The Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, the oldest student-run legal services organization in the country, has elected its new Board of Directors. Lam Ho ’08 and Anna Ferrari ’08 will be heading the public-interest law firm as president and executive director, respectively.

“The Legal Aid Bureau has been the most powerful part of my legal education,” said Ho, who adds that he looks forward to leading the Bureau and finds it to be “the best litigation training experience at the law school.”

Erika Anderson ’08, Heather Byrd ’08, Michael Thompson ’08, Benjamin Sauter ’08, Kristin Small ’08, Alison MacManus ’08, Ruth Bray ’08, and Monee Takla ’08 complete the newly elected board.

Bureau members provide free legal representation to low-income clients in the greater Boston community, handling cases involving a diverse range of practice areas, including housing, employment, domestic, and public benefits law, while gaining valuable experience in the courtroom.

“Law students are often limited, frighteningly so, in exposure to the most practical aspects of lawyering,” said Ferrari. This is not the case among Bureau members, who handle hundreds of cases from intake to closure each year.

Bureau student attorneys serve as primary case handlers as opposed to assistants working on cases handled principally by clinical instructors. This dynamic allows Bureau members to engage in intense and realistic practice by taking ownership of multiple cases from start to finish.

Since 1914, approximately 20 students are selected to join the Bureau through a competitive application process. Once selected, students are committed to the program for a period of two years.

Alumni of the Bureau include Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick ’82, Supreme Court Justice William Brennan ’31, and renowned constitutional scholars Laurence Tribe ’66 and Erwin Chemerinsky ’78.