Clinical and Pro Bono Programs

Providing clinical and pro bono opportunities to Harvard Law School students

Housing Law Clinic’s Julia Devanthery wins appeal against Wells Fargo

Julia Devanthéry, Attorney and Clinical Instructor, Housing Law Clinic (LSC)

Julia Devanthéry,
Attorney and Clinical
Instructor, Housing Law
Clinic (LSC)

Attorney and Clinical Instructor Julia Devanthéry of the Housing Law Clinic (LSC) recently won an appeal in the case of Wells Fargo Bank v. Cook, et al. Her clients were two homeowners from Mattapan who had been fighting eviction after the unlawful foreclosure of their home.

The central issue in the case was whether a massive 2008 foreclosure prevention workshop held at Gillette Stadium qualified as a “face-to-face” meeting between lenders and borrowers under the regulations which govern Federal Housing Administration insured mortgages. The Appeals Court concluded that Wells Fargo had failed to demonstrate that the Gillette event met the requirements of the regulations since the bank representative rejected the borrowers’ attempt to make a payment, and didn’t have the requisite authority to modify their loan at the event.

Devathéry, quoted in a Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article, says “Wells Fargo tried to argue that the HUD regulation merely requires that a lender representative have a meeting in the same room with borrowers,” but that in fact, the regulation contemplates “something much more nuanced and personalized.” Devanthéry says she and her clients are hopeful that the decision will “translate into compliance by FHA-insured lenders to really work with borrowers in a way that allows them to avoid foreclosure if at all possible. In giving FHA-insured mortgages to borrowers, lenders take on additional consumer protection obligations in exchange for mortgage insurance from the federal government. By foreclosing on the Cooks’ home without first complying with the HUD regulations, Wells Fargo is essentially trying to take the benefits of this federally subsidized insurance program, and none of the obligations or responsibilities that go along with it.”

“The win would not have been possible without the work of several outstanding clinical students and the leadership of Housing Clinic director Maureen McDonagh,” Devanthéry said.

You can read the full article on Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly here. (Subscription is required). 

CHLPI study finds life-threatening barriers in access to breakthrough Hepatitis C drugs

Via HLS News

A team of researchers from Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, Brown University’s Department of Medicine, Rhode Island’s Miriam Hospital, Treatment Action Group, and Kirby Institute of Australia, has released findings from a nationwide study of Medicaid policies for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV), which affects over 3 million Americans. The study examined reimbursement criteria for sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), a highly effective medication to cure HCV in the overwhelming majority of patients. The article, which was published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, details the coverage restrictions put in place by most Medicaid programs, and calls for policy change to improve access to new life-saving HCV treatment.

“Federal Medicaid law requires coverage of sofosbuvir, yet reimbursement criteria for Medicaid programs effectively cut off access to treatment. Intentional or not, the denial of treatment by the overwhelming majority of states goes against the spirit of the federal law,” said Dr. Lynn E. Taylor of Brown University Department of Medicine, lead author of the study.

Continue reading the full story here.

Protecting Independent Medical Device Research

IMG_0614-225x300Via Cyberlaw Clinic

Over the past several months the Cyberlaw Clinic has been working with medical device researchers Hugo Campos, Jay Radcliffe, Karen Sandler, and Ben West, in a proceeding before the Copyright Office regarding the anticircumvention laws created in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Here’s what we’ve been doing, and why we’re doing it.

The Clinic has written about this proceeding twice before, but as a quick review: our clients each study the safety, security, and effectiveness of medical devices. Some look at the devices from a system design perspective, analyzing the hardware and software of the devices for misconfigurations or vulnerabilities. Others look at the devices as they are applied to a particular patient’s care, and help patients retrieve important information off the devices that the device otherwise would not share, or would only make available through periodic checkups with doctors once every several months. Their research has helped patients and doctors better tailor care, the public understand the nature of medical device risks, and regulatory agencies like FDA improve government oversight of devices.

Continue reading the full story here.

New Joint Report on Civilian Harm from Explosive Weapons

Via International Human Rights Clinic

(Geneva, June 19, 2015) – Extensive civilian casualties caused by the use of explosive weapons in towns and cities around the globe show the urgent need for countries to agree to curb the use of these weapons in populated areas, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

Remains of the Luhansk airport terminal in eastern Ukraine, which was destroyed by repeated use of explosive weapons. © 2014 Human Rights Watch

Remains of the Luhansk airport terminal
in eastern Ukraine, which was destroyed by
repeated use of explosive weapons. © 2014
Human Rights Watch

Air-dropped bombs, artillery projectiles, mortars, rockets, and other explosive weapons kill or injure tens of thousands of civilians every year. In the first half of 2015, Human Rights Watch documented incidents involving the use of explosive weapons that claimed civilian lives and destroyed vital infrastructure in populated areas of Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Ukraine, Yemen, and elsewhere.

The 35-page report, “Making a Commitment: Paths to Curbing the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas,” published jointly with Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic, says that countries should develop and implement a new non-binding agreement to reduce the harm from explosive weapons and offers options for developing such an agreement.

“The high levels of civilian death and destruction from explosive weapons are avoidable,” said Bonnie Docherty, senior arms researcher at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the report. “Nations should agree to curtail the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and stop using those with wide-area effects entirely.”

Continue reading the full story here.

Former President of Harvard Legal Aid Bureau wins Echoing Green Fellowship

Community Activism Law Alliance (CALA), headed by former Harvard Legal Aid Bureau President Lam Ho, HLS J.D. ’08, was awarded an Echoing Green Fellowship. The fellowship is awarded to emerging leaders working to bring about positive social change. Of 3,629 applicants, 52 were selected to receive Fellowships.

CALA is a non-profit organization that unites lawyers, communities and activists to bring legal services directly to the most disadvantaged in the Chicago area. Ellen Craig, President of CALA’s Board of Directors, remarked, “CALA’s staff, community partners and Board of Directors are very pleased that Echoing Green, an internationally-recognized nonprofit that is building a global community of emerging leaders in social change, has awarded one of its coveted Global Fellowships to Lam Ho, CALA’s founder and Executive Director. We appreciate Echoing Green’s generous support which will enable CALA to continue to provide our underserved communities access to justice and to pursue social change in collaboration with our community partners.”

