics might include an analysis of the work of the organization and the related area of law, or ethical issues that arose during their placements, how they were resolved and whether they thought the resolution was proper. 

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 2022: August 26, 2022 (midnight)
Winter 2023: October 28, 2022 (midnight)
Spring 2023: January 20, 2023 (midnight)

How to Apply

How to Apply

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