News and Events

‘Advancing economic parity and justice’ in the Transactional Law Clinics

Jan 08, 2024

By Hurya Ahmed ’25

“Just as medical students need to complete hours in a hospital in order to graduate, every law student should be required to have clinical experience before entering the workforce.” The words of my clinical director on the last day of our workshop stuck with me. As I carry what I learned in clinic forward, I could not agree more. How can we expect lawyers, responsible for ensuring that their clients are compliant with federal securities regulations, for example, to graduate without ever having talked to a client? Continue reading Advancing economic parity and justice’ in the Transactional Law Clinics

Serving Boston entrepreneurs in the Transactional Law Clinics

By Reema Doleh ’25

Growing up in south Brooklyn, the entrepreneurial community and the immigrant community often overlapped. Every small business that lined our street was owned by first-generation Americans. The small business community serves as a powerful tool for employment and economic growth in New York City, but it can be difficult to fathom the hurdles of starting your own business. Continue Reading Serving Boston entrepreneurs in the Transactional Law Clinics.

Harvard Law’s Transactional Law Clinics help community members build businesses and long-term financial security

Harvard Law’s Business and Non-Profit Clinic, Real Estate Clinic, Entertainment Law Clinic, and Community Enterprise Project make a difference for community members in Boston and beyond

Acting Like a Lawyer with the Transactional Law Clinics

By Millen Trujillo ’23

I had always been told law school would teach me to “think like a lawyer.” My 1L year lived up to this promise as it was the most intellectually rigorous experience of my life to date. Through it, I developed and honed a new skill I had never before touched upon: legal reasoning. Learning to think like a lawyer was challenging, fulfilling, and empowering. Continue reading Acting Like a Lawyer with the Transactional Law Clinics

TLC Student Led Workshop Presentation at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

TLC Students Sydney Smith, J.D. ’24, and William Trettin, J.D. ’24, led a workshop about International Charitable Organizations. Continue to learn more about starting International Charitable Organizations.

Helping minority-owned businesses

By Joshua Payne ’24

My name is Joshua Payne, and I am a second year at Harvard Law School who participated as a student attorney for the Transactional Law Clinic (TLC). I have had the pleasure to gain firsthand experience on cases dealing with nonprofit formation, contract revision, and government contracting and procurement. Most notably, I was able to assist a client with applying for a minority business certification with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This state certification through the Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) allows the corporation to bid and contract with government agencies looking to hire/buy products from minority-owned businesses. Continue Reading Helping minority-owned businesses

An experience that ‘stands out from the rest’

By Alec Johnson, J.D. ’24

The first year of law school intimidated me for many reasons: intellectually challenging coursework, grades based entirely on final exams, and hundreds of new classmates—all of whom with fascinating backgrounds—caused me (alongside most of my peers) to enter 1L under tremendous anxiety. And while such concerns gradually faded as I grew comfortable in this new setting, one source of difficulty persists today: law school’s emphasis on theory. Continue Reading An experience that ‘stands out from the rest’

‘Hands-on, experiential work starts on Day 1’ in the Transactional Law Clinics

By Kaetlyn Conolly, J.D. ’24

With all the new experiences and challenges that 1L year brings, it is easy to start to feel disconnected from the reasons that initially drove you to apply to law school in the first place. But 2L year brings new freedom to reacquaint yourself with the passions you brought to law school and to explore areas of the law that could potentially lead to fruitful, fulfilling careers. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to join the Transactional Law Clinics (TLC) when we had the opportunity to enroll in a clinic during 2L year. In fact, the vast array of experiential learning opportunities was one of the reasons why I chose Harvard over other law schools I was considering. Continue reading ‘Hands-on, experiential work starts on Day 1’ in the Transactional Law Clinics

Representing Creators through the Recording Artists Project

By Danielle Mikaelian, J.D. ’25

I joined the Recording Artists Project (RAP) because I was interested in working on projects related to the entertainment industry. I grew up in the Los Angeles area, a main entertainment hub, and loved the idea of representing creators and protecting their rights. However, I never had the chance to do so. As a result, when I was deciding between student practice organizations, I chose to join one that exposed me to an industry that I had no experience in. Continue Reading Representing Creators through the Recording Artists Project

Diversity Business Certifications at the Local, State and Federal Level

Webinar of November 15, 2022 presented by TLC and the Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC). In today’s highly competitive market, it’s important for small businesses to set themselves apart in the marketplace, add established credibility, and have better access to contracting opportunities.