Food Law Student Leadership Summit

Via Food Law and Policy Clinic 

Food law and policy is a fast-growing field of interest among law students, legal professionals, and society at large. Communities around the country and the world are searching for ways to improve the environmental, public health, and social impacts of the food system. Law students and lawyers are uniquely situated to make significant contributions to this emerging field. In response, growing numbers of law schools now offer food law and policy courses, operate student food law organizations, have undertaken clinical work related to food policy, and have hosted conferences on various food law and policy topics.

The Food Law Student Leadership Summit is the first conference to convene law students from around the country who share a passion for food law and policy. Participants will hear from national experts about key food law and policy issues related to the environment, health, food safety, and food waste; develop strategies to start or expand student food law organizations; build a national network of food law and policy colleagues; and begin to develop coordinated strategies for addressing some of society’s most pressing food law and policy concerns.

Continue reading here.

Student’s clinic paper becomes pending legislation

By Hon. John C. Cratsley (Ret.)

Andrew Spore J.D. ’15, an alum of the Judicial Process in Community Courts Clinic and class, initially wrote his final paper on a proposal that certain vulnerable tenants facing eviction proceedings have a right to counsel. Often called “Civil Gideon”, the effort to expand the right to counsel for low income litigants from criminal proceedings to civil cases in which basic needs like housing are at stake is gaining momentum. One approach to expand the availability of counsel in contested civil trials is to select types of trials like evictions and create a statutory right of low income tenants to a free attorney.

And so, in Spring of 2014, following his clinical internship with a federal judge, Andrew Spore researched an existing project that provided attorneys for low income tenants in selected eviction situations; disability, alleged criminal conduct, and children. The success of that project led Andrew, in collaboration with the legal services programs behind the pilot and a subcommittee of the Boston Bar Association, to draft a statute that would allow a Housing Court judge to appoint counsel in these targeted eviction cases.

Andrew continued with the drafting process in the Fall of 2014 and Spring of 2015, eventually rewriting his paper and draft statute. With the help of various interested organizations, his drafting focused on three considerations; eligibility considerations, the delivery model, and sources of funding. Just before graduation, he produced 6 draft versions of “A Right to Counsel in Certain Eviction Cases”, reflecting different policy choices among the key considerations.

Remarkably, on January 16, 2015, Representative David Rogers along with 44 House and Senate co-sponsors, filed House Bill 1560, An Act establishing a right to counsel in certain eviction cases. The influence of Andrews’s work is obvious in the text of the proposed legislation.

This is the first time in memory that a student paper has become a pending bill in our State House.

“This collaborative process was unlike any other work I undertook while at Harvard Law School,” said Andrew. “Through it, I gained perspective on the systematic problems in the Massachusetts housing courts and the ongoing efforts to reform and improve those courts. Hopefully, the pending bill will only increase the momentum of this project and passage of the bill will be forthcoming.”

Joint Publication Released on Encryption, Online Anonymity and Human Rights

CaptureVia International Human Rights Clinic

The International Human Rights Clinic and Privacy International released a publication today that examines the vital role that encryption and anonymity tools and services play in safeguarding human rights. The 30-page publication, “Securing Safe Spaces Online: encryption, online anonymity, and human rights,” complements a landmark report by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye.

Kaye’s report, which he will present to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva today, calls on states to ensure security and privacy online by providing “comprehensive protection” through encryption and anonymity tools.

The clinic’s joint publication explores measures that restrict online encryption and anonymity in four particular countries – Morocco, Pakistan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. In all four countries, these restrictions impede private and secure online communication and inhibit free expression. The publication also points to opportunities for governments, the corporate sector, and civil society to eliminate or minimize obstacles to use of encryption and online anonymity.

The Clinic’s collaboration with Privacy International dates back to last fall, when we supported a coalition of NGOs calling for the creation of a new Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy. In March 2015, the Human Rights Council established this new Special Rapporteur.

The Clinic began work on the encryption and anonymity publication this past spring. Clinical students Sarah Lee, JD ’16, and Mark Verstraete, JD ’16, worked on the publication throughout the semester and participated in a meeting of Privacy International’s global partners in April.

Congratulations to Eloise, Julia, and Toby on their promotions

The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs extends heartfelt congratulations to Eloise Lawrence (Harvard Legal Aid Bureau), Julia Devanthéry (Housing Law Clinic), and Toby Merrill (Project on Student Predatory Lending) on their recent promotions to the position of Clinical Instructor.

Eloise Lawrence, Clinical Instructor, Harvard Legal Aid Bureau

Eloise Lawrence, Clinical Instructor,
Harvard Legal Aid Bureau

Eloise Lawrence has served as a staff attorney at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau for over three years representing tenants and homeowners in post-foreclosure evictions and working closely with community organizers as part of Project No One Leaves. Previously, she was a staff attorney in the Consumer Rights Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services where she brought affirmative suits on behalf of mortgagors against loan originators, servicers and foreclosing entities. Prior to the foreclosure crisis, she was an attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation, and started her legal career as a Skadden Fellow in Chicago representing public housing residents in civil rights class actions. Eloise received a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 2002 and a B.A. from Stanford University in 1995.

Julia Devanthéry, Clinical Instructor, Housing Law Clinic (LSC)

Julia Devanthéry, Clinical Instructor,
Housing Law Clinic (LSC)

Julia Devanthéry joined the Legal Services Center as Staff Attorney for the Mattapan Initiative in 2013. She now co-teaches and supervises students enrolled in the Housing Law Clinic. She also maintains a caseload of post-foreclosure, private housing, and subsidized housing eviction cases, and practices primarily in the Boston Housing Court. Previously, Julia was the Manager of Legal Advocacy at HomeStart, Inc. where she represented low-income tenants on the verge of homelessness. Prior to working at HomeStart, she was clinical law fellow at Northeastern University School of Law’s Domestic Violence Institute.

Toby Merrill

Toby Merrill, Clinical Instructor and
Lecturer on Law, Project on Predatory
Student Lending (LSC)

Toby Merrill founded and directs the Project on Predatory Student Lending, which represents low-income student loan borrowers in predatory lending cases against for-profit and occupational schools and related entities. Toby twice represented legal aid providers and their clients in the US Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking sessions, by which the Department promulgates new student loan regulations, and is a member of the advisory council on Private Occupational Schools to the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure. Toby joined the Legal Services Center’s Predatory Lending Practice in 2012 as a Skadden Fellow, after clerking for the Honorable Janet C. Hall of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Our office wishes them success in their next endeavors!

