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Clinics & SPOs

Veterans Legal Clinic (WilmerHale Legal Services Center)

  • six clinical students recognized for outstanding work.

    Office of Clinical and Pro Bono programs recognizes six students for outstanding work

    June 3, 2020

    This year, the Harvard Law School Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs has recognized six students from the Class of 2020 for their outstanding clinical and pro bono work.

  • Military fatigues and dog tags on an American Flag with a stethoscope to illustrate health care in the armed services.

    Veterans Legal Clinic report documents VA’s systemic denial of health care to veterans with ‘bad paper’ discharges

    March 6, 2020

    A report published by HLS' Veterans Legal Clinic finds that inadequate training at VA puts more than 400,000 veterans at risk of being unlawfully turned away from treatment for service-related mental health conditions.

  • Putting compassion into action

    Putting compassion into action

    April 12, 2019

    On April 5, Harvard Law School's Legal Services Center celebrated its 40th Anniversary of training more than 4,000 attorneys and law students and providing pro bono civil legal services to thousands of Greater Boston’s most vulnerable residents.

  • Casey Connolly and Laurel Fresquez

    Veterans Legal Clinic students argue case before federal court of appeals

    February 28, 2019

    Earlier this month, Casey Connolly ’19 and Laurel Fresquez ’19, both students in Harvard Law School's Veterans Legal Clinic, presented oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on behalf of a proposed class of veterans with multiple disabilities.

  • Veterans Legal Clinic Wins Court Case for Massachusetts Post-9/11 Combat Veterans

    Veterans Legal Clinic wins court case for Massachusetts post-9/11 combat veterans

    January 4, 2019

    In a ruling issued on December 21, 2018, the Massachusetts Superior Court found in favor of three Massachusetts veterans represented by the Veterans Legal Clinic in their challenge to the state government’s denying them the Welcome Home Bonus, which these veterans earned by serving overseas in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

  • Legal Services Center team

    Legal Services Center reaches out to homeless veterans at Stand Down 2018

    September 19, 2018

    A team of volunteers from Harvard Law School's Legal Services Center recently partnered with Veterans Legal Services to provide legal advice to homeless or at risk veterans at Veterans Stand Down 2018, a one-day event that brings service providers and veterans together allowing veterans to access services ranging from employment assistance to legal support to medical care.

  • Experiential and Impactful

    June 28, 2018

    In May 2018, a federal magistrate issued a temporary injunction to prevent the U.S. Department of Education from forcing former students of for-profit Corinthian Colleges

  • Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape 3

    Evolving and Adapting: The HLS Clinical Landscape

    June 26, 2018

    More than 100 years after students started the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, there are now 40 clinics and Student Practice Organizations at HLS, focused on everything from cyberlaw to veterans’ rights.

  • HLS200 finale celebrates clinics

    HLS 200 finale celebrates clinics

    May 2, 2018

    On April 20, HLS in the Community wrapped up a year-long celebration of Harvard Law School's bicentennial by highlighting the contributions made by HLS clinics and students practice organizations (SPOs).

  • Steven Kerns ’20: “Leading people toward a better world required me to trade in my rifle for books”

    Steven Kerns ’20: “Leading people toward a better world required me to trade in my rifle for books”

    November 8, 2017

    Steven Kerns ’20 was a high school dropout, a self-described ‘rebel without a cause’ from Long Beach, Calif., when he joined the U.S. Army as a teenager looking for adventure, with vague notions of changing the world.

  • Secretary David Shulkin shares thoughts on the VA's service to veterans

    Shulkin seeks to increase service and accountability at Veterans Affairs

    November 1, 2017

    On Thursday, Nov. 2, Dr. David Shulkin, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will deliver the 2017 Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Distinguished Lecture at Harvard Law School. In advance of his visit to the law school, Secretary Shulkin answered a few questions about the Department of Veterans Affairs and its service to veterans.

  • Jeffrey Machado in Afghanistan

    Clinic files class action suit on behalf of veterans denied Welcome Home Bonuses

    August 14, 2017

    In June, the Harvard Law School’s Veterans Legal Clinic filed a class action lawsuit in Massachusetts Superior Court on behalf of Army combat veteran Jeffrey Machado and an estimated 4,000 veterans from Massachusetts who have served abroad since 9/11, but deemed ineligible to receive the state’s $1000 Welcome Home Bonus for honorably discharged servicemembers.

  • Hon. Robert Russell reflects on the founding and future of Veterans Treatment Courts

    December 5, 2016

    On November 9, 2016, the Honorable Robert Russell, founder of the nation’s first Veterans Treatment Court delivered the 2016 DAV Distinguished Speaker Lecture at Harvard Law School.

  • HLS faculty maintain top position in SSRN citation rankings

    Celebrating National Pro Bono Week at HLS

    October 25, 2016

    In late October Harvard Law School celebrated National Pro Bono Week with a number of events to honor the outstanding work of lawyers who volunteer their time to help people in their communities.

  • Invisible Wounds of War

    October 10, 2016

    Military sexual trauma—rape or sexual harassment during military service—is a fast-emerging issue in the nation’s care for veterans and one focus of an HLS clinic.

  • In lives of others, a compass for his own

    September 2, 2016

    It took Pedro Spivakovsky-Gonzalez several years and nearly 10,000 miles, on a journey that included several cities around the world, to find his calling in his hometown.

  • Veterans clinic files rulemaking petition on access for veterans with ‘bad-paper’ discharges

    July 12, 2016

    More than 125,000 veterans who have served since 9/11 are denied access to basic services like health care by the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a report by the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School.

  • Nagin_Daniel

    Nagin honored with Boston Bar Association’s legal services award

    May 10, 2016

    Harvard Law School Clinical Professor Daniel Nagin will receive the Boston Bar Association's John G. Brooks Legal Services Award during the association's annual Law Day Dinner on May 12.

