The Legal Services Center (LSC) welcomes applications from Harvard Law School students in their 1L and 2L years for a limited number of internship positions. LSC offers summer students the opportunity to gain hands-on lawyering experience, direct client contact and court experience, and close supervision from trained clinical instructors in a range of practice areas: Administrative/ Disability Law; Estate Planning; Health Law & Policy; Post-Foreclosure Eviction Defense/ Housing Law; and Predatory Lending Protection/ Consumer Law. Students wishing to apply for Summer Internships with LSC should send their resumes and cover letters to the address below to arrive no later than April 1, 2010:
Summer Internship Coordinator
Legal Services Center
122 Boylston Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
jmccorma at law.harvard.edu
Students must indicate in their cover letters their first and second preferences from among the clinics listed below. More information about the LSC can be found at: http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/cli….
Administrative/Disability Law Clinic
Students who work in the Administrative/Disability Clinic take on cases involving the administrative appeals of disabled clients who have been denied Social Security benefits. In preparing these cases for hearing, students interview and counsel clients, compile the evidentiary record, collaborate with medical providers, and prepare a hearing brief. Appeal hearings are held at Social Security’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) before Administrative Law Judges (ALJs). At the hearing, the student gives an opening statement, conducts direct examination of the client and cross-examines other witnesses such as vocational experts and medical experts. Under the supervision of experienced attorneys, law students in the Administrative/Disability Clinic have a success rate of over 95% in these ALJ hearings. In rare cases that are not approved by the ALJ, students write appellate briefs to Federal District Court and present oral argument before a federal judge.
Estate Planning Clinic
The Estate Planning Clinic provides direct client representation on estate planning and probate, guardianship, debt counseling, and private insurance cases. The Clinic offers estate and permanency planning services to low- and middle-income individuals in our community, specializing in serving people living with HIV/AIDS, the disabled and the elderly. The Clinic helps clients maximize control over decision-making and secure their children’s future in the event of incapacity or death through the drafting of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care proxies, funeral planning directives, living wills, guardianship and relationship agreements. The Clinic also assists survivors and family members in probating the estates of deceased clients.
Student work in the Clinic involves extensive client interviewing and counseling, and often requires frequent communications and negotiations with medical providers, employers and their human resources departments, creditors and insurance companies. Students work closely with clients to develop comprehensive estate plans, analyze government and private insurance benefits, assess clients financial situations and, when necessary, provide debt counseling and bankruptcy services. Estate Planning Clinic guardianship and contested estate probate cases involve representing clients at hearings before state probate court judges.
Health Law & Policy Clinic
Students working in the Health Law & Policy Clinic will participate in a broad spectrum of policy initiatives ranging from state-level legislation regarding HIV testing to national health care reform. The Clinic’s policy work focuses broadly on initiatives that will increase access to quality, comprehensive health care for poor and low-income individuals and families”especially those living with chronic medical conditions. Students work to inform cutting-edge policy recommendations at the state and national levels in both the legislative and regulatory arenas. State level work is conducted in Massachusetts as well as other states currently, projects are ongoing in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. Students in the Health Law & Policy practice unit often travel to help facilitate meetings with community partners in these states, attend national policy advocacy conferences, and participate in issue-ba sed conference calls with community partners. Students working in this clinic can expect to accumulate a wealth of hands-on experience in current and emerging health policy issues. Students conduct legal and fact-based research to inform policy recommendations that take shape as student-generated fact sheets, in-depth reports, comment letters, testimony, presentations, and draