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. These trips and placements are part of an “alternative spring break” program developed and sponsored by the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono programs at Harvard Law School.
This year, during the week of March 11-18, students worked locally at the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association; at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS)/Legal Advocacy and Resource Center (LARC); and at the law school’s own Legal Services Center (LSC)/Veterans Legal Clinic.
Project teams traveled within the U.S. and abroad, working with Equal Justice Under Law in Murfressboro, TN, following up on the work of last year’s pro bono trip to Tennessee by contributing to a civil rights lawsuit, Rodriguez v. PCC, that resulted from that work; assisting with litigation to advance human rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) Ugandans under the supervision of lawyers at the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF); at the newly established Crossroads Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) in Clarksdale, MS with the goal to promote local artists and to use art as a tool for community connection and reconciliation; and at ProBAR in Harlingen, TX, at the Adult Legal Orientation Program, engaging in direct client representation. This is the 12th year that the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs has funded the trips, which originated in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when students went to New Orleans to assist displaced families.