  • Students spend spring break focused on legal services work

    April 7, 2016

    Each year, teams of Harvard Law School students are given the opportunity to spend their Spring Break experiencing legal services work with clinics and legal organizations in the Boston area, or working on projects around the country and abroad--here, a few students share their accounts, reflecting on the significance of their service.

  • Harvard Law School: 2015 in review

    December 17, 2015

    Supreme Court justices, performance art, student protests and a vice president. A look back at 2015, highlights of the people who visited, events that took place and everyday life at Harvard Law School.

  • Growing from all branches of the Armed Forces: A look at this year’s military service members

    November 9, 2015

    Harvard students who have served in the various branches of the Armed Forces represent a diverse range of backgrounds and experience, but all have at least one thing in common: a profound dedication to serving the nation, under the most perilous of circumstances.

  • Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus delivers Disabled American Veterans Distinguished Lecture at Harvard Law School

    October 28, 2015

    Delivering the 2015 Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Distinguished Lecture at Harvard Law School on Oct. 22, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus ’75 told attendees that “one of my proudest moments as Secretary” was the reinstatement of the Reserve Officers Training Program on the Harvard campus in 2011.

  • CLEA Award recognizes Christopher Melendez ’15 and his service to veterans

    May 27, 2015

    Christopher Melendez ’15 received the Outstanding Clinical Student Award from the Clinical Legal Education Association. The award is presented annually to one student from each law school in recognition of outstanding clinical coursework and contributions to the clinical community.

  • Nagin_Daniel

    Daniel Nagin appointed Vice Dean for Experiential and Clinical Education

    May 22, 2015

    Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow has appointed Clinical Professor Daniel Nagin as Vice Dean for Experiential and Clinical Education. In that role, Nagin will help to further expand the Law School’s extensive offerings in the area of experience-based learning, and he will work to develop new initiatives drawing upon the school’s wide array of clinics, student practice organizations, and other opportunities for learning through hands-on experience.

  • New head of VA looks to put system’s troubles behind

    November 26, 2014

    At the inaugural Disabled American Veterans Distinguished Speaker Series at Harvard Law School, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald said the troubled agency is making progress in getting its house in order, citing more — and more timely — appointments and authorizations to see private doctors for veterans who live far from VA hospitals.

  • HLS Veterans Legal Clinic lands victories for veterans

    November 6, 2014

    In just two years, more than 30 HLS students have enrolled in the Veterans’ Legal Clinic—housed at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center (LSC) in Jamaica Plain, of which HLS Clinical Professor Daniel Nagin is faculty director—and represented more than 100 clients in the areas of federal and state veterans’ benefits, discharge upgrades, and estate-planning matters.

  • Harvard Law students help argue appeal over benefits before U.S. court

    November 8, 2013

    The average week for a typical law school student involves poring over a list of daunting cases and deconstructing complicated arguments. But on Oct. 30, the work of three Harvard Law School students included something else: an appearance in federal court. The students, who are part of the School’s Veterans Legal Clinic, stood before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims last Wednesday to argue for the rights of their client, a decorated U.S. Army veteran.

  • Serving Those Who Have Served

    July 1, 2013

    The Board of Veterans’ Appeals of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs denies a soldier’s claim for disability benefits for an injury that occurred while he was on active duty. But the decision is handed down while the soldier is redeployed to Afghanistan, and he doesn’t realize he has the right to appeal until after he returns stateside—after the appeal deadline has passed. For students in HLS’s new Veterans Legal Clinic, the chance to work on this case and others like it is eye-opening.

  • Soldiers

    HLS establishes new Veterans Legal Clinic

    April 1, 2013

    The Board of Veterans’ Appeals denies a soldier’s claim for disability benefits for an injury to his lower extremities. But the decision is handed down while the soldier is serving in Afghanistan, and he doesn’t realize he has the right to appeal until after he returns from his deployment—after the appeal deadline has passed. For students in Harvard Law School’s new Veterans Legal Clinic, the chance to argue that the appeal deadline should have been tolled and the case allowed to proceed on the merits is proving invaluable educationally and personally.

  • Haben Girma

    Haben Girma ’13 named a White House Champion of Change (video)

    March 19, 2013

    Harvard Law School student Haben Girma ’13 was recently named a White House Champion of Change for her advocacy on behalf of deafblind individuals and her efforts in promoting educational excellence for African Americans.

  • Matan Koch ’05

    Matan Koch ’05 nominated to National Council on Disability

    August 3, 2011

    Matan Koch ’05, an associate at Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel, was nominated by President Barack Obama ’91 to serve as a member of the National Council on Disability.

  • Professor Tribe on the Charlie Rose Show: Fighting for wounded veterans’ rights (video)

    July 18, 2011

    Harvard Law School Professor Laurence H. Tribe ’66 appeared on PBS’s Charlie Rose show July 11 to discuss his participation in Valentini v. Shinseki, a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by Tribe, Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver, the ACLU and numerous veteran representatives and advocates against Veterans Administration Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. The lawsuit alleges that the Department of Veterans Affairs is misusing its West Los Angeles VA Campus.

  • Tribe in The Wall Street Journal: Why Wounded Warriors Sleep in Dumpsters

    June 13, 2011

    The following op-ed, Why Wounded Warriors Sleep in Dumpsters, written by Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe ’66 and Bobby Shriver, appeared in the June 9 edition of The Wall Street Journal. An expert on Constitutional Law, Tribe was appointed Carl M. Loeb University Professor in 2004. His most recent book is The Invisible Constitution (Oxford University Press 2008). He recently served as senior counselor for access to justice in the U.S. Justice Department.