Harvard Law School has 11 Student Practice Organizations (SPOs) providing students a wide range of opportunities to gain practical legal experience starting in their 1L year. Each SPO is headed by 2L and 3L students who serve in leadership positions and one or more supervising attorneys who provide legal oversight and supervision. Most SPOs also work closely with an HLS clinic so students enjoy a cohesive experience in the respective area of the law during their time at HLS.
Every fall semester, Student Practice Organizations host information sessions to familiarize new students with their work and application process. A list of these events and deadlines can be found here. Most (but not all) SPOs require an application and all of them require students to complete a training. Everyone, including LL.M. students, is welcomed and encouraged to participate in SPO practice.
While students do not receive academic credit for participating in SPOs, their hours can count towards the 50-hour pro bono graduation requirement starting 1L year.
Student responsibilities and time commitment vary across SPOs. Students who participate have found the experience to be positive and meaningful. They report they enjoy the community they build with other students while helping real people and communities in need of legal services.
SPO Student Reflections
- Harvard Defenders
Advocating and making a difference with Harvard Defenders
- HLS Advocates for Human Rights
Fighting for human rights with HLS Advocates
- Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project
Finding my path with HLEP
- Harvard Law Negotiators
Building skills and building community
- Harvard Mediation Program
Lessons from the Harvard Mediation Program
- Harvard Law Immigration Project
A voice for the immigrant community
- Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project
Representing prisoners and shaping the rules
- Mississippi Delta Project
Bringing help and hope to Mississippi Delta
- Project No One Leaves
Getting to know Boston through Project No One Leaves
- Recording Artists Project
Recording Artists Project: the foundation to my success at HLS
- Tenant Advocacy Project
My three years at the Tenant Advocacy Project