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a group of students poses in front of a mural in San Diego

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 legal work for a minimum of five days over the break in addition to other cultural activities. Legal work time is eligible for HLS pro bono credit. 

Please contact Lee Mestre with any questions.

2024 Local Boston-Area Projects

March 11-15

The projects in the Boston area this year involve everything from assisting pro se litigants at courthouses to researching statutes and case law on cancer-related issues. All work time can count for HLS pro bono hours. Local transportation costs will be reimbursed. Some placements are fully remote, some are hybrid, and some in-person and the minimum commitment time varies. See project descriptions below for student eligibility and schedules. 


  • Student application deadline: Thursday, February 22 at 5 pm
  • Notifications by Wednesday, February 28
  • Student acceptance deadline: Friday, March 1

1. Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence

Boston, MA

Students may work on the following: shadowing legal intakes and clients’ interviews; Conducting factual and legal research; Shadowing Immigration cases e.g. VAWA, U, and / or T visa applications; Shadowing Family law cases e.g. Divorce, Custody, 209A; Collaborating on complaints, pleadings, and affidavits, and Participating in legal trainings, meeting and workshops related to domestic violence. 

  • 1L, 2L, 3L Eligible 
  • 3-5 Days Required, Tuesday required, Volunteers can be fully remote or on a hybrid schedule with some remote and some in-person/office time 
  • Fluency in Arabic, Cambodian, Korean, Mandarin, Vietnamese, any Asian language is helpful but not required 
  • Accessible by public transportation  
  • Covid vaccination required 

2. Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) Mental Health Litigation Division

Roxbury, MA

Students will be assisting attorneys with trial preparation for civil commitment cases. This work will include accompanying attorneys on client meetings, reviewing records, meeting with expert witnesses, and discussing case strategy with the lead attorney. 

  • 1L, 2L, 3L Eligible 
  • 3-5 Days Required, Wednesday required, Volunteers must be in person 
  • The office is easily accessible by public transportation or by car. Free or low-cost parking is available near the office. The office is wheelchair accessible.

3. Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) – Mental Health Litigation Division

Worcester, MA

Assisting attorneys as they defend against petitions for civil commitment, also research 

  • 1L, 2L, 3L Eligible 
  • 4-5 Days required; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday required; Volunteers will be on a hybrid schedule with some remote and some in-person/office time 
  • Spanish language skills helpful. 
  • The office is easily accessible by public transportation or by car. The office is wheelchair accessible.

4. Court Service Center Lowell

Lowell, MA

Assisting self-represented litigants with information on court procedure, referrals, interpretation, and help with court forms and next steps in Family, District and Housing court matters. 

  • 1L, 2L, 3L Eligible; Must have Permanent Work Authorization 
  • 5 Days required; Monday, Tuesday, Thursday required in-person. 
  • Cambodian, Spanish, Portuguese language helpful.  
  • The office is easily accessible by public transportation or by car. The office is wheelchair accessible, gender neutral restrooms are available at the office.

5. Discovering Justice

Boston, MA

Students will have the opportunity to support one or more of our civic education programs through program administration or curriculum development.  

Program Administration: Review videos used in DJ’s curriculum for fair use.  

Curriculum Development: For any students fluent in Portuguese or Spanish, students will translate DJ’s written curriculum and resources. Any interested volunteers can preview the curriculum by visiting 

Curriculum Development: A student will propose and develop ideas for next fall’s Mock Trial case. Discovering Justice’s cases are civil and rooted in the Bill of Rights. Cases should be appropriate for middle schoolers and balanced for a plaintiff and defendant.  

  • 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM Eligible 
  • 3-5 days required; Can be fully remote or in-person Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 
  • Spanish and Portuguese is helpful  but not required. 
  • Accessible by public transportation  

6. Health Law Advocates

Boston, MA – Fully remote

Conduct research on Massachusetts dockets to identify medical debt-related lawsuits by health care providers. This will help our organization develop a systemic approach to combating medical debt. 

  • 1L students preferred  
  • 3-5 Days Required, Fully remote

7. Triage Cancer

Chicago, IL – Fully remote

Triage Cancer is a national, nonprofit organization that provides free education on the legal and practical issues that may impact individuals diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers, through events, materials, and resources.  

Pro bono students will be exposed to a variety of cancer-related legal issues. Responsibilities can include researching statutes, regulations, policies, legislation, and case law at the state and federal level; synthesizing complex legal concepts for lay audiences; writing educational blogs; and creating educational materials and resources for the cancer community. Previous students created charts of state laws, drafted guidance materials, wrote blog posts on legal issues. Exact projects will vary based on the needs of the organization at that time and the interests of the student. 

  • 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM Eligible 
  • 4-5 days required; Monday required; Fully remote  

Past deadline: Volunteer Lawyers Project

Students who participate in Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP’s) 35-hour week-long remote spring break project receive a full day of training to prepare them for attending legal clinics in housing, family law, guardianship, and debt collection.  Students will have the opportunity to work on unit-specific projects that support VLP’s program.  At our virtual and court-based clinics, students will assist with legal triage and screen clients for eligibility, draft legal documents and shadow an attorney who provides legal advice.  Students will provide support to the attorneys and paralegals with various case management tasks, including case updates and client follow-up, and some data entry. 

VLP will accept two interns per law school. Applications are due by Friday January 26, 2024, at 4PM.

2024 Trips Outside of Boston (application deadline passed)

Immigration Services Trip to San Diego, CA with Jewish Family Service

Students will work on asylum or Special Immigrant Juvenile status, preparing application materials, and/or, where needed, interviewing clients and attending immigration proceedings. Students will learn about immigration statuses, put language skills to use, engage in client meetings and interviews, and draft legal documents within the particulars of practicing in a border zone.

Preference for speakers of other languages, including but not limited to, students who speak Arabic, Haitian Creole, Dari, Pashton, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian.
Co-sponsored with HLS Immigration Project and La Alianza. 

(Eight to ten students)

Broadband Access Trip to Clarksdale, MS with Community First Research Center for Wellbeing and Creative Achievement (CREW) at the University of Mississippi

Access to high-speed internet services, such as broadband, is vital for personal use, education, healthcare, and business. However, many Mississippians are still missing out on access to this critical resource. Even where the physical infrastructure exists, broadband subscriptions still remain cost prohibitive for many households. It is estimated that as many as 572,000 households in Mississippi are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program, yet it remains underutilized due to lack of knowledge and outreach. Students will be conducting outreach on the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) authorized by Congress under the Infrastructure and Jobs Act. Students will assist eligible households with signing up for ACP, while also assisting with ongoing legal and community-based research (i.e., interviews) into the practical application of ACP, the program’s overall impacts in the MS Delta region, and potential alternative funding avenues that can be pursued. Students will gain exposure and awareness of challenges facing rural communities and learn about the rich cultural history of the Delta region.

Co-sponsored with the HLS Mississippi Delta Project.
(Four to six students)


OCP has funded spring break 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. Housing, rental cars, and some airfare will be funded. Students will likely need to contribute to airfare or other costs depending on final numbers of student participants. We only fund group trips through OCP. We do not fund individual student trips or projects.