Continue to learn more and Watch the Webinar

Legal Basics of Running Your Business

Navigating Corporate Structure and Finance

Join us Wed., March 30, 2022 5:00 pm EST for a webinar to learn about the legal and financial basics of running your business! Continue to learn more about this Webinar

Small Business Owners – How to Get Access to Expert Advice

by | Jan 4, 2021

This fourth interview in our series is a special treat: our interviewee is Vanessa O’Connor, and attorney with the Harvard Law School Transactional Law Clinic. TLC is an amazing resource for small business owners who can’t afford the legal advice they need to build a strong business. Vanessa is also a smart, articulate speaker who will fire you up. Continue to Watch the Interview

At the Intersection of Music and the Law

The music industry is no stranger to legal dispute. From high-profile cases such as Metallica, et al. v. Napster, Inc. to the many legal trappings that accompany artists throughout the creative process, the law has continued to evolve along with music. Continue Reading At the Intersection of Music and Law

Small Business Lease Negotiation Workshop

A Webinar hosted by East Somerville Main Streets with Transactional Law Clinics of Harvard Law School Continue to Watch the Webinar

Clinic Stories: Democracy Brewing

Last summer, with the help of Harvard Law School’s Transactional Law Clinics (TLC), Democracy Brewing became the first brewery in Massachusetts to launch as a worker-owned owned business.  Continue to Wach Video

How Practicing Entertainment Law in TLC Made Me a Better Lawyer

By: Iain McCavill LL.M. ’19

The Transactional Law Clinic was one of the most useful, necessary, and enriching courses I took at Harvard Law School. I chose to focus my clinical work in entertainment law. My interest in entertainment law stemmed from my six-year journey as a musician and manager of a touring rock band. Continue Reading

Finding Your Startup Lawyer: What Every Entrepreneur Should Know

By: Linda Cole and Joshua Fox

Successful management of any new enterprise, regardless of industry, is a process demanding of concerted effort to realize opportunity with a finite set of resources. As an entrepreneur, perfecting your vision, securing and managing funds, building a team, marketing and selling, and executing on plan, all while navigating unexpected obstacles, likely occupy your every day. Continue Reading

Making it big behind the scenes

Law School students follow dream careers in showbiz

Growing up in South Florida, Rebecca Rechtszaid dreamed of becoming a professional singer, but after a case of pneumonia wrecked her vocal range in college, she settled for the next-best thing.

She couldn’t be an artist, but she could become a lawyer for artists. Continue Reading

Register for the HBS New Venture Competition!

The HBS New Venture Competition provides a unique opportunity for students to put entrepreneurship principles into practice with an integrative learning experience. Students may participate in either the Business Track (for ventures whose economic returns drive substantial market impact) or in the Social Enterprise Track (for ventures that drive social change using nonprofit, for-profit or hybrid models).

Continue Reading

Forbes 30 Under 30

TLC and HLEP Alumni named to Forbes 30 Under 30 – Law and Policy List for 2019. Continue Reading

Community Enterprise Project Participates in Boston Ujima Project’s Citywide Assembly

By: Samy Rais

Over Indigenous Peoples’ Day weekend, more than a hundred community members, business owners and activists assembled to celebrate and participate in the Boston Ujima Project’s second official citywide assembly. The Ujima Project was founded in 2017 with the mission to create a new community-controlled economy in Greater Boston, initially focusing on[1]: Continue Reading

Billboard Magazine – Top Music Law Schools

Billboard Magazine has published, in the October 20 Issue, a list of the top music law schools, including the Entertainment Law Clinic, and Recording Artists Project (RAP) at Harvard Law School Continue Reading

HLS200 – HLS in the Community 

Session – Transactional Law: Empowering Entrepreneurs and Communities

This session is a retrospective on the community work performed by HLS’ Transactional Law Clinics at the intersection of education and transactional law practice. The Transactional Law Clinics comprise the Business and Non-Profit Clinic, Community Enterprise Project, Real Estate Clinic, Entertainment Law Clinic, and the student practice organizations of the Recording Artists Project and Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project.  Click here to watch the video

Experiential and Essential Clinical Education at HLS: Four experiences

By Elaine McArdle, Harvard Law Today

Empowering Small Businesses to Stay in the Neighborhood

As Boston real estate prices soar and gentrification in lower-income places like Dorchester and Jamaica Plain continues apace, residential tenants aren’t the only ones losing their homes. Small businesses that serve neighborhoods and give them their distinct character have far fewer legal protections and are being evicted or forced out by rising costs. Continue Reading

Making Change: A Harvard Law School clinic helps the homeless earn a living (video)

“What counts as ‘income’ for taxes?” “Will paying taxes affect the public assistance I receive?” “Will I lose my veterans disability benefits if I make too much money?” “Why should I use a bank?”

