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Harvard Law School students Juan Arguello, Bradley Hinshelwood, Christopher Melendez, who are part of the School’s Veterans Legal Clinic, stood before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims last Wednesday to argue for the rights of their client, a decorated U.S. Army veteran.
If you're not already insured, figuring out the best health care plan to buy before the January 2014 start date of the new insurance plans being offered under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known as the ACA or Obamacare) isn't easy. But for people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic health conditions, finding the optimal plan for their needs is a lot easier, thanks to a new assessment tool created by Clinical Professor Robert Greenwald and others at the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation, a longtime national leader in addressing the health care needs of low-income people.
Many for-profit colleges, which get the overwhelming majority of their revenues from federal financial aid programs, rely on high-pressure tactics and false employment and salary guarantees to lure students into taking out loans. Now, through the efforts of Harvard Law School alum Toby Merrill ’11, some of the victims of these practices can get free legal aid to enforce their rights.
With national attention focused on the obesity epidemic and the diabetes crisis—along with rapidly growing concerns about social justice and environmental problems related to the current food-production system—there may be no hotter topic in law schools right now than food law and policy. The wildly popular new Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, the first law school clinic of its kind in the world, is right at the center, with students working on a wide range of projects to make healthy food more accessible, help farmers’ markets overcome regulatory barriers so they can sell more of their products, guide states and local communities in creating food policy councils, and more.
Isabel Lima, office manager at the HLS WilmerHale Legal Services Center in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, received the Suzanne L. Richardson Staff Appreciation Award during Class Day exercises on May 29. She was selected by the Class of 2013 for going above and beyond in assisting the many students who pass through the WilmerHale center, helping the organization to run effectively, as well as acting as a liaison to the many Spanish-speaking clients and neighbors in the community.
Lena Silver ’13 is the winner of this year’s Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Service Award, performing the highest number of pro bono service hours in the Class of 2013. During Silver’s time at Harvard Law School, she provided 2,270 hours of free legal services.
Graduating HLS students help build a new court mediation program to meet demand for protection from harassment.
In March, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick ’82 nominated Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute clinical instructor Gloria Tan to a seat on the Massachusetts Juvenile Court. Tan came to CJI, which supervises third-year law students representing indigent criminal defendants in local district and juvenile courts, after serving as a public defender for the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Boston. When a spot opened up on CPCS's Youth Advocacy Project, Tan switched to working on juvenile cases and has spent her career doing so ever since. Tan was sworn in on May 3rd.
Last month, as an historic trial continued in Guatemala against a former dictator charged with the genocide of indigenous Mayans, Lauren Herman ’13—a student in the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (HIRC) —stood in court in Boston as a judge announced he was granting asylum to her Mayan client, who, with his family, had suffered persecution for decades before he came to the U.S. in 2009.
This year, Clinical Professor Robert Bordone ‘97, director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP), developed a capstone consulting project with Major League Baseball (MLB) for his course “Advanced Negotiation: Multiparty Negotiation, Group Decision Making, and Teams,” co-taught with Lecturer on Law Rory Van Loo ’07. MLB tasked the class with providing strategic advice for an upcoming negotiation aimed at the implementation of an international amateur draft. Six teams of Harvard Law School students participated in the semester-long project, competing for the opportunity to present their findings to the MLB. In his essay, “Note from the Big Leagues”, Chris Davis '14, a member of the wining team, reflects on his experience.
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals denies a soldier’s claim for disability benefits for an injury to his lower extremities. But the decision is handed down while the soldier is serving in Afghanistan, and he doesn’t realize he has the right to appeal until after he returns from his deployment—after the appeal deadline has passed. For students in Harvard Law School’s new Veterans Legal Clinic, the chance to argue that the appeal deadline should have been tolled and the case allowed to proceed on the merits is proving invaluable educationally and personally.
Six from Harvard Law School recently were chosen by the Skadden Foundation to receive two-year fellowships to support their work in public service. This year’s recipients include current students Haben Girma ’13, Hunter Landerholm ’13, Adam Meyers ’13 and Mara Sacks ’13, and recent graduates Robert Hodgson ’12 and Daniel Saver ’12.
Last year, after Rory Van Loo ’07 left the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau implementation team to become assistant director of the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program, he asked his former colleagues how HLS students might assist the new agency. It had been created by Congress in 2010 largely thanks to the vision of HLS Professor Elizabeth Warren, and its mission included examining certain consumer financial services companies and large banks and credit unions. But the legislation creating it did not establish an appeals process for examining findings.
During the third week in March, a number of Harvard Law students traveled around the world and to remote areas in the U.S. to offer their legal services. With funding from the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs, teams of students worked with farmers in the Mississippi Delta, immigrants in Alabama and patients living with HIV/AIDS in New Orleans.
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