Put Lawyers Where They’re Needed

Via the New York Times

OAK PARK, Ill. — MILLIONS of Americans lack crucial legal services. Yet enormous numbers of lawyers are unemployed. Why can’t the supply of lawyers match the demand?

In Nebraska, 20 out of 93 counties have fewer than four lawyers. Eleven counties have no lawyers at all. The Montana Legal Services Association, a nonprofit group that is partly federally funded, reports having only 13 case-handling lawyers for the entire state. Throughout the country, millions of low-income people have no access to free or affordable lawyers, even for life-altering civil matters like child-custody disputes or home foreclosures, where legal representation really matters.

Continue reading the full article here.

Student reflects on her clinical work with victims of domestic violence

By Elizabeth Hadaway, J.D. ’15 

In the Family and Domestic Violence Law Clinic, our work involves helping domestic violence victims, both men and women, escape abuse and regain control of their lives. We work with clients to obtain divorces, child custody, paternity, child support, and restraining orders. This semester, a restraining order matter arose that significantly shifted my understanding of both abuse and the law’s ability to support survivors trying to leave their abusers. Our client suffered severe physical injuries as a result of an attack by her husband, which forced her to undergo medical treatment and miss several weeks of work. During her recovery, she sought out an ex-parte restraining order, and we represented her in hearings related to an extension of the order. While our primary objective was to extend the restraining order, we also requested lost wages and medical expenses to address the financial consequences of her husband’s attack.

In conducting research prior to the extension hearing we discovered that Massachusetts law clearly permits a court to provide monetary compensation to abuse victims. In fact, the law explicitly provides that, once the court has determined that a person has suffered abuse, it may, in addition to ordering a restraining order extension, require “the defendant to pay the person abused monetary compensation for the losses suffered as a direct result of such abuse. Compensatory losses shall include, but not be limited to, loss of earnings or support, costs for restoring utilities, out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained, replacement costs for locks or personal property removed or destroyed, medical and moving expenses and reasonable attorney’s fees.” M.G.L. c. 209, §3(f).

We had to return to court three times in order to obtain full relief for our client. During one hearing, one judge elected to pass us to a different judge to hear the compensation remedy, after she noted how unusual the request seemed to her. But in the end, the clear language and intent of the Massachusetts legislature to protect abuse victims from the further economic harms of abuse won out. Our client walked away with not only the standard year-long extension order but also with an order for lost wages and additional money for medical expenses.

To be sure, the victory in hand does not end the process, either for the client’s self-liberation from her abuser, or for her ability to collect on the judgment. Violations of restraining order provisions related to compensation can be tricky to enforce, especially when clients may still fear inciting their abuser’s wrath if they push too hard to collect a judgment. Likewise, the economic impact of abuse does not boil down so easily into a one-time snapshot of lost wages over a few weeks following abuse. Some clients become homeless upon leaving abusers (indeed, the National Network to End Domestic Violence found that 63% of homeless women have been victims of domestic violence as adults). Others have difficulty finding work because of lost income-earning years during the abusive relationship, or they lose their current job due to missed work, caused either by the abuse, or because of court dates related to the abuse. Immigration issues often arise as well, as many abusers use the threat of reporting a spouse as a form of control and intimidation.

Nevertheless, what is clear from our client’s victory in court and the language of the statute is that the purpose of 209A is to provide remedies for victims that encompass financial losses. In the words of one Massachusetts appellate court, “In terms of the relief available under the Abuse Prevention Act, the statute is sui generis. It incorporates elements of domestic relations relief, criminal relief, equitable relief and tort.” Mitchell v. Mitchell, 62 Mass. App. Ct. 769, 773 (2005) (quoting 3 Kindregan & Inker, Family Law and Practice § 57.8 (3d ed.2002)). Restraining orders under Massachusetts law have greater power than is currently recognized. Accordingly, I hope that our client’s victory and those like it inspire clients and their attorneys to make use of the full scope of relief authorized under chapter 209A, §3, and more broadly to push the conversation on remedying domestic violence to recognize the significant economic impact of abuse.

Sudbury selectmen to undergo training on keeping it civil

Via MetroWest Daily News 

SUDBURY – In hopes to resolve acrimony between each other and with the public, selectmen agreed to hire a mediator to help them work through conflicts.

At a Tuesday night meeting, the board hired Jon Wortmann, of Novel Communications, to host four sessions to teach selectmen to communicate more effectively. The sessions, Wortmann said, will equip board members to understand conflict, deal with it effectively and instate a procedure to engage both with each other and with the community.

The unanimous vote to hire Wortmann comes as a recommendation from the town’s Listening Project, a study on conflict and suggestions on resolving it, which was conducted by the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program. The study, requested by the Sudbury Clergy Association, was charged with examining the perceived ill-will in town politics.

Continue reading the full story here.

Roger Bertling on Uber’s lending practices

On May 27, 2015, Roger Bertling, Senior Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law in the Predatory Lending/Consumer Protection Clinic was quoted on an Al Jazeera America article regarding Uber’s lending practices. “[These] terms are bad even compared with those generally used with subprime borrowing. “That [lease] is as bad as any I’ve seen on the predatory lending level for autos,” Bertling said.

The Predatory Lending/Consumer Protection Clinic, part of the Legal Services Center (LSC), focuses its advocacy efforts on preserving and protecting equity for low- and moderate-income homeowners, combating abuses in the consumer financial services, debt collection, and for-profit college industries, and ensuring equal and fair access to credit markets.

You can read the full article here.

Clinic Files Reply Brief in Apartheid Litigation Appeal

CaptureVia International Human Rights Clinic

Yesterday, the Clinic and our partners filed a reply brief in In re South African Apartheid Litigation, currently on appeal before the Second Circuit. The case, which is being litigated under the Alien Tort Statute, brings claims against Ford and IBM for the assistance and support they provided to the apartheid government and security forces to commit human rights violations against black South Africans.

At issue in the appeal is whether the Plaintiffs will be allowed to file their proposed amended complaints so that the case can proceed. In order to do so, the claims must “touch and concern” the territory of the United States with sufficient force, as mandated by the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.

