Student Practice Organizations are overseen and supported by their supervising attorney and affiliated clinic (when applicable) in conjunction with the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs (OCP). SPOs should follow the general rules governing student organizations at HLS in addition to their legal practice responsibilities. Please contact us any time you are seeking guidance, having difficulties, or brainstorming new ideas.
FALL 2020: As indicated in the Handbook and guidance shared with clinical staff, all in-house clinics and SPOs will operate remotely during the fall semester. To the extent an SPO offers any in-person student opportunities at a courthouse, agency, or similar off-campus setting, that in-person student activity must be voluntary and approved in advance by the clinical professor and/or SPO supervising attorney in consultation with OCP. In-person meetings on-campus for legal work also require special approval by the clinical professor and/or SPO supervising attorney in consultation with OCP and Human Resources. Please discuss the possibility of in-person student work with your supervising attorney.
- In-person meetings on or off campus between or among members of student organizations, including student practice organizations, for organizational business, organization-sponsored community building events, or for any other organization-sponsored activities, are not permitted unless specifically pre-approved by HLS. In addition to raising equity and public health concerns, in-person interactions may subject those involved to additional medical testing and reporting requirements.
ON LEAVE POLICY: According to the Handbook of Academic Policies Section X. D. 5, students on leave (unless they are in a joint degree program) may not participate in extracurricular activities and student practice organizations are considered extracurricular activities.
Access to Facilities and Other Resources: Libraries and other facilities and Harvard services normally may be used only by students who are currently registered. Students on leave may not participate in extracurricular activities. Exceptions to this rule must be specifically approved in advance by the School. If so instructed by the Dean of Students, a student on leave must remain away from the University campus. Unless otherwise specified, while on leave, joint and coordinated degree students, and those concurrent degree students pursuing their second degree through another Harvard school, will have access to their Law School email accounts, housing, library services including Westlaw and Lexis and other University services, and their Harvard IDs will remain active. Concurrent degree students doing their second degree at a non-Harvard school will have access to their Law School email accounts and limited library services, but will not have access to Harvard housing, active Harvard IDs and other University services.
The 2020-2021 FAQs answer to General Considerations: If I take a leave of absence for the winter and/or spring term 2021, will my access to Harvard Law School email and other resources continue? also notes that students on leave may not participate in extracurricular activities.
Running your SPO
Running your SPO
There are several steps your SPO will need to take in order to plan for the year ahead and close-out the end of each year. These steps will ensure that your SPO provides quality legal services, a good experience for your members, and complies with HLS and OCP policies.
Resources for SPO Legal Practice
Resources for SPO Legal Practice
Review the HLS Office of Event Scheduling and Support (OES) 101 guide to virtual event planning with helpful tips and tricks to make your next virtual event a success.
Fall 2020: In-person meetings on or off campus between or among members of student organizations, including student practice organizations, for organizational business, organization-sponsored community building events, or for any other organization-sponsored activities, are not permitted unless specifically pre-approved by HLS Human Resources. In addition to raising equity and public health concerns, in-person interactions may subject those involved to additional medical testing and reporting requirements. Clinical faculty members or supervising attorneys can provide any necessary guidance to SPOs.
Each SPO has a Zoom webinar license for up to 500 attendees tied to its group email account.
Legal Research – Library Support
Each SPO has a dedicated liaison at the HLS Library who is available to help you:
- Develop a research plan
- Identify relevant print and on-line sources
- Develop efficient research skills
- Navigate library collections and services
- Identify tools and resources to support your research projects and organize your research
Please contact your liaison for help.
Managing your SPO website, email, and Listservs
Student Organizations E-mail and Listservs
- See and manage existing HLS listservs
- Each SPO has a group email account on the @law.harvard.edu domain. The designated board members can access this via O365 with their clinical email address.
- Request changes to access in the ITS Adminitrative Services Hub by creating an Incident and put Lee Mestre on the Watch List regarding ListServ or group email administrative access for the SPO.
The HLS IT Department can help SPOs deliver legal practice technologies that allow staff and students the hands-on experience necessary to become highly skilled lawyers. Your SPO administrator and supervising attorney will assist your team in accessing these resources.
- Clinical IT Services
- Clinical Email system and Office 365 (SharePoint, Teams, Skype)
- VDIClinics Virtual Desktop
- HelpDesk Indicate you are calling on behalf of an SPO when contacting the Helpdesk.
Wasserstein Hall B037
firstname.lastname@example.orgServices Hub online https://hls.service-now.com/sp
Promotional Materials and Logos
Students are permitted to use the name of an SPO on merchandise and promotional materials only with the approval of the Harvard Trademark Program. If you are interested in purchasing t-shirts, mugs, posters, etc. please first review the guidelines and process from the Trademark Office in advance of your order. They will review your design and have a list of approved vendors. It is recommended to keep documents of logo approvals for future orders.
Mental Health Resources
Harvard offers students comprehensive outpatient care for a wide variety of mental health concerns, such as anxiety, depression, stress/crisis management, transitional issues, grief, and eating, sexual or relationship concerns. Students do not need a referral from their primary care physician to make an appointment with Counseling and Mental Health Services. Students should call 617-495-2042 or log into the Patient Portal to schedule an initial telephone consultation. Students can expedite appointments by asking Dean of Students office to make a referral.
- Harvard University Health Services – Find a Mental Health Professional
- CAMHS and Harvard Law School Helping Students Seek Help (PDF)
- Support Resources Poster (PDF)
HLS Dean of Students Office
Contact Lakshmi Clark, (617.496.2437) Director of Student Services, to expedite referrals to University Mental Health services; for disability or illness related accommodations for classes and exams; and any other questions or emergencies.
HLS Student Mental Health Association
Harvard Student Mental Health Association – Provides support and community right at the student level. SMHA works to incorporate discussions about mental illness in our daily lives on campus, raising awareness of what mental illness means for those who live with it, as well as what resources already exist though UHS and DOS.
Harvard University Emergency Contact Information
Mental Health Clinic: 617-495-2042
After Hours Urgent Care: 617-495-5711
Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers
Free and confidential lawyer assistance program for attorneys and law students in Massachusetts. Can also help with state bar admission questions, and other concerns. For short-term individual consultations contact Barbara Bowe, LICSW at 1-800-LCL-0210 or email@example.com.
Peer Recovery Support Groups, Wednesdays 7:30 am – 8:15 am, 1585 Mass Ave, WCC 3008 in the 12-step tradition (anonymous), for lawyers and law students in or seeking recovery from alcohol/drug problems
www.lawlifeline.org An online mental health resource specifically for law school students.
Social Worker Contact at University Health Services
Marla Allisan is the social worker at University Health Services who is working with HLS students.
Policies & Professional Responsibility
Policies & Professional Responsibility
Every student approved for work with an SPO should recognize and work within the limits of their competence; ask for help from a supervisor when necessary; accurately represent their role as a student attorney; and ensure they are supervised appropriately for any legal task they perform.
SPO students must also be familiar with and comply with all HLS policies and all aspects of Professional Responsibility. Please review these with your Supervising Attorney:
Associate Director (OCP)