News and Events

Making Change: A Harvard Law School clinic helps the homeless earn a living (video)

“What counts as ‘income’ for taxes?” “Will paying taxes affect the public assistance I receive?” “Will I lose my veterans disability benefits if I make too much money?” “Why should I use a bank?”

Those are some of the questions street vendors of Greater Boston’s Spare Change News grapple with. A recently published guide, “Two Cents for Spare Change News: A Legal Resource for Spare Change News Vendors,” developed by Harvard Law students, aims to provide answers. Continue Reading

Community Enterprise Project Helps Empower Small Business Owners in Boston

By Alex Glancy, J.D. ’19

On a winter afternoon, I met with Mehedi* at CVC Unidos, a community center in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. Mehedi is a convenience store owner. He has a bright smile and will never let you leave without offering you a soda or water bottle. He was opening a second convenience store and had recently received the lease for that property. CEP was holding office hours, and he came to get legal advice. He handed me the 6-page unsigned lease agreement, filled with dense contract language. I took a deep breath and started reading. Continue Reading

“Recording Artists Project: the foundation to my success at HLS”

By Jennifer Mar J.D. ’18

My participation in the Recording Artists Project (RAP) has been my most important experience at Harvard law School. In fact, it was one of the reasons I came here in the first place. I had a fledgling interest in the music industry and RAP offered a hands-on opportunity to explore that interest while helping real industry clients. I have always felt music is a foundation of our culture and artists are accordingly vital stewards to protect. Moreover, it’s one of the only Student Practice Organizations at HLS with a practical focus on transactional legal training – hard to find in a law school classroom. Continue Reading

TLC Client Tech Goes Home

Fox25 News Boston

BOSTON – A local non-profit is giving families in need a brand-new computer, internet access and training, all for less than the cost of a pair of sneakers.

The program is called tech Goes home, and co-Director Theodora Hanna says they’re expanding outside of Boston.

“Technology is changing faster and faster and that means if you don’t have access to it, you are getting left behind at a faster and faster pace,” she said. Continue Reading

“HLS thinks bigger than ever: Faculty carry on annual tradition of sharing scholarship, shorthand”

Harvard Law Today

Each May since 2011, Harvard Law School has presented “HLS Thinks Big,” a TED Talks-style event that invites faculty members to present a “big idea” in front of an audience of faculty, students and staff. While the big idea in question can be a distillation of some fully-formed scholarship, faculty members have also presented germs of ideas floated for the first time, hypotheticals up for discussion, and sometimes, topics that look at areas of interest at a more macro level. Whatever the subject, there is only one rule presenters are bound by: Each must deliver their talk in 10 minutes or less. Continue Reading

“My Clinic experience affirmed my desire to be a transactional attorney and helped prepare me for practice after graduation.”

By Asheley Walker, J.D. ’17

I enrolled in the Transactional Law Clinics primarily because I wanted practical legal experience. I came to law school knowing I wanted to be a transactional attorney, but few, if any, of my classes gave me much insight into what it would be like to practice transactional law. I also wanted to work directly with clients. I worked in sales for startups and larger technology companies before law school, and I missed regular interaction with clients, including learning about their businesses, identifying how I could create value for them, and becoming a trusted advisor, not just a salesperson. Continue Reading

Creating opportunities through the Community Enterprise Project

By Lauren Maynard, J.D. ’16 

I came to law school with a weak vision of what I wanted to do. Just like everyone else, I wanted to affect positive change in the world. The problem was, and to an extent continues to be, that I am not sure how to do that. In an effort to find an answer, I have taken a variety of public interest oriented classes and clinics. I learned a lot and did some important work in those, but nothing quite fit the bill. Now, through my work with the Community Enterprise Project (CEP) of the Transactional Law Clinics, I feel like I have found a starting point. Continue Reading

Steven Salcedo ’16 honored with ethics award

Harvard Law School 3L Steven Salcedo is among 12 law students recognized by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)-Northeast for “exemplary commitment to ethics in the course of their clinical studies.”

Salcedo was nominated for the award by Harvard Law School Lecturer on Law Amanda Kool, who supervised Salcedo during his more than three semesters of clinical work with the Transactional Law Clinic’s Community Enterprise Project. In her nomination letter, Kool praised Salcedo for his work drafting a guide for immigrant entrepreneurs and helping immigrant clients on issues related to their business ownership, tasks which raised complex ethical issues. Continue Reading

Taking people ‘to where they want to be’: Law School students help struggling small-time entrepreneurs flourish

Hailing from Buffalo, a once-prosperous city in upstate New York, Steven Salcedo knew how a lack of continued economic development can hinder families and mire people in poverty and hopelessness.

But it was only after he took a course at Harvard Law School that Salcedo realized that lawyers could help foster better times for communities.

“Lawyers can’t make economic development happen by themselves,” said Salcedo. “But we can contribute to help solve poverty by enabling people to do what they want to do. We’re like a bridge; we take them from where they are to where they want to be.”

The class Salcedo took, “Community Enterprise Project of the Transactional Law Clinics,” allows HLS students to help small business owners, entrepreneurs, and community groups create businesses, obtain permits and licenses, and negotiate contracts and other transactional (non-litigation) services.

Other transactional law clinics offered at HLS deal with business and nonprofits, entertainment law, and real estate. Continue Reading

Counsel from a councilor: An interview with Michelle Wu ’12

Earlier this year, Michelle Wu ‘12, currently the youngest member of the Boston City Council, was elected as its president, making her the first Asian American to hold that role. Wu, who grew up in the Chicago area, became interested in politics during her time at HLS, where she was a student of Elizabeth Warren’s and worked on her campaign for the U.S. Senate. Wu came back to HLS this year to participate in a panel on women in politics at the Women’s Law Association annual conference. She spoke with Harvard Law Today reporter Rebecca Rattner ’17 about her time at HLS, experience as a woman in politics, and vision for her new role on the Boston City Council. Continue Reading

Music Attorney Aaron Rosenberg on How Justin Bieber’s Faith ‘Helped Him Through Some Confusing Times,’ A-List Clients Handling Tabloid Attention

In the November 21, 2015 issue of Billboard, Aaron Rosenberg talks about his HLS experience in the Recording Artists Project (RAP), as a foundation for his entertainment law career. Also printed in November 16, 2015 issue of Billboard Bulletin.

Startups: How I Channel My Entrepreneurial Interests at HLS

By Eli A. Shalam J.D. ’16

By the time my first semester at HLS began, I was chomping at the bit to work with the Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project (aka “HLEP”—pronounced aitch-lep). By early October, I was placed on a team with three other law students researching the impact of independent contractor and employee classifications on a company’s business model. Our client was a company that facilitated the booking of housekeepers to clean customers’ homes*. The main issue was that the company wanted strict standards to ensure the quality and consistency of the customer experience, but did not want to risk any sort of liability if, for example, a housekeeper started a major fire in a customer’s home, a customer’s pet severely injured a housekeeper, or a housekeeper accidentally spilled cleaning supplies on priceless curios. Our job was to advise the company on whether, and how, to classify the housekeepers as employees or independent contractors. Continue Reading

Recording Artist Project provides pro bono representation to musicians

By Terron East, J.D. ’17 

Within the last decade, the music industry has shifted from an entity reliant upon physical goods, such as CDs and vinyl, to a business largely dependent upon internet streaming via companies such as Spotify and Apple Music. Although the traditions of the music industry have changed, the need for legal representation has remained constant, as artists must build their brands and protect their interests in their work while not infringing upon the rights of others. By advising clients on many aspects of entertainment law, the Harvard Law School’s Recording Artists Project (also known as RAP) has provided valuable pro bono representation to musicians in Boston and beyond since its inception in 1998. Continue Reading

Harvard Law’s Community Enterprise Project Heads to Oakland, Forges Partnership with Sustainable Economies Law Center

By Matt Diaz, J.D. ’16 

In early August, Amanda L. Kool, Lecturer on Law and Clinical Instructor of Harvard Law School’s Community Enterprise Project of the Transactional Law Clinics (“CEP”), and CEP clinical student Matt Diaz, J.D. ’16, met with staff members of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (“SELC”) in Oakland, California to cement a partnership between the two organizations. With a shared ambition to foster community economic development through innovative approaches to transactional law, the partnership between the relatively-new law school clinic and the influential legal services organization carries tremendous potential for the organizations themselves, the clients they represent, and lawyers interested in how transactional law can play an important role in the modern economy. Continue Reading

Transactional Law Clinics: Building Community Dialogue with the Help of Big Data

By Petra Plasilova J.D. ’16

Do you get annoyed by websites that require you to register and create a full user profile, including personally identifiable information, even to complete a minor purchase? Does it unsettle you that moments after you search for that perfect vacation spot on Google, your Facebook feed fills with ads offering you discounted plane tickets to get there? As the use of big data collection and analysis increased in both the private and public sectors, so did public debate on the ethics and even legality of the practice. Continue Reading