Plaintiffs argue that they meet this standard because the proposed amended complaints contain detailed and specific allegations of the ways in which both Defendants, in the United States, took actions to aid and abet the South African government and security forces. For example, the complaints allege that, in the United States, IBM developed hardware and software systems used to produce identity documents that stripped black South Africans of their citizenship and that Ford, in the United States, made decisions not only to sell but also to specialize vehicles used by the South African security forces to oppress and control the black population.

Oral argument before the Second Circuit will be heard on June 24, and a decision is expected later this year.

Blake Strode leaves Harvard Law for Arch City Defenders

Blake Strode, J.D. '15

Blake Strode, J.D. ’15

Via the St. Louis American 

As a student at Harvard Law School, native St. Louisan and former tennis pro Blake Strode would often spend his weekends in Boston knocking on the doors of recently foreclosed homeowners.

Sometimes the families wouldn’t even know their houses were in foreclosure, said Strode, who graduated with honors in May.

“We’d ensure them that they have a lot of legal rights,” he said, speaking of his work of Project No One Leaves, a student practice organization, “and try to help them weather the storm of foreclosure.”

Before Ferguson exploded in the fall, Strode said he might have pursued a career in Washington, D.C., where he had worked the past two summers – including an internship with the Department of Justice in the civil rights division’s voting section. However, the police brutality cases in Ferguson, Cleveland and Baltimore became a “defining theme” for many of his classmates, he said, and they spent their last year in law school holding “die-ins” and questioning the legal system.

“For a lot of students, it changed our focus, and it changed the kind of work that was being done by students,” he said. “It changed our conception of justice so that people saw the legal imperfections in lot of ways – which is huge and the first step in creating change. That’s what’s happening in St. Louis.”

Strode has decided to return to St. Louis to work with the Arch City Defenders, the nonprofit that has pushed for systematic reform of municipal courts in Missouri. Strode said there’s a lot of energy focused on building a more equitable region in his hometown, and he wants to be part of “harnessing” that energy towards helping marginalized residents. That’s one of the things that drew him to Arch City Defenders, he said. The nonprofit provides legal aid to such residents, including homeless, battered spouses, veterans and low-income residents.

“Arch City is a good example of an organization that is giving people a means to have a voice in our legal system,” Strode said, “and working to protect and preserve the laws that currently exist while fighting to expand those rights.”

Continue reading the full story here.

CHLPI launches a campaign to promote federal law and policy reforms for type 2 diabetes

CHLPI PATHS Beating Type 2 Diabetes Recommendations reportVia HLS News

As a direct response to the looming health epidemic, the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) officially launched a campaign to promote federal law and policy reforms for type 2 diabetes prevention and management on May 19. This effort is part of CHLPI’s broader, multi-phase Providing Access to Healthy Solutions (PATHS) initiative that first worked to strengthen local and state policy to address diet-related health conditions and more specifically improve type 2 diabetes treatment and prevention. PATHS is now focusing on federal law and policy reform.

The Federal Report, written by CHLPI staff and the clinic students, offers specific recommendations to decrease the incidence of type 2 diabetes and to promote effective management of the disease in those who have already been diagnosed. Beating Type 2 Diabetes: Recommendations for Federal Policy Reform builds off of the best-practices identified through years of work at the state and local level and the guidance of people living with and at-risk-for diabetes, health and social service professionals, food providers and producers, government officials and other stakeholders,” says Robert Greenwald, Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Director of its Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI).

Continue reading the full story here.

Emily Broad Leib named Assistant Clinical Professor of Law

Emily Broad Leib, Food Law and Policy Clinic

Emily Broad Leib
Food Law and Policy Clinic

Via HLS News

Emily Broad Leib ’08, cofounder and director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic, has been named Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at HLS.

Broad Leib has worked at the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, of which the Food Law and Policy Clinic is a part, since 2010. She founded the Food Law and Policy Clinic in 2011, and in 2013 was appointed Deputy Director of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation.

“In a few short years, she has helped build the Food Law and Policy Clinic into the nation’s most innovative and influential clinic addressing complex problems surrounding the production, distribution, and safety of food and related issues of health and equity,” said Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School.  “Emily’s passion, imagination, and strategic analysis have inspired students and faculty around the country.  We are so delighted she is joining Harvard Law School’s clinical faculty.”

Broad Leib is recognized as a national leader in Food Law and Policy. She teaches courses on the topic and focuses her scholarship and practice on finding solutions to today’s biggest food system issues, aiming to increase access to healthy foods, prevent diet-related disease, and reduce barriers to market entry for small-scale and sustainable food producers. She has published scholarly articles in the Wisconsin Law Review, the Harvard Law & Policy Review, and the Journal of Food Law & Policy, as well as in the Routledge International Handbook of Food Studies.

Continue reading the full story here.

Legal Services Center Launches Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership

Via the Legal Services Center 

On Tuesday, June 2, the Veterans Legal Clinic of the Legal Services Center launched the Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership. Through the program, the clinic will refer cases, offer trainings, and provide ongoing support to local attorneys who agree to provide pro bono representation to veterans discharged less-than-honorably in petitions to upgrade their discharge statuses. Having a less-than-honorable discharge can prevent a former servicemember from accessing care and treatment from the Department of Veterans Affairs and impede efforts toward stable employment, education, and housing.

The Partnership kicked off with a half-day training at the Boston Bar Association, where attorneys learned about military law and culture, the review boards, and service-related medical diagnoses and treatment, among other topics. In addition to Veterans Legal Clinic attorneys Daniel Nagin, Betsy Gwin, and Dana Montalto, presenters included Susan Lynch, an attorney and Major in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the U.S. Army Reserves, and Dr. Sandra Dixon, a core faculty member of William James College who teaches about trauma and meeting the needs of returning veterans. In attendance were more than two dozen attorneys, including solo practitioners, public-interest lawyers, and members of some of Boston’s leading law firms.

Hundreds of thousands of servicemembers were separated with less-than-fully-Honorable discharges in the past decades, including more than 200,000 in the Post-9/11 Era. Despite the availability of a legal remedy and a demand for legal assistance, very few attorneys offer representation to former servicemembers before the records correction boards and even fewer provide pro bono representation to low-income veterans. The mission of the Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership is to close that gap by providing attorneys interested in assisting those who have worn the uniform with the skills and resources necessary to represent them.

