The Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (the "Bureau"), a curricular law clinic of Harvard Law School, is seeking a full-time Clinical Instructor ("CI") to supervise law students in their representation of low-income clients in civil legal matters.
The Legal Aid Bureau was founded by Harvard Law School students in 1913 and remains student-run. Our mission is to provide excellent, free representation to low-income and marginalized clients and communities in the Greater Boston area and to do so in a way that responds to the systemic racial, social, and economic inequalities that are the causes and consequences of poverty. The 50 students who win membership in the Bureau devote more than 20 hours a week throughout their second and third years of law school to representing clients in civil cases, appeals, policy initiatives, and community lawyering projects in a range of civil legal aid practice areas. Students also run the organization, setting policy, allocating resources among eligible clients, and managing the office on a day-to-day basis. With a staff of 8 Clinical Instructors, two administrators, and a part-time social worker, the Bureau trains its student attorneys to advocate vigorously for their clients, create enduring community partnerships, and become socially conscious leaders.
During the academic year, the Clinical Instructor will supervise and assess the legal work of approximately 8 second- and third-year Harvard Law School students. HLAB students serve as primary counsel and are responsible for managing their own cases; each maintains a caseload of around 3-5 active cases. CIs supervise students' case work by meeting regularly with them to discuss case strategy and relationships, reviewing and editing their written work, preparing them for and accompanying them to court and administrative hearings, and providing regular oral and written feedback. CIs are also responsible for identifying, developing, and sustaining productive community partnerships, including through periodic attendance at evening community meetings. There are ample opportunities to engage with students in legislative reform work and on amicus and other appellate advocacy projects. The Bureau's staff works together as a close-knit team, meeting regularly to share information and strategies and collaborating on office-wide initiatives, including new-student orientation, trainings, and clinical seminars. Harvard Law School's large and diverse clinical legal education program provides additional opportunities for professional connection and collaboration.
During the summer recess, the Bureau operates a summer program in which CIs supervise students from other law schools. During periods of transition between the academic year and summer programs, CIs are responsible for direct case handling, including communication with clients, motions and trials. Vacations are scheduled around new-student orientations and the requirement of maintaining effective case coverage. Evening and weekend hours are periodically required to meet client or outreach needs.
This is a term appointment expected to extend through June 30, 2023, contingent upon continued available funding and business needs.
All offers to be made by HLS Human Resources.
Salary Grade: 058
Union: 00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
J.D. and admission to Massachusetts Bar, or eligibility to practice and supervise students under S.J.C. Rule 3:04 while pursuing admission. Minimum five years of experience as a lawyer, including substantial recent civil litigation experience.
Demonstrated ability to work successfully with students and with low-income clients
Demonstrated ability to prioritize student learning while maintaining high standards of excellence in client work
Willingness to work with patience and flexibility within a student-run law clinic and to support its student leadership
Demonstrated ability and willingness to learn new areas of law and modes of practice
Strong writing and interpersonal skills
Teaching experience and/or strong interest in clinical legal education
Substantial experience in civil legal aid or related legal practice, with a preference for local experience in one or more of the Bureau's current practice areas: housing (including eviction defense, foreclosure, and fair housing), family (including divorce, custody and child support, guardianship, special immigrant juvenile status findings, and Hague Convention defense), wage-and-hour, unemployment insurance, or federal disability benefits
Experience in community lawyering, appellate litigation, and/or legislative advocacy preferred
Proficiency in languages commonly spoken in the Bureau's client communities (e.g., Portuguese, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Mandarin) preferred
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Internal Number: 48562BR
About Harvard University Law School
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education. Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.