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Student Practice Organizations (SPOs)

Student Practice Organizations (SPOs) are run by a student board and provide opportunities for practical legal experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney. While students do not receive academic credit for volunteering with SPOs, their volunteer hours can count towards the 40-hour pro bono requirement after the first semester of their 1L year. 2L and 3L students assume leadership positions. Everyone, including LLM students are welcome and encouraged to participate in SPO practice. 

Typically, SPOs host information sessions at the beginning of each semester. Most (but not all) SPOs require an application and all SPOs require students to complete a training. Student responsibilities and time commitment requirements vary widely. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the SPO directly. You can also learn more about the time commitment, application process and important dates and deadlines for the Fall 2014 Student Practice Opportunities.

SPOs at Harvard Law School 

The SPOs listed below are student-run with professional administrative and/or supervising attorneys and HLS staff to assist and guide students. In order for students to practice law, they must be practicing under the auspices of an existing clinic or student practice organization. Learn more at the Dean of Student's page "Opportunities for Student Practice".

Harvard Defenders 
Students represent low-income defendants in criminal show-cause hearings.

Harvard Immigration Project
Students gain hands-on experience in immigration law through direct representation of clients in deportation proceedings, providing immigration services for clients seeking adjustment of status, family derivative claims, and other follow up services. 

Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project (HLEP) 
Students provide legal research and analysis to student entrepreneurs at Harvard and MIT.

Harvard Mediation Program (HMP) 
Students provide mediation services in landlord/tenant, small claims, and other cases.

Harvard Mississippi Delta Project
Students engage in a broad range of projects in the Mississippi Delta, including legal assistance and policy analysis related to public health, education, food law, access to financial services, and building local leadership. 

Harvard Negotiators
Students develop skills in negotiation and dispute resolution by conducting research on negotiation theory, training outside organizations in negotiation skills, and participating in competitions and simulations. 

Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project (PLAP)
Students represent inmates in Massachusetts state prisons in disciplinary hearings and parole board hearings.

HLS Advocates for Human Rights

Students engage in human rights advocacy including representing the interests of victims of human rights violations.

Project No One Leaves
Students help former owners and tenants stay in their homes after foreclosure.

Recording Artists Project (RAP)
Students offer pro bono counsel to underserved area musicians seeking assistance with a range of legal matters.

Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP)
Students provide assistance to low- and moderate-income tenants facing eviction or who have been denied admission to public housing.

Last modified: April 30, 2015

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