Attorneys who are interested in joining the Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership should contact Dana Montalto at dmontalto [at]

Clinic Submits Comments on Proposed Regulations for Offshore Drilling in the Arctic

Via Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic 

The Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic submitted comments today on the Department of the Interior’s (“DOI”) proposed regulations for offshore exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic.  The Emmett Clinic supported the agency’s proposals to require that operators maintain a secondary drill rig in the Arctic to respond to potential losses of well control and that operators have prompt access to, and immediately deploy, source control and containment equipment in the event of an oil spill.

The Clinic also identified areas in which the proposal could be improved.  In particular, the Clinic criticized DOI’s reliance on a performance-based standard for the secondary drill rig requirement.  The Clinic proposed that the regulations should instead mandate that a relief rig always be available within a minimum distance from the drill site, while still including a performance-based standard as a backstop.  In addition, the Clinic suggested several ways that the regulations could be changed to improve public access to information and provide better opportunities for public participation in the regulatory process.

The comments were part of the Emmett Clinic’s on-going focus on the impacts of offshore drilling, especially in the Arctic.  Previous Emmett Clinic offshore drilling work is available here.

Clinic student James Zhu, JD ’16, took the leading role in drafting the comments.  Abhishek Banerjee-Shukla, JD ’15, and Pradeep Singh, LLM ’15 also contributed to them.  The students worked under the supervision of Clinic Director Wendy Jacobs and Senior Clinical Instructor Shaun Goho.

DOJ Releases Patriot Act Report following Clinic FOIA Request

CaptureVia the Cyberlaw Clinic 

The Cyberlaw Clinic is pleased to report that earlier today the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General released its internal audit of the FBI’s use of Section 215 of the Patriot Act from 2007–2009. Release of the Inspector General report comes soon after the Clinic prepared a FOIA request seeking a copy of the report, on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project.

Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows the government to obtain orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain “tangible things” as part of investigations into foreign intelligence or terrorism. This section has come under intense scrutiny after the revelation by Edward Snowden that the government was using Section 215 to gather records related to every call made on networks operated by Verizon Business Network Services, as well as those of other phone companies. Section 215 is set to expire on June 1, and is currently the subject of vigorous national debate as Congress contemplates whether to reauthorize this surveillance authority.

The report released today is the third addressing the FBI’s use of Section 215, after Congress mandated the DOJ to such periodic reviews under the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005. Earlier reports reviewed the FBI’s use from 2002 through 2005 and for 2006. As the FOIA request prepared by the Clinic notes, this report “will no doubt be one of the most important public documents used in this debate; it is vitally needed to inform the ongoing public debate about whether the provision should be reenacted, and with what amendments.”

Clinic students Naomi Gilens (’16) and Gabrielle Hodgson (’15) worked on this request, along with Clinical Fellow Andy Sellars, Clinical Instructor Vivek Krishnamurthy, and Patrick Toomey, a staff attorney at the ACLU’s National Security Project.

Chad Baker ’15 wins Kaufman Pro Bono Award

Chad Baker, J.D. '15

Credit: Lorin Granger

Chad Baker ’15 received the Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Service Award for exemplifying the pro bono public spirit and demonstrating an extraordinary commitment to improving and delivering high quality volunteer legal services to disadvantaged communities. The award is granted each year in honor of Professor Andrew Kaufman, who has been instrumental in creating and supporting the Pro Bono Program at Harvard Law School.

During his time at HLS, Chad has been an inspiring leader. He has contributed thousands of pro bono hours by working with the Tenant Advocacy Project, Prison Legal Assistance Project, and the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB).

Chad was an excellent Executive Director of HLAB, “not only because he ran the office with strength and compassion, but because he continued taking hard cases while doing it,” said Clinical Professor of Law Esme Caramello who supervised him. “He also played a crucial role in setting the tone in the community, keeping us all focused on HLAB’s anti-poverty mission and ensuring that everyone here was constantly looking critically at their work and asking whether they were serving the right goals in the right way. Chad was much more than a functionary; he was a leader whose dedication and vision inspired everyone here to do more work, better and more thoughtfully.”

Chad’s client work has also been extraordinary. His Clinical Instructor, Patricia Whiting said “Chad demonstrated research and writing skills that I can honestly categorize as exemplary. During his two years at the Bureau, Chad researched and drafted a wide variety of documents: from pleadings and correspondence to an opposition to the landlord’s motion for summary judgment on behalf of a disabled client being evicted from public housing.” Chad’s work made a significant impact in his client’s life and is only one example of his commitment to helping people.

“[He] has been the heart and soul of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau,” said Whiting. “He has done extraordinary work as a student attorney in all of our practice areas, and has quietly made the Bureau a better legal services organization as well as a richer community.”

As an example, Chad helped revitalize HLAB’s Social Security disability practice by recruiting students to take disability cases, creating and running a streamlined investigation and intake system, and developing an enormous and resource-rich internal wiki containing all of the materials a Bureau student could need to handle a first disability law case.

“I’m so honored to receive the Kaufman award,” said Chad. “I’ve been tremendously grateful for the ample student practice opportunities at HLS. Student practice organizations and HLAB gave me the chance to learn real lawyering skills from talented colleagues and supervisors while serving marginalized communities.”

Next year Chad is going to Chicago to work with Bureau alum and 2008 winner of Kaufman Pro Bono Award Lam Ho, in his new community lawyering startup, Community Activism Law Alliance.

Two Win 2015 Exemplary Clinical Student Award

Harvard Law School’s Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs recognizes two graduating students who exemplify putting theory into practice through clinical work. The honorees are Seth Hoedl ’15 and Seth Packrone ’15. They have demonstrated excellence in representing individual clients and undertaking advocacy or policy reform projects. In addition, both students are recognized for demonstrating thoughtfulness and compassion in their practice and for contributing to the clinical community at HLS in a meaningful way.

Seth Hoedl, J.D. ’15

Seth Hoedl (Clinical Award)

Credit: Lorin Granger

As a student in the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, Seth Hoedl demonstrated exceptional skills and experience in tackling significant environmental problems. During his four semesters in the clinic, he examined whether a European nation was in violation of the Espoo Convention, developed a legal strategy to help the City of Boston provide energy resilience to its residents through microgrids, and identified new ways that universities and others can decrease and offset their greenhouse gas emissions.