Those are some of the questions street vendors of Greater Boston’s Spare Change News grapple with. A recently published guide, “Two Cents for Spare Change News: A Legal Resource for Spare Change News Vendors,” developed by Harvard Law students, aims to provide answers. Continue Reading

Community Enterprise Project Helps Empower Small Business Owners in Boston

By Alex Glancy, J.D. ’19

On a winter afternoon, I met with Mehedi* at CVC Unidos, a community center in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. Mehedi is a convenience store owner. He has a bright smile and will never let you leave without offering you a soda or water bottle. He was opening a second convenience store and had recently received the lease for that property. CEP was holding office hours, and he came to get legal advice. He handed me the 6-page unsigned lease agreement, filled with dense contract language. I took a deep breath and started reading. Continue Reading

“Recording Artists Project: the foundation to my success at HLS”

By Jennifer Mar J.D. ’18

My participation in the Recording Artists Project (RAP) has been my most important experience at Harvard law School. In fact, it was one of the reasons I came here in the first place. I had a fledgling interest in the music industry and RAP offered a hands-on opportunity to explore that interest while helping real industry clients. I have always felt music is a foundation of our culture and artists are accordingly vital stewards to protect. Moreover, it’s one of the only Student Practice Organizations at HLS with a practical focus on transactional legal training – hard to find in a law school classroom. Continue Reading

TLC Client Tech Goes Home

Fox25 News Boston

BOSTON – A local non-profit is giving families in need a brand-new computer, internet access and training, all for less than the cost of a pair of sneakers.

The program is called tech Goes home, and co-Director Theodora Hanna says they’re expanding outside of Boston.

“Technology is changing faster and faster and that means if you don’t have access to it, you are getting left behind at a faster and faster pace,” she said. Continue Reading

“HLS thinks bigger than ever: Faculty carry on annual tradition of sharing scholarship, shorthand”

Harvard Law Today

Each May since 2011, Harvard Law School has presented “HLS Thinks Big,” a TED Talks-style event that invites faculty members to present a “big idea” in front of an audience of faculty, students and staff. While the big idea in question can be a distillation of some fully-formed scholarship, faculty members have also presented germs of ideas floated for the first time, hypotheticals up for discussion, and sometimes, topics that look at areas of interest at a more macro level. Whatever the subject, there is only one rule presenters are bound by: Each must deliver their talk in 10 minutes or less. Continue Reading

“My Clinic experience affirmed my desire to be a transactional attorney and helped prepare me for practice after graduation.”

By Asheley Walker, J.D. ’17

I enrolled in the Transactional Law Clinics primarily because I wanted practical legal experience. I came to law school knowing I wanted to be a transactional attorney, but few, if any, of my classes gave me much insight into what it would be like to practice transactional law. I also wanted to work directly with clients. I worked in sales for startups and larger technology companies before law school, and I missed regular interaction with clients, including learning about their businesses, identifying how I could create value for them, and becoming a trusted advisor, not just a salesperson. Continue Reading

Creating opportunities through the Community Enterprise Project

By Lauren Maynard, J.D. ’16 

I came to law school with a weak vision of what I wanted to do. Just like everyone else, I wanted to affect positive change in the world. The problem was, and to an extent continues to be, that I am not sure how to do that. In an effort to find an answer, I have taken a variety of public interest oriented classes and clinics. I learned a lot and did some important work in those, but nothing quite fit the bill. Now, through my work with the Community Enterprise Project (CEP) of the Transactional Law Clinics, I feel like I have found a starting point. Continue Reading

Steven Salcedo ’16 honored with ethics award

Harvard Law School 3L Steven Salcedo is among 12 law students recognized by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)-Northeast for “exemplary commitment to ethics in the course of their clinical studies.”

Salcedo was nominated for the award by Harvard Law School Lecturer on Law Amanda Kool, who supervised Salcedo during his more than three semesters of clinical work with the Transactional Law Clinic’s Community Enterprise Project. In her nomination letter, Kool praised Salcedo for his work drafting a guide for immigrant entrepreneurs and helping immigrant clients on issues related to their business ownership, tasks which raised complex ethical issues. Continue Reading

Taking people ‘to where they want to be’: Law School students help struggling small-time entrepreneurs flourish

Hailing from Buffalo, a once-prosperous city in upstate New York, Steven Salcedo knew how a lack of continued economic development can hinder families and mire people in poverty and hopelessness.

