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The clinical environment is accessed from the VDIClinics “Virtual Desktop.” You will need your clinical account user ID and password to log on to VDIClinics. VDIClinics “Virtual Desktop” must be used to access your clinic’s application and data when working at the clinic or working outside of the clinic.

Key items to remember when working on VDIClinics:

  • You must log into the VDIClinics  even if you are using a lab PC in the clinic. On the lab PC, double click on the VDIClinics desktop shortcut to login.
  • In the user name field type HLS_CLINICAL\ before your user id, for example: HLS_CLINICAL\jharvard.jdxx
  • Do not save sensitive work or documents to the desktop. Confidential case files and case related documents should not be left on the desktop where they could be viewed by anyone walking by.
  • Download this PDF for a comprehensive guide for clinical accounts, including an FAQ for VDIClinics.

System Requirements:

  • Windows PCs – Remote Desktop Connection Client is included with the latest Windows operating systems  (Windows 10)
    • To access the Remote Desktop Connection Client, open the START menu and search for “Remote Desktop Connection”
    • Alternatively, it can be found in START > PROGRAMS > ACCESSORIES > REMOTE DESKTOP CONNECTION
  • Apple/OSX – Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac is not included in the operating system, but can be downloaded from the App Store.

Login to VDIClinics:

On a Windows Computer:

  1. Using the browser of your choice, navigate to
  2. Enter your Clinical username and password using the following convention, and click Sign In:
    1. Domain\username, e.g. hls_clinical\jharvard.jd22
      Login Screen for VDI Clinics
  1. After logging into the Web Portal, click on the Clinic icon (circled here in red). If you belong to multiple clinics, you will need to choose the one you are trying to access. Based on your browser, you will be prompted to either Open or Download this file. Either choice is acceptable.
    VDI Clinics window showing choice of clinics.
  2. Open the .RDP File by double clicking on it. For added security, you will be prompted for your domain\username and password once again. Enter your credentials (e.g. hls_clinical\jharvard.jd22).

On a Mac Computer:

  1. Using a browser of your choice, navigate to
  2. Enter your Clinical username and password using the following convention, and click Sign In:
    1. Domain\Username, e.g. hls_clinical\jharvard.jd23

  1. After logging in to the Web Portal, click on the Remote Desktop Protocol, or .rdp file, with your clinic name listed below. If you do not see this file, please contact your Clinical Administrator. Once downloaded, select the “Show in Finder” option via the menu carrot “^”.
  2. In the meantime, please download Microsoft Remote Desktop, version 10 from the App Store. Once installed, open the program.
  3. Drag and drop the .rdp file from the Finder into Microsoft Remote Desktop v.10, this will create the “PC” for you to login to.
  4. Hover your mouse over the PC icon and select the Pencil symbol that appears. In the menu that pops up, find the option for your user account and select the “Add User Account” option
  5. Enter the same username and password you used to access Optionally, give this connection a friendly name and click “Add” to finalize.
  6. To launch VDIClinics, click the PC icon. If you receive any errors when logging in, check your username and password, delete the old .rdp file and download a new one to replace it, or contact the IT Service Desk for assistance.

Changing Your Password – Windows 10

  1. Press Ctrl+ALT+END on the computer keyboard.
  2. Click Change Password.
  3. Enter old password, and confirm new password 2 times.

Changing Your Password – Mac OSX

  1. Press FN+Ctrl+OPTION+DELETE  (on a full size keyboard – Ctrl+Option+Del)
  2. Click Change Password.
  3. Enter old password, and confirm new password 2 times.

Accessing Network Shared Drives

  • Click START then COMPUTER
  • You will be presented with your Clinics shared drives. See your clinic leadership for information on how and where to store documents.

Saving Documents to Your Profile

  • Each clinical student and staff member has been provided with 1GB of space to store documents within their user profile. “User Profile” refers to Documents, Download, Internet Explorer Favorites, and Desktops folder.
  • You are able to customize your desktop background, icons, and user experience to your liking.


  • Click START then DEVICES AND PRINTERS to view which printers you have access to.
  • Right‐Click on the printer you want to be your default and select Set as Default Printer

Logging in to Time Matters (if applicable)

  • Double‐click on the Time Matters desktop icon.
  •  Login with your Time Matters username and password.

Idle or Inactive Time Settings

  • Your Idle Time Settings will vary depending on the Security Level of a clinic. Please see your clinic leadership for more details.

HLS VDIClinics “Virtual Desktop” Acceptable Use Policy


The purpose of this policy is to establish what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable use of the VDIClinics “Virtual Desktop” resources in Legal Clinics at Harvard Law School. The primary reason for this policy is that the VDIClinics “Virtual Desktop” for the clinics provides shared services and therefore some simple guidelines are necessary for everyone in the clinics to enjoy equal and adequate access to these services.

VDIClinics “Virtual Desktop” resources are shared between clinics; violating these policies will affect the stability and performance for your fellow faculty, staff and students and could result in the system becoming inoperable. Harvard Law School provides computer devices, networks, and other electronic information systems to meet missions, goals, and initiatives and must manage them responsibly to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of its information
assets. This policy requires the users of information assets to comply with Harvard Law School policies and protects both the Harvard Law School and its clinics against damaging legal issues.


The use of the VDIClinics “Virtual Desktop” in the clinics should be limited to applications installed on the VDIClinics “Virtual Desktop” (Acceptable Applications) by HLS ITS to support clinic related activities. Acceptable Applications already installed on the VDIClinics “Virtual Desktop” include, but are not limited to, Microsoft Office, Time Matters, BestCase, and TurboLaw. Installing other applications on the VDIClinics “Virtual Desktop” is prohibited. Users of the VDIClinics “Virtual Desktop” should not:

• Install Applications
• Access web sites that are not related to Clinic business.
• Access Instant messaging applications. TimeMatters has an IM client built in which is acceptable for use.

In principle the VDIClinics “Virtual Desktop” should only be used for case related work and research, no personal use other than Harvard Law School provided services such as Student Email and Helios are acceptable. Under no circumstances is a representative of Harvard Law School authorized to engage in any activity that is illegal under local, state, federal or international law while utilizing Harvard Law School owned resources. The activities above are by no means exhaustive, but attempt to provide a framework for activities, which fall into the category of unacceptable use.