“In each project, Seth demonstrated a level of commitment, initiative, and ability far beyond a typical law student,” said Clinical Professor of Law Wendy Jacobs. “Seth has also contributed to the clinic through his self-reflection and team spirit. In particular, his self-assessments have always been thoughtful and considered. Both through these and through other conversations, Seth has suggested concrete ways that we can improve the clinic and the learning experience for all students.”

“I am originally trained as a physicist and I came to law school to bridge divides between scientists, engineers, lawyers and policymakers with regards to energy and climate change,” said Seth. The clinic enabled me to start building these bridges and help both engineers and lawyers overcome real world challenges before I even graduated. It far exceeded my expectations.”

Seth Packrone, J.D. ’15 

Seth Packrone (Clinical Award)

Credit: Lorin Granger

Seth Packrone spent several semesters in the Clinical and Pro Bono Programs working with the Child Advocacy Clinic, Criminal Justice Institute (CJI), Education Law Clinic, and Mississippi Delta Project. “Seth is the rare combination of hard work, integrity and compassion,” said Clinical Professor of Law Dehlia Umunna who supervised him in the Criminal Justice Institute.

Seth joined CJI in the fall of 2014 and worked on a variety of cases in juvenile and adult court. He represented several clients, including a 55 year old man with mental health and substance abuse issues. Seth visited this client at the jail, arranged for social services to aid with his transition back into the community, and successfully resolved all of his cases.

“Seth has received glowing compliments from judges, prosecutors, other defense counsel and his colleagues,” said Dehlia. “In addition to the brilliant job he did on his cases, he is a kind, helpful member of the clinical community. He is always eager to assist his colleagues with investigating, brainstorming, trial preparation and research. Although he had one of the highest case loads, he never murmured or complained. Seth represents the very best of what a clinical student should be.”

“My clinical work has been the most meaningful part of my time at HLS. I will always be thankful for my experiences working with such incredible clients, students, faculty, and staff and everything they taught me about the important work that public interest lawyers do,” said Seth. “I am truly honored by this award.”

Christopher Melendez ’15 Wins CLEA’s Outstanding Clinical Student Award

Dean Martha Minow (center left) and students who are part of Harvard Law School’s Veterans Legal Clinic spoke with judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Christopher Melendez, J.D. ’15 (third from the right) with Dean Martha Minow (center left), judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and students who were part of Harvard Law School’s Veterans Legal Clinic.

Congratulations to Christopher Melendez J.D. ’15, on winning the Outstanding Clinical Student Award from the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA). The award is presented annually to one student from each law school for his/her outstanding clinical coursework and contributions to the clinical community.

Chris was nominated by Clinical Professor of Law Daniel Nagin for his work with the Veterans Legal Clinic. Over the course of his three years at Harvard Law, Chris has logged hundreds of pro bono hours in service to the community and excelled as a clinical law student.

“I have had a fantastic experience working with the Veterans Legal Clinic,” said Chris. “Not only did I receive an immensely practical education, but I was also able to work with engaging clients and novel issues of law. Having left the Marine Corps to attend law school, the Veterans Legal Clinic also gave me the personal satisfaction of connecting with a broad community of Massachusetts veterans.”

Chris first joined the Clinic as a summer intern during his 1L year. He worked long hours crafting appellate briefs, representing clients, and interviewing new clients who contacted the Clinic. He then enrolled in the Veterans Legal Clinic as a 2L clinical student. During his first semester in the Clinic, along with student co-counsel, Chris briefed and argued a significant case before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The case involved a question of first impression regarding whether the Court’s own filing deadline for commencing an appeal from an adverse VA decision could be extended because of a veteran’s difficulties readjusting to civilian life following a combat deployment.

“Chris spent day after day preparing for the argument and worked seamlessly with his fellow students on the team to consider the case from every angle,” said Nagin. In a precedential decision, Ausmer v. Shinseki, 26 Vet.App. 392 (2013), the Court ruled in favor of the veteran and for the first time applied the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to the Court’s own filing deadline.  The decision not only allowed this individual veteran’s disability appeal to be heard on the merits, but protects the appellate rights of other veterans who have service-connected disabilities and experienced multiple deployments.

“Together with his fellow students on the team, it was Chris’ determination, creativity, smarts, and grit that helped bring justice to this veteran and many other veterans who will benefit from the Court’s decision,” said Dan Nagin.

“Arguing Ausmer v. Shinseki  was the highlight of my experience at HLS,” said Chris. “I met esteemed judges, set precedent and was able to see the case through to a successful remand to the VA. Because of this experience, I can head into professional life fully prepared to conduct veterans advocacy throughout the VA appeals process.”

“I am also leaving HLS with a deep sense of the problems—and achievements—of the VA as well as the place that intelligently directed advocacy can play in its reform.”

Chris’s contributions to the Clinic were not confined to a single case.  He returned to the Clinic as a continuing student and worked on countless veterans’ cases involving a range of legal issues. Among other things, he represented disabled veterans in estate planning matters, including drafting a sophisticated trust instrument to help protect the limited assets of one client facing serious health issues. Chris also helped mentor new clinic students. Even after completing his clinic semester, his dedication found new outlets. He helped the Clinic staff the legal assistance tent at Massachusetts Stand Down, a day-long summer event to link homeless and at-risk veterans to services. After graduation, Chris will join the Boston office of the international law firm Morgan Lewis.

Reflections from the Child Advocacy Clinic

Students in the Child Advocacy Clinic learn about a variety of substantive areas impacting the lives of children, particularly by focusing on child welfare (abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption), education, and juvenile justice. Through a wide range of field placements with government agencies and organizations throughout the U.S. and other countries, students work on different types of projects such as drafting memoranda and briefs for litigation; developing legislative reform proposals; analyzing social science and psychological research; and providing strategic advice to start-ups. We asked students to share their thoughts about working with the Child Advocacy Clinic. Please read their reflections below.

