Spanish for Public Interest Lawyers - Spring 2010

Spanish for Public Interest Lawyers is a non-credit class that offers HLS students the opportunity to learn Spanish language skills in a legal context, emphasizing language most commonly used in civil and criminal legal services practice. Only one class will be offered in Spring 2010.

The class will strengthen existing Spanish speaking and comprehension abilities and teach Spanish legal vocabulary to students involved in public interest practice. Some grammar will be reviewed while introducing students to general legal Spanish vocabulary, and then the class will progress to the legal vocabulary of specific substantive areas (e.g. immigration, human rights, housing, etc.). Through this class, students can develop stronger attorney-client relations by improving communication with Spanish-speaking clients and enhancing cultural knowledge of the Latino community.

Students in clinics, particularly those working directly with Spanish-speaking clients or who are interested in working more with this client population, are encouraged to participate.

Student Eligibility

  • Students must have a strong foundation of Spanish language skills (speaking, listening, reading). This class is aimed at strengthening existing speaking abilities and teaching Spanish legal vocabulary to enable students to better communicate with Spanish-speaking clients in clinics.
  • Regular attendance is required.
  • Class participation is vital, and outside homework will be minimal.
  • Open to Harvard Law 1L, 2L, 3L, and LLM students only.
  • All HLS students are encouraged to apply if interested. If oversubscribed, priority will be given to students in clinics and student practice organizations, as well as 3Ls in this group.

To Apply

Classes are tentatively scheduled to begin the week of February 15.  Enrollment is limited to 20 HLS students. To apply, email with the following information by Monday, February 8: 

  • Name
  • Year (1L, 2L, 3L, LLM)
  • Resume (for informational purposes only, admission is not selective)
  • Name of clinic or student practice organization you are working with, and semester of clinic/SPO participation
  • At least one paragraph, in Spanish, describing your interest in this course, prior or current experience with Spanish-speaking clients, and what you hope to learn in this class.
  • Preferred Class Time (please rank all options of when you are available in order of highest to lowest preference):
    • A: Tuesdays 5pm-7pm
    • B: Tuesdays 7pm-9pm
    • C: Wednesdays 3pm-5pm
    • D: Thursdays 3pm-5pm

Applicants will be notified after February 10 about decisions.  At that time, we will also determine the most preferred class time for the majority of students in the class and notify everyone.  Please note there is only one class offered this semester, but we are asking for class time preferences so we can schedule class at a time most convenient for the majority of students.  Classes will tentatively begin the week of February 15.


If you have any questions about the content of the class, you are welcome contact the instructor, Carlos Vasconsellos (

Last modified: August 20, 2011

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