Post Date: September 27, 2006

Seven students from the Housing Clinic of the Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School recently helped unrepresented low-income tenants facing eviction in Boston Housing Court, giving them “game-day” advice through the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer for the Day Program. The HLS students worked alongside pro bono attorneys from Ropes & Gray LLP.

Supervised by the housing clinic’s three clinical instructors–Esme Caramello ’99, Rafael Mares ’99, and Maureen McDonagh–the students served over 30 tenants, informing them about their rights, providing them with advice on how to best present their cases in court, negotiating with attorneys representing landlords, and filling out pro se motions and pleadings.

According to McDonagh, the Lawyer for the Day Program is an excellent way for students to apply the theories they learned in the Housing Clinical Workshop early in the semester, and to help tenants find their way through a difficult and often scary process.

“Participating in the Lawyer for the Day Program is exhilarating,” said Trevor Austin ’08. “It is giving me the opportunity to help a large number of indigent tenants in a short period of time. The program is kind of the emergency room of law school clinics.”

LSC students have been providing advice to tenants in Boston Housing Court for eight years. Please see the Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center for additional related information.