Lydia Halpern, 3L
“The Child Advocacy Clinic was the perfect capstone to my law school career. Interning at the Middlesex Juvenile Court I was able to put three years of doctrinal knowledge in a wide variety of legal fields to use. Aside from the obvious—Civil Procedure, Evidence—I wrote memos and worked on cases involving Immigration Law, First Amendment Law, Constitutional Law, and Family Law. More so than any other job or clinical placement I’ve had during my time at Harvard Law, this clinic allowed me to put what I was learning in the classroom directly into practice. Spending 8 to 10 hours of every week in court gave me great insight into how the juvenile justice system actually works, and allowed me to connect with a wide variety of people who came from all over spectrum of the juvenile justice legal field.”

Faye Maison, 2L
“As a student in the Child Advocacy Clinic, I enjoyed the opportunity to have in depth discussions about everyone’s placements. Students in the CAP clinic worked at a variety of placements, but the placements were strikingly similar. It was amazing to see how interconnected the presentations were. We were constantly referring back to a comment or scenario someone brought up earlier in the semester that was still relevant to the current discussion. It showed how we can take on a variety of roles to combat and assist people in the same issue-area.”

Mark Hamlin, 2L
“Heading into my Child Advocacy Clinic placement site, a primary goal of mine was to find a way to continue to be involved in child advocacy after law school, even though I would almost certainly be heading into practice at a large law firm. The clinic more than met this goal. It not only showed me the diversity of backgrounds involved in the field of child advocacy, but the diversity of approaches and opportunities through which to become involved. I may not know specifically what my role will be in children’s advocacy post-law school, but I no longer am worried that by working at a large law firm I will be cutting myself off from this incredible community of advocates.

Beyond the realm of child advocacy, the clinic also offered me the most practical experience I have received in law school. My placement exposed me to brief and motion writing, witness interviewing and declaration preparation, client interaction, the dynamics of team collaboration and delegation, and the difficulty of actually getting your day in court. It was very refreshing to move away from the theory of law and towards practical application.”

Clinic student finds a meaningful experience in representing veterans

Kathleen Borschow, J.D. '15

Kathleen Borschow, J.D. ’15

By Kathleen Borschow, J.D. ’15

I wanted to be involved in clinical work as early into law school as possible, so I joined Harvard Law Student Advocates for Human Rights my 1L fall year. I was assigned to the International Human Rights Clinic’s Right to Heal Project, which sought to bring attention to and seek justice for veterans suffering from the “invisible wounds of war.” It was my first experience working on veterans’ issues, and I was deeply troubled. When it was time to enroll in a clinic my 2L year, the Veterans Legal Clinic was an easy choice.

Under the supervision of Clinical Professor of Law Daniel Nagin and Clinical Fellow Betsy Gwin, students in the clinic get to work on various types of cases. I helped veterans seeking a discharge upgrade, which can be crucial for eligibility to receive medical and educational benefits as well as basic employment. I guided them through the challenges in navigating the vast VA bureaucracy: requesting and waiting for records from various entities, submitting claims to remote decision makers, understanding the sometimes complex procedural posture of their claims, and waiting months—or years—for a decision. I also assisted an unemployed veteran appealing termination of Massachusetts’ public assistance program for indigent and disabled veterans. Although we were unable to represent him, I advised him on how better to advocate for himself in a system that seems unsympathetic and unfair to unrepresented claimants.

I spent half of my semester working on an appeal brief to the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims challenging a denial of VA disability benefits for post-traumatic stress as a result of military sexual trauma. One in three military women is sexually assaulted, and one in five women veterans will develop post-traumatic stress (PTS) as a result of military sexual trauma and other traumatic experiences while in service. Few of these women can successfully access the VA healthcare system, disability benefits, or educational loans to receive the assistance they so desperately need to rebuild their lives post-service. This leads tens of thousands of women veterans into poverty and homelessness—many are single mothers, and suicide rates are staggering.

As is all too common in cases of military sexual trauma, our client had not sought treatment or applied for benefits until decades after her separation from the military during the Vietnam Era. Working with Dan, Betsy, and two other clinical students, we appealed the Board of Veterans Appeals’ decision denying her claim. Our brief was wholly successful: opposing counsel did not file an opposition brief and instead made our client an excellent settlement offer. After decades of neglect by an unfair system, with our help, our client finally attained a measure of justice—and an opportunity for income assistance—she so needs and deserves. It was unquestionably my most meaningful experience in law school.

Harvard Mediation Program Presents at the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Conference in Seattle

Front Row (L-R): Rachel Viscomi ‘01, Assistant Director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program; Prill Ellis, HMP Clinical Supervisor; Maureen (Mo) Griffin, HMP Program Manager Back Row (L-R): Sam Cortina ’15; Michael Moffit ‘94, Dean, University of Oregon School of Law; Nancy Welsh ’82, Professor of Law, Dickinson School of Law at Penn State; Erin Archerd ’08, Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution, Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University; Rishi Batra HLS ‘08, Assistant Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law; John Miller, ‘15.

Front Row (L-R): Rachel Viscomi ‘01, Assistant Director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program; Prill Ellis, HMP Clinical Supervisor; Maureen (Mo) Griffin, HMP Program Manager. Back Row (L-R): Sam Cortina ’15; Michael Moffit ‘94, Dean, University of Oregon School of Law; Nancy Welsh ’82, Professor of Law, Dickinson School of Law at Penn State; Erin Archerd ’08, Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution, Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University; Rishi Batra HLS ‘08, Assistant Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law; John Miller, ‘15.

By Sam Cortina, J.D. ‘15

As a student in the Harvard Mediation Program (HMP), this spring semester I participated in the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference in Seattle. It was one of the most enriching academic and professional experiences of my life.

John Miller, J.D. ’15 and I moved from our roles as students to teachers when we discussed our rich experiences with high-conflict mediations on the HMP panel: Beyond Small Claims; New Venues for Mediation Programs. We shared with the audience HMP’s success in recently developing a mediation program for Harassment Prevention Orders in and around greater Boston, and also discussed the incredible work that HMP students, staff, and professors have done over the past 34 years!

It was exceptional to meet so many HMP alumni and learn how the program changed their lives. I feel we made a genuine contribution to the alternative dispute resolution community, and I know our efforts will assimilate into different programs throughout the country in a way that makes people’s lives better. For that, I am incredibly proud to call myself a lifelong member of HMP, and to have attended and contributed to the ABA’s Spring Conference.

