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The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs (OCP) offers students the opportunity to conduct pro bono work during spring break through organized group trips and projects with legal organizations in the Boston area and across the United States. Typically students engage in pro bono service for a minimum of five days over the break. Each trip must have more than one student participant and a student leader.

Funding

OCP has funded the trips since 2005 when students went to New Orleans to assist families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. There is a limited amount of funding available for administrative costs and student travel. Our goal is to fund as many students as possible for valuable learning and service experiences. Students may need to contribute to airfare or other transportation costs depending on final numbers of student participants.

OCP will host an information session on the spring break project placements listed below and funding opportunities on Friday, November 16 at 12pm in Hauser 102.  View the 2019 PowerPoint presentation if you missed the session.

Contact Lee Mestre with questions at lmestre@law.harvard.edu.

2019 Spring Break Projects

All HLS students are eligible to apply for a spring break project.  Applications are now available.

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American Gateways

American Gateways serves the low-income immigrant community in Austin, San Antonio, and throughout Central Texas delivering culturally sensitive, trauma-informed legal representation from start to finish of a case. American Gateways also provides legal orientation, immigration workshops, and pro bono legal representation at immigrant detention facilities.

Students will be assisting pro se clients at the Pearsall Detention Center by helping them prepare for their pro se merits hearings and credible or reasonable fear interviews, collecting country conditions research, and reviewing their I-589 asylum applications. Students might also work with respondents seeking cancellation of removal. Most students should speak Spanish. French is also useful.

Location: San Antonio, TX

Openings: 8 students

Website: http://www.americangateways.org/

Civil Rights Corps

Civil Rights Corps engages in advocacy and public education and specializes in innovative, systemic civil rights litigation with the goal of resensitizing the legal system and our culture to the injustice and brutality that characterize the contemporary American criminal system. Students on the spring break trip will have the unique opportunity to work on ongoing litigation relating to abusive private probation practices in Tennessee. The Lawsuit is similar to one filed in 2015 that shut down the use of private probation in Rutherford County, TN, which resulted in a $14 million settlement. Students will work with Civil Rights Corps staff and partner organizations to investigate and gather evidence for this case. This includes, identifying potential additional defendants, interviewing clients and witnesses, drafting affidavits, and observing court proceedings. Students will also assist in preparing legal filings in the case.

Location: Tennessee

Openings: 6 students

Website: https://www.civilrightscorps.org/

Hurricane Maria Relief Projects – Puerto Rico

Students will work with local organizations in Puerto Rico on a combination of legal research, direct client assistance, and a bit of humanitarian aid. The work may focus on the right to adequate housing, land title issues, and access to disaster recovery assistance including Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding. Some projects may involve traveling throughout the island for legal brigades or clinics. We will select a first group of students in December and hope to select another group of students in January/February if additional placements in Puerto Rico are arranged pending the needs on the ground. Spanish proficiency is required.

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico and possibly Ponce, Puerto Rico

Openings: 10+ students

Website: https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/clinical/hurricane-maria-legal-assistance-to-puerto-rico/

Legal Aid of North Carolina

Legal Aid of North Carolina is coordinating Hurricane Florence relief efforts in North Carolina along with the Bar Association and the ABA Young Lawyers Division.

Students will work in two or three legal services offices in rural North Carolina doing legal research, client intake, and possibly assisting with legal clinics. The work may involve assistance with appeals of FEMA and other benefits available to disaster survivors, assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims, help with home repair contracts and contractors, including fraud or scams, assistance with consumer protection matters, and counseling on landlord/tenant problems.

Location: Likely Greenville, NC, Fayetteville, and Pembroke, NC

Openings: 4 to 6 students

Website: http://www.legalaidnc.org/about-us/news/florence-disaster-legal-services

Application Process and Timeline

Application Process and Timeline

Projects Outside of Boston

Information Session: Friday, November 16, 12-1pm, Hauser Hall 102
Application Deadline: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 11:59pm
Decision Notification: Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Student Commitments Deadline: Monday, December 10, 2018. Students must commit to their trips by making their airline reservations.

Boston-area Projects

More information coming in January.

Application Deadline: Monday, February 4, 2019 at 8am
Student Commitments Deadline: Monday, February 11, 2019