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To Do Checklist

To Do Checklist

  • 1. Submit Weekly Reflections

    A basic premise of clinical legal education is that learning comes about through the self-conscious application of reflection to actual experience. There will be many opportunities for reflection during the implementation of the project. To learn experientially, you must be an active participant and observer of the concrete experiences at your placement and reflect on these observations and experiences. All students are required to submit the following:

    Students must submit weekly reflections via email to their Faculty Sponsor and to the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs at These reflections will not be shared with Supervising Attorneys. Emails should contain a discussion of the work performed (without revealing privileged or confidential information) together with a reflection about the experience. The weekly reflection essays, academic paper, and supervisor’s evaluation will determine the final grade as credit/fail.

    Read Possible Reflections Topics

  • 2. Submit Final Academic Paper

    A 15 page double-spaced academic paper is due to the Faculty Sponsor and Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs at the end of the placement. This cannot be a reflection paper, nor can it be work product produced during a placement. It must include some original research and an analysis of policy or practice related to the work of the student or placement organization. The final paper will not be shared with Supervising Attorneys unless students give permission.


    Fall 2020: December 4 (midnight)
    Winter 2021: April 23 (midnight)
    Spring 2021: April 23 (midnight)

  • 3. Complete Evaluation

    Students’ experiences and opinions are extremely important to the continuing efforts to improve the quality of clinical legal education at Harvard Law School and to determine the appropriateness and effectiveness of specific placements. At the end of the semester, students are required to complete a placement evaluation to assess the placement organization, the supervision received, and the value of the clinical experience. Please be as frank, specific, and constructive as possible.

    The clinical evaluations are completed online through Helios. Responses do not affect grading, as the information reported is not reviewed outside of OCP until after the semester’s grading process has been completed. The placement evaluations are for student use only. A student who completes the evaluation may choose not to have the student’s name revealed. The evaluation is not shared with the Placement Organization.


Ethical and Professional Responsibilities
Students must comply with the following rules:

1. Ethical Rules

You must comply with the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct in the jurisdiction in which you’re engaged in an independent clinical project.

2. Respect Confidentiality

You are obligated to preserve client confidentiality under the Rules of Professional Conduct. You must pay particular attention to client confidentiality when submitting weekly reflections to your faculty sponsor and OCP, final paper, and evaluation, and must make sure that you do not reveal client or organizational confidences, including any identifying information or case strategy.

3. Check for Conflict of Interest

Before finalizing any placement, discuss any potential conflicts of interest with your supervisor, including any prior knowledge of the client or matter and any legal work you may have accomplished on behalf of an opposing or related party.

4. Diligence

You are expected to provide competent legal work and/or representation under the supervision of your supervising attorney. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the legal work and/or representation. If any personal or academic problems arise, you must be sure to coordinate with your supervisor to manage the problem and ensure the client’s matter is addressed appropriately with the highest level of professionalism.

5. Respect Harvard Law School Independence

When representing or communicating with individual clients or with outside organizations you must identify yourself as a law student/legal intern of your placement organization. While it may be appropriate to say that you attend Harvard Law School, it is not appropriate or accurate to suggest to a client that he or she is being represented by Harvard Law School or Harvard University. Students must understand that their work does not reflect the judgment or opinions of Harvard Law School and that Harvard Law School does not direct or supervise their project.