A clinic student confronts the challenges of family and domestic violence law


Kathryn Boulton, J.D. ’15

By Kathryn Boulton, J.D. ’15

Prior to joining the Family and Domestic Violence Law Clinic, I had virtually no direct services experience to speak of. Much of my work in other courses and clinics had focused on broad, policy-based questions of an international character, e.g., how to promote legal abortion reform in Burma or the status of sexual and gender minorities under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Women’s rights and health have always been at the forefront of my interests, and indeed what led me to pursue a law degree.

The clinic provided an incredibly valuable contact and also challenged my expectations and skills. My cases primarily concerned divorce and all of the difficult questions that it poses: custody, child support, division of marital debts and assets, etc. In practice, these questions are not simply about the interpretation of a legal standard or figuring out the most logical way to divide up a particular asset. Rather, at an individual level, addressing these questions means gaining a truly intimate picture of a client’s life and goals: medical records, tax returns, outstanding loans owed to a family member, the reason for selecting a particular child daycare. At the same time that you are building this highly textured portrait of her life, you remain attentive to the bigger-picture questions: What does she envision moving forward? Where can she accept compromise? Where is her position non-negotiable? Her goals and the way she approaches litigation will be informed by the history of a complex (and often abusive) relationship. As her student attorney, it was my job to truly understand these experiences and priorities, and to represent them as zealously and ably as I could.

Although I intend to return to policy advocacy post-graduation, the Family and Domestic Violence Law Clinic has been an invaluable experience. It exposed me to new ways of thinking about the connection between the law and individual women’s experiences, and I will always be grateful for the way my clients opened their lives to me.

Clinic students contribute almost 800 hours of legal research to Massachusetts Courts

By Hon. John C. Cratsley 

This spring semester, students in the Judicial Process in Community Courts Clinic and class provided almost 800 hours of volunteer legal research and writing time for their assigned judges. The 22 students in this year’s clinic and class exceed the contribution of last year’s students by almost 300 hours.

Students were placed with judges in six different trial courts – the Boston Municipal Court, District Court, Juvenile and Superior Court departments of the Massachusetts Trial Court and the U.S. District and Immigration Courts in the federal system. In addition, their weekly classes included discussions of highly relevant topics like mandatory sentences for drug crimes, alternative approaches to traditional sentencing, including treatment courts and restorative justice, as well as the unmet need for civil legal assistance in court proceedings and the work of the Center for Court Innovation in promoting model community courts.

The variety of student research and drafting for their judges is extensive ranging from motions to suppress in criminal cases to motions seeking judicial review of final decisions of state administrative agencies. Specific student work included memos on the application of a forum selection clause, the right of a criminal defendant to a new trial, and the role of the confrontation clause in deposition practice. This was also the first year our clinic was able to place a student in the Immigration Court, where her responsibilities included work on both asylum and citizenship issues.

Additionally, students assisted their state court judges with the implementation of two important changes, the first, a new statute authorizing for the first time in Massachusetts the use in jury selection of attorney conducted voire dire, and the second, a new rule from the Supreme Judicial Court regarding plea bargaining practices including judicial participation.

The students’ day to day work for their judges often finds its way into their final papers for their class. For example, several students chose to write about the new SJC Rule 12 and its likely impact of increased judicial involvement in plea bargaining.

Jonathan Hiles, J.D. '15

Jonathan Hiles, J.D. ’15

“As a practical matter, Massachusetts judges retain significant discretion in plea negotiations,” said Jonathan Hiles, J.D. ’15, who examined the ways in which judges can exercise this power, both generally and in the context of likely sentencing guidelines. “The new constraints highlight how much flexibility remains, in spite of the publicized split within the Supreme Judicial Court. The revised Rule 12 explicitly licenses judicial management of plea negotiations and increases confidence in them by setting basic rules of the road.”

Another student is analyzing the early results of attorney run voire dire as the law changes to permit it. With an emphasis in the class on writing papers relevant to those courts seeking to be responsive to community needs, three students are writing about the expansion of mental health courts; two evaluating a one year old mental health court and one writing a very practical paper to help her judge start a mental health court.

Kristen Molloy, J.D. '15

Kristen Molloy, J.D. ’15

Clinic student Kristen Molloy, J.D. ’15 commented that the “clinic was one of the most valuable and practical experiences” of her time at Harvard Law School. “The clinic offered a wonderful opportunity to observe the typically private juvenile court proceedings and get a better understanding of the types of cases that juvenile judges handle,” she said. “I enjoyed learning more about the juvenile court’s history and current reform initiatives.”

Susan Farbstein appointed Clinical Professor


Assistant Clinical Professor
Susan H. Farbstein ’04

Via HLS News

Susan Farbstein ’04 has been appointed Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Co-director of the International Human Rights Clinic, Farbstein has been an assistant clinical professor at HLS since 2012.

Farbstein’s current work focuses on Southern Africa, transitional justice, Alien Tort Statute litigation, community lawyering, and economic, social, and cultural rights. She is an expert on South Africa, having worked on a variety of human rights and transitional justice issues in that country for nearly 15 years. Her writing has been published in scholarly journals, including the Harvard Law Review and the Harvard International Law Journal, as well as The New York Times and SCOTUSBlog.

“Susan is a true leader in human rights and transitional justice, and she is also an amazing teacher,” said Martha Minow, Harvard Law School Dean. “Her innovative work spans social and economic rights in South Africa, transitional justice issues in Africa and Asia, and Alien Tort litigation in the United States. Susan’s devotion to students and tireless, imaginative work makes her an outstanding member of this community and the entire human rights community.”

Continue reading the full story here.

Hon. John C. Cratsley visits his former students in Korea


Back Row (left to right) Tai Heon Ha, LL.M. ’12; Kim Chang Mo LL.M. ’11; Kim Min Soo, LL.M. ’14; Sung Jun Park, LL.M. ’11; and Sang-Jin Oh, LL.M. ’09, and in front row (left to right), Sung Chul Min LL.M. ’08; Hon. John C. Cratsley; and Hyun Nak Hee LL.M. ’13. Also present but missed the photo was Inyoung Cho LL.M. ’09.

Hon. John C. Cratsley, Lecturer on Law and Director of the Judicial Process in Community Courts Clinic is pictured above with Harvard Law School LL.M. alumns, all of whom have been his students in the clinic and related course. All of them are now judges in Korea.

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