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Join PLAP as a 2021 Summer Intern

Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project
2021 Summer Student Attorney Program

The Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project (PLAP) is now accepting applications for its 2021 Summer Student Attorney Program.

Why work at PLAP this summer? Here are just a few reasons:

  • At PLAP, you will take the lead on your own cases and directly represent clients in prison disciplinary, parole, and classification hearings. You will interview clients, develop case strategies with our Supervising Attorneys, draft and submit motions to dismiss and discovery requests, cross-examine witnesses and argue at hearings, and get experience writing and filing appeals.
  • PLAP’s clients need your help. In Massachusetts, prisoners are not automatically given lawyers for disciplinary or parole hearings. You are their best chance for competent representation.
  • You will learn from experienced attorneys. Our Supervising Attorneys will guide you through the representation process and will help you develop your advocacy skills more broadly.

Qualified candidates will have an interest in criminal justice and representing incarcerated persons. Training will be held during the last weeks of May. You must be able to spend 10 weeks working full-time for PLAP during the summer months. In addition to representing clients, you will answer phone calls from prisoners in the PLAP (virtual) office and respond to written requests for help. Spanish or other foreign language skills are a plus.

PLAP summer student attorneys will receive a $500 stipend in addition to any public interest funding available through other sources. As a small office, PLAP offers a casual environment and flexible hours.  This position will likely be 100% remote.

Interested students should email an application package including a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and at least one reference to Shanell Lavery (sblavery@law.harvard.edu).

We will review applications on a rolling basis.

Join PLAP as a 2020 Summer Intern

The Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project (PLAP) is now accepting applications for its 2020 Summer Student Attorney Program.

Why work at PLAP this summer? Here are just a few reasons:

• At PLAP, you will take the lead on your own cases and directly represent clients in prison disciplinary, parole, and classification hearings. You will interview clients, develop case strategies with our Supervising Attorneys, draft and submit motions to dismiss and discovery requests, cross-examine witnesses and argue at hearings, and get experience writing and filing appeals.

• PLAP’s clients need your help. In Massachusetts, prisoners are not automatically given lawyers for disciplinary or parole hearings. You are their best chance for competent representation.

• You will learn from experienced attorneys. Our Supervising Attorneys will guide you through the representation process and will help you develop your advocacy skills more broadly.

• Finally, you will be part of a community. PLAP summer student attorneys spend time together both in and out of the office. Outings in past years have included trivia nights and hiking trips!

Qualified candidates will have an interest in criminal justice and representing incarcerated persons. Training will be held during the last weeks of May. You must be able to spend 10 weeks working full-time for PLAP during the summer months. In addition to representing clients, you will answer phone calls from prisoners in the PLAP office and respond to written requests for help. You should be able to drive and rent a car in the United States. Spanish or other foreign language skills are a plus.

PLAP summer student attorneys will receive a $500 stipend in addition to any public interest funding available through other sources. As a small office, PLAP offers a casual environment and flexible hours.

Interested students should email an application package including resume, cover letter, writing sample and at least one reference to  Shanell Lavery (sblavery@law.harvard.edu).

We will review applications on a rolling basis.

PLAP’s Joel Thompson on Solitary Confinement Reform Bill

 

Massachusetts State Senator Jamie Eldridge recently organized a legislative press conference on a new criminal justice reform bill that he has proposed. The bill would provide additional protections to those who are placed in solitary confinement, such as ensuring placement review hearings for anyone who is placed in segregated housing and providing them the opportunity for legal representation at those hearings.

PLAP supervising attorney Joel Thompson spoke at the press conference, alongside a group of solitary confinement survivors and advocates. As Joel remarks, “Unfortunately, what our experience has proven is that it’s too easy to put someone in the hole. It’s too difficult to get someone out of the hole. It’s too easy for it to become the default. What should be, at worst, an extraordinary measure becomes the normal. The exception becomes the rule, for some individuals anyway. Senate Docket 2532 would make changes to improve this process, to really make substantial change for our clients and for all prisoners.”

The entire press conference can be viewed here (Joel’s remarks start at 51:25). The proposed bill can be viewed here.

PLAP 2019 Summer Student Attorney Program

The Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project (PLAP) is now accepting applications for its 2019 Summer Student Attorney Program.

Why work at PLAP this summer? Here are just a few reasons:

• At PLAP, you will take the lead on your own cases and directly represent clients in prison disciplinary, parole, and classification hearings. You will interview clients, develop case strategies with our Supervising Attorneys, draft and submit motions to dismiss and discovery requests, cross-examine witnesses and argue at hearings, and get experience writing and filing appeals.

• PLAP’s clients need your help. In Massachusetts, prisoners are not automatically given lawyers for disciplinary or parole hearings. You are their best chance for competent representation.

• You will learn from experienced attorneys. Our Supervising Attorneys will guide you through the representation process, and will help you develop your advocacy skills more broadly.

• Finally, you will be part of a community. PLAP summer student attorneys spend time together both in and out of the office. Outings in past years have included trivia nights and hiking trips!

Qualified candidates will have an interest in criminal justice and representing incarcerated persons. Training will be held during the last weeks of May. You must be able to spend 10 weeks working full-time for PLAP during the summer months. In addition to representing clients, you will answer phone calls from prisoners in the PLAP office and respond to written requests for help. You should be able to drive and rent a car in the United States. Spanish or other foreign language skills are a plus.

PLAP summer student attorneys will receive a $500 stipend in addition to any public interest funding available through other sources. As a small office, PLAP offers a casual environment and flexible hours.

Interested students should email an application package including resume, cover letter, writing sample and at least one reference to Ian Eppler (ieppler@jd19.law.harvard.edu), Sam Miller (smiller@jd19.law.harvard.edu) and Shanell Lavery (sblavery@law.harvard.edu).

We will review applications on a rolling basis. Interviews will begin in February, and will continue until all available positions are filled. Applications submitted before January 31, 2019 will receive preference.

2019 Prison Law Summer Job Search Guide

The UCLA Prison Law and Policy Program has released its 2019 Summer Job Search Guide with information about organizations and offices around the country who do prisoners’ rights work and who are looking for summer interns.

The Prison Law and Policy Program also hosts the Prison Law JD listserv for current law students and recent law graduates nationwide who are interested in working in the area of prisoners’ rights and criminal justice reform more broadly. Its director is Professor Sharon Dolovich, a Harvard Law and PLAP alumna.

Read the 2019 Summer Job Search Guide.

Join PLAP in 2018!

If you’re a new student interesting in joining PLAP or a returning student new to PLAP, join us at one of our two new member trainings this week! Learn more about the PLAP experience and what we do. Continue reading

PLAP Executive Board Statement on Michelle Jones

Please read PLAP’s statements on the decision Harvard made to deny Michelle Jones admission into Harvard’s History department. The story was originally published in the Harvard Record.

PLAP Executive Board Statement on Michelle Jones

Spring Break Trip Big Success

Over spring break, 5 members of PLAP and another HLS student traveled to New Orleans, LA to work with the Promise of Justice Initiative (PJI) on a lawsuit seeking injunctive relief to deliver constitutionally adequate medical care to incarcerated people at Angola. Our students helped the attorneys prepare for trial by reviewing and creating a database for incarcerated people’s requests for disability accommodations and creating aids for expert testimony. The students were able to spend a week enjoying the great city of New Orleans while also contributing valuable work to an important case. PLAP looks forward to being able to continue building a relationship with PJI in the future!

 

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We’re so thankful for these students for spending their spring break working on this important cause!

Formerly Incarcerated Youth Share Their Powerful Stories

Today, members of Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, came to Harvard Law School to speak to a group of students. Free Minds uses books, creative writing, and a peer support system to awaken incarcerated youth to their own potential. Their motto is “Books and Brotherhood.” Through creative expression, job readiness training, and violence prevention outreach, these young poets achieve their education and career goals, and become powerful voices for change in the community.

We heard from two amazing formerly incarcerated youth who are now Free Minds Poet Ambassadors. These young men bravely shared their stories and backgrounds, and discussed how working with Free Minds enabled them to recognize their skills and value. After learning about the organization, HLS students had the opportunity to read the work of incarcerated youth and provide encouraging feedback. It was a powerful event that demonstrated how books, creative writing and social support have the incredible power to teach, build community, and change lives.

For more information on Free Minds or if you want to get involved with this great organization, please visit their website.
http://freemindsbookclub.org

 

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In this photo, three students can be seen talking to Nick, one of the Free Minds Poet Ambassadors who traveled all the way from DC to meet with us and share his story.

PLAP Hosts Jesse White for Discussion on Prison Brutality

Last Wednesday, February 22, PLAP hosted Jesse White, the attorney who runs Prisoners’ Legal Services’ Prison Brutality Project. The project seeks to address the widespread problem of correctional staff abusing their authority by assaulting the men and women who they are employed to keep safe. Jesse staffs the Rapid Response to Brutality Project, which responds quickly to document prisoner injuries and conduct interviews in the wake of excessive use of force incidents. She also conducts investigations, provides both individual and systemic advocacy, provides pro se and pro bono litigation assistance, and assists with PLS’ brutality litigation.

Jesse spoke to a large group of PLAP students about her work, her background, and strategies we can use to more effectively handle cases involving officer brutality. We are grateful Jesse took the time to speak with us, and look forward to PLAP’s continued involvement with the Prison Brutality Project.

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