Justice And Health

By Carmen Halford, J.D. ’16

Anthony was nervous. Sitting across from him was the North Korean Minister of Health. Armed guards stood nearby, ready and waiting. Did a drop of sweat slip off of Anthony’s brow? Perhaps caused by the steamy Pyongyang summer? Or perhaps it fell because Anthony knew that lives depended on this conversation. He opened his mouth to explain. Continue Reading

Many Advocates, One Goal: How Lawyers Can Use Community Partnerships to Foster Local Economic Development

via the American Bar Association, Business Law Section Community Economic Development Newsletter

Community partnerships provide a promising mechanism through which lawyers can promote economic development. When lawyers serve to connect valuable resources rather than solely respond to the needs of individual clients, they can better contribute to the dismantling of legal barriers to economic development. This article will highlight the efforts of the Harvard Transactional Law Clinics, specifically the clinic’s Community Enterprise Project, to use collaborative, project-based lawyering to address systemic legal barriers in the City of Boston. Though law school clinics are well-positioned to implement innovative models for the delivery of legal services, practitioners in other settings can leverage similar models for the benefit of their clients and local communities. Continue Reading

Former Transactional Law Clinics Fellow Therese Rohrbeck Launches New Business Venture

On Wednesday, [Jan. 22. 2014] HLS alumna and former Transactional Law Clinics Fellow, Therese Rohrbeck ’08, was featured at Harvard’s Start, Run, Grow: Exploring Entrepreneurship event, where she discussed how she started her new venture, Saga Dairy, which is producing Viking Icelandic Yogurt. “The idea was born when my fiancé and I were shopping for yogurt at a whole foods store and noticed the Icelandic yogurt, a new product with a high price tag” said Therese. “We wanted to create something that was more affordable and we started to experiment with making our own yogurt at home.” Continue Reading

Transactional Law Clinics Help Start-Up Microbrewery Raise Capital

By Christine Marshall, J.D. ’14

Recipe for an exciting start-up: begin with advanced fermentation technology, create an innovative craft microbrewery, and mix-in local urban growers. This is the strategic plan of one of our clients. In Fall 2013, the Transactional Law Clinics (“TLC”) helped this start-up company launch a small private placement offering to raise capital for its operations. Continue Reading

Client Shea Rose on Grammy-Winning Album

A few months after winning the Boston Music Award for “R&B, Soul and Urban Act of the Year”, TLC’s client, Boston-based Shea Rose, joined Terri Lynn Carrington in celebrating her Grammy®  Award for the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” for Terri’s release, “The Mosaic Project”.  Continue Reading

TLC Assists Her Campus Media with Trademarks

HLS student, Katy Yang ’12, represented Her Campus® Media, the #1 online magazine for college women, in trademark work leading to federal registration of several important marks for the rapidly growing online start-up.  Her Campus has recently obtained a registered trademark for the mark “collegiette”® and in 2011 also obtained federal registrations for its “Her Campus”® name and logo.   Continue Reading

TLC and CEP Bring Young Hip-Hop Artists to Harvard

At the Boston Urban Music Festival, Javon performed for about 50,000 people.   At the time of the Festival, Javon was fourteen years old. Javon is the senior member of Studio Heat, a group of young Boston musicians that have grown out of the Music Clubhouse at the Blue Hill Chapter of the Boys and Girls Club in Boston. Ranging in age from pre-teen to 18, some of these students have already achieved measures of success that many adults will never obtain. Continue Reading

Community Enterprise Project Expanding in Spring 2014

In the Spring, 2014 semester, the Transactional Law Clinic’s Community Enterprise Project (CEP) will double in size, with six students working out of the Harvard Law School’s Legal Services Center in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Like this semester, CEP students will split their time between individual, direct client representation and large, collaborative projects. Despite its rapid growth, CEP will continue to focus its work in the community of Jamaica Plain and surrounding neighborhoods. Continue Reading

TLC – CEP Concludes Milestone Semester

Wednesday, December 4th was a day for the record books of the revamped Community Enterprise Project of the Transactional Law Clinics (CEP). After months comprised of countless meetings with clients and community partners, treks from campus to Jamaica Plain, Boston Food Truck Legal Toolkit revisions, and lunch jaunts to City Feed, the three CEP students capped the semester with a whirlwind, 12-hour day in which their efforts culminated with an ease which belied the amount of effort it took to get there. Continue Reading

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