During the 2019 Winter Term, over 200 Harvard Law School (HLS) students traveled off campus for three weeks, gaining hands-on experience addressing the legal needs in communities across the globe. Through the Independent Clinical Program and Externship Clinics, HLS students gain a practical experience in their field of study building their expertise on an issue and develop critical lawyering skills.
87 students participated in HLS’s Independent Clinical Program, traveling to 18 countries, 13 states, and 21 cities to build their legal skills by working with government agencies, legal services and non-profit organizations, and the judiciary. The program gives students an opportunity to design a project related to their specialized area of interest in the law or field of practice. Students are able to then gain hands-on experience in their potential career fields. This past winter, students worked with attorney advisors in the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs (OCP) to design projects addressing issues that transcend national borders, including anti-displacement protections after devastating hurricanes, voting rights litigation, humanitarian asylum and refugee protections.
Read more about students’ experiences:
- A Lawyer’s Limits
- Transformative Constitutions: How One African Nation is Writing a New Constitution for National Healing and to Learn From the Past
- A Look at Refugee Legal Advocacy in Germany
The map below displays where students travelled outside the continental U.S. to work on pertinent legal issues.
Through the Externship Clinics, January Term students participated in on-site clinical work at hundreds of organizations across the United States. The externship clinics range in focus from sports teams to U.S. government agencies, to employment and labor rights work. Over the winter term, students worked at the Macarthur Justice Center, the Women’s Tennis Association, Attorney General Offices in California, Nebraska, Kentucky, New York, and Texas; organizations such as the Office of the Federal Public Defender (Kansas City, Missouri), Southern Center for Human Rights (Atlanta, GA), American Civil Liberties Union (Durham, NC); and private entities such as the Wasserman Media Group (Los Angeles, CA), Nashville Predators (Nashville, TN), Major League Baseball (New York, NY), and the Detroit Pistons (Detroit, MI). Students reviewed and helped draft contracts and sponsorships agreements, represented clients with capital sentences, and conducted legal research on wage and discrimination disputes. Students’ work experiences enhanced their confidence in their skillset and provided meaningful assistance to the clients they served.
Even in the short three week term in January, students were able to make an impact in the communities and organizations they worked in internationally and domestically. The independent clinical program and externships are unique experiences for students to learn from and develop into the lawyers they wish to be in the world.
Independent Clinical Placements
|Boston, MA||Los Angeles, CA||Accra, Ghana||Lesvos, Greece|
|Brownsville, TX||Montpelier, VT||Anhui, China||London, England, UK|
|Cambridge, MA||New York, NY||The Adelphi, Singapore||Manila, Philippines|
|Carrboro, NC||Oakland, CA||Basel, Switzerland||Melbourne, Australia|
|Central Islip, NY||Philadelphia, PA||Banjul, Gambia||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Chicago, IL||Raleigh, NC||Berlin, Germany||Myanmar|
|Dilley, TX||Sacramento, CA||Edinburg, Scotland, UK||Quezon City, Philippines|
|Flagstaff, AZ||San Francisco, CA||Fitzroy, Australia||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Honolulu, HI||Seattle, WA||The Hauge, Netherlands||Tel Aviv, Israel|
|Indianapolis, IN||Washington, DC|
|Lincoln, NE||Window Rock, AZ|
|Hagatna, Guam||San Juan, Puerto Rico|