But it was only after he took a course at Harvard Law School that Salcedo realized that lawyers could help foster better times for communities.

“Lawyers can’t make economic development happen by themselves,” said Salcedo. “But we can contribute to help solve poverty by enabling people to do what they want to do. We’re like a bridge; we take them from where they are to where they want to be.”

The class Salcedo took, “Community Enterprise Project of the Transactional Law Clinics,” allows HLS students to help small business owners, entrepreneurs, and community groups create businesses, obtain permits and licenses, and negotiate contracts and other transactional (non-litigation) services.

Other transactional law clinics offered at HLS deal with business and nonprofits, entertainment law, and real estate. Continue Reading

Counsel from a councilor: An interview with Michelle Wu ’12

Earlier this year, Michelle Wu ‘12, currently the youngest member of the Boston City Council, was elected as its president, making her the first Asian American to hold that role. Wu, who grew up in the Chicago area, became interested in politics during her time at HLS, where she was a student of Elizabeth Warren’s and worked on her campaign for the U.S. Senate. Wu came back to HLS this year to participate in a panel on women in politics at the Women’s Law Association annual conference. She spoke with Harvard Law Today reporter Rebecca Rattner ’17 about her time at HLS, experience as a woman in politics, and vision for her new role on the Boston City Council. Continue Reading

Music Attorney Aaron Rosenberg on How Justin Bieber’s Faith ‘Helped Him Through Some Confusing Times,’ A-List Clients Handling Tabloid Attention

In the November 21, 2015 issue of Billboard, Aaron Rosenberg talks about his HLS experience in the Recording Artists Project (RAP), as a foundation for his entertainment law career. Also printed in November 16, 2015 issue of Billboard Bulletin.

Startups: How I Channel My Entrepreneurial Interests at HLS

By Eli A. Shalam J.D. ’16

By the time my first semester at HLS began, I was chomping at the bit to work with the Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project (aka “HLEP”—pronounced aitch-lep). By early October, I was placed on a team with three other law students researching the impact of independent contractor and employee classifications on a company’s business model. Our client was a company that facilitated the booking of housekeepers to clean customers’ homes*. The main issue was that the company wanted strict standards to ensure the quality and consistency of the customer experience, but did not want to risk any sort of liability if, for example, a housekeeper started a major fire in a customer’s home, a customer’s pet severely injured a housekeeper, or a housekeeper accidentally spilled cleaning supplies on priceless curios. Our job was to advise the company on whether, and how, to classify the housekeepers as employees or independent contractors. Continue Reading

Recording Artist Project provides pro bono representation to musicians

By Terron East, J.D. ’17 

Within the last decade, the music industry has shifted from an entity reliant upon physical goods, such as CDs and vinyl, to a business largely dependent upon internet streaming via companies such as Spotify and Apple Music. Although the traditions of the music industry have changed, the need for legal representation has remained constant, as artists must build their brands and protect their interests in their work while not infringing upon the rights of others. By advising clients on many aspects of entertainment law, the Harvard Law School’s Recording Artists Project (also known as RAP) has provided valuable pro bono representation to musicians in Boston and beyond since its inception in 1998. Continue Reading

Harvard Law’s Community Enterprise Project Heads to Oakland, Forges Partnership with Sustainable Economies Law Center

By Matt Diaz, J.D. ’16 

In early August, Amanda L. Kool, Lecturer on Law and Clinical Instructor of Harvard Law School’s Community Enterprise Project of the Transactional Law Clinics (“CEP”), and CEP clinical student Matt Diaz, J.D. ’16, met with staff members of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (“SELC”) in Oakland, California to cement a partnership between the two organizations. With a shared ambition to foster community economic development through innovative approaches to transactional law, the partnership between the relatively-new law school clinic and the influential legal services organization carries tremendous potential for the organizations themselves, the clients they represent, and lawyers interested in how transactional law can play an important role in the modern economy. Continue Reading

Transactional Law Clinics: Building Community Dialogue with the Help of Big Data

By Petra Plasilova J.D. ’16

Do you get annoyed by websites that require you to register and create a full user profile, including personally identifiable information, even to complete a minor purchase? Does it unsettle you that moments after you search for that perfect vacation spot on Google, your Facebook feed fills with ads offering you discounted plane tickets to get there? As the use of big data collection and analysis increased in both the private and public sectors, so did public debate on the ethics and even legality of the practice. Continue Reading

Justice And Health

By Carmen Halford, J.D. ’16

Anthony was nervous. Sitting across from him was the North Korean Minister of Health. Armed guards stood nearby, ready and waiting. Did a drop of sweat slip off of Anthony’s brow? Perhaps caused by the steamy Pyongyang summer? Or perhaps it fell because Anthony knew that lives depended on this conversation. He opened his mouth to explain. Continue Reading

Many Advocates, One Goal: How Lawyers Can Use Community Partnerships to Foster Local Economic Development

via the American Bar Association, Business Law Section Community Economic Development Newsletter

Community partnerships provide a promising mechanism through which lawyers can promote economic development. When lawyers serve to connect valuable resources rather than solely respond to the needs of individual clients, they can better contribute to the dismantling of legal barriers to economic development. This article will highlight the efforts of the Harvard Transactional Law Clinics, specifically the clinic’s Community Enterprise Project, to use collaborative, project-based lawyering to address systemic legal barriers in the City of Boston. Though law school clinics are well-positioned to implement innovative models for the delivery of legal services, practitioners in other settings can leverage similar models for the benefit of their clients and local communities. Continue Reading

Former Transactional Law Clinics Fellow Therese Rohrbeck Launches New Business Venture

On Wednesday, [Jan. 22. 2014] HLS alumna and former Transactional Law Clinics Fellow, Therese Rohrbeck ’08, was featured at Harvard’s Start, Run, Grow: Exploring Entrepreneurship event, where she discussed how she started her new venture, Saga Dairy, which is producing Viking Icelandic Yogurt. “The idea was born when my fiancé and I were shopping for yogurt at a whole foods store and noticed the Icelandic yogurt, a new product with a high price tag” said Therese. “We wanted to create something that was more affordable and we started to experiment with making our own yogurt at home.” Continue Reading

Transactional Law Clinics Help Start-Up Microbrewery Raise Capital

By Christine Marshall, J.D. ’14

Recipe for an exciting start-up: begin with advanced fermentation technology, create an innovative craft microbrewery, and mix-in local urban growers. This is the strategic plan of one of our clients. In Fall 2013, the Transactional Law Clinics (“TLC”) helped this start-up company launch a small private placement offering to raise capital for its operations. Continue Reading

Client Shea Rose on Grammy-Winning Album

A few months after winning the Boston Music Award for “R&B, Soul and Urban Act of the Year”, TLC’s client, Boston-based Shea Rose, joined Terri Lynn Carrington in celebrating her Grammy®  Award for the “Best Jazz Vocal Album” for Terri’s release, “The Mosaic Project”.  Continue Reading

TLC Assists Her Campus Media with Trademarks

HLS student, Katy Yang ’12, represented Her Campus® Media, the #1 online magazine for college women, in trademark work leading to federal registration of several important marks for the rapidly growing online start-up.  Her Campus has recently obtained a registered trademark for the mark “collegiette”® and in 2011 also obtained federal registrations for its “Her Campus”® name and logo.   Continue Reading

TLC and CEP Bring Young Hip-Hop Artists to Harvard

At the Boston Urban Music Festival, Javon performed for about 50,000 people.   At the time of the Festival, Javon was fourteen years old. Javon is the senior member of Studio Heat, a group of young Boston musicians that have grown out of the Music Clubhouse at the Blue Hill Chapter of the Boys and Girls Club in Boston. Ranging in age from pre-teen to 18, some of these students have already achieved measures of success that many adults will never obtain. Continue Reading

Community Enterprise Project Expanding in Spring 2014

In the Spring, 2014 semester, the Transactional Law Clinic’s Community Enterprise Project (CEP) will double in size, with six students working out of the Harvard Law School’s Legal Services Center in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Like this semester, CEP students will split their time between individual, direct client representation and large, collaborative projects. Despite its rapid growth, CEP will continue to focus its work in the community of Jamaica Plain and surrounding neighborhoods. Continue Reading

TLC – CEP Concludes Milestone Semester

Wednesday, December 4th was a day for the record books of the revamped Community Enterprise Project of the Transactional Law Clinics (CEP). After months comprised of countless meetings with clients and community partners, treks from campus to Jamaica Plain, Boston Food Truck Legal Toolkit revisions, and lunch jaunts to City Feed, the three CEP students capped the semester with a whirlwind, 12-hour day in which their efforts culminated with an ease which belied the amount of effort it took to get there. Continue Reading