Reflections

 

 

Below are reflections of some TAP members’ experiences.

 

And reflections from other TAP members:

TAP has grounded my 1L experience in an amazing way. It is the only way I have been able develop skills such as interviewing clients and the nuances of applying substantive law to a particular case. EC

I have been exposed to so many tremendous opportunities while in TAP. Above all, I have had the chance to really represent my own clients. While there is a supervising attorney to whom I can turn for guidance and feedback, the strategic decision making and all of the lawyering work is placed directly in my hands. I have had the opportunity to prepare a reasonable accommodation request, negotiate with housing authority lawyers, communicate with doctors and other service providers, and research myriad areas of the law from Freedom of Information requests in New York State to the confidentiality of patient-psychotherapist relationships in Massachusetts. I have been on the front lines in dealing with my clients, and have learned a tremendous amount about navigating client relationships. Furthermore, next year I will be a co-Chair of the organization, which will allow me my first opportunity ever to be exposed to many aspects of running a non-profit legal services organization, which is actually a long term professional ambition of mine. EW

I was a member of the Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP) during all of my three years at HLS.  I joined TAP during my 1L year, when I served as a representative of various tenants in Boston public housing.  During my second and third years, I was a member of TAP’s intake committee, and had the responsibility of helping select the cases that TAP members would take on.  My work in TAP provided me practical, real-world experience that I did not receive from any of the classes I took at HLS.  Through TAP, I had the opportunity to meet clients, review documents, assemble evidence, formulate arguments in actual cases, prepare witnesses, and present testimony at administrative hearings.  I also received first-hand exposure to the administrative process before a government agency and learned a considerable amount of substantive law, some of which was helpful to me in working through a case that recently came before the judge for whom I am now clerking. NV

In my 1L year, TAP has provided an amazing and unique experience: not only has it presented the opportunity to become involved in clinical work so early in my law school career, but it has also allowed me to become part of an exciting community of student advocates.MN

Besides providing a valuable service to low-income tenants in the Boston area, TAP is a fantastic opportunity for students to cut their teeth representing clients and dealing with real legal issues at a pace and in an environment that is considerably less intense and all-consuming than the student practice clinical offerings.  I found myself construing agreements according to the canons of contract interpretation and applying lessons learned in FYL to a surprising degree in the course of my TAP work; furthermore, my experience with representing clients at hearings has made me much more comfortable in my clinical work this semester at LSC.JK

As a 2L holding a position on TAP’s intake committee, I believe that the program (and student practice organizations in general) impart legal skills not necessarily emphasized in the standard curriculum. Through actual client contact, TAP has improved my case management skills.  TAP also has provided the opportunity to practice legal writing, oral argument, and witness examination in a more thorough and realistic manner than that currently offered under the mandatory FYL program.MS

TAP has been the highlight of my 1L year, motivating me to keep studying whenever the 1L curriculum has been difficult or boring.  This unique SPO has given me a community of other students who care about public interest and housing law, which I could not have otherwise had as a 1L.  I have handled two full cases, which have contributed to my legal education in a way that my classes cannot.  I also believe my active role in TAP helped me to get my summer job at the Department of Justice, in the Housing Section of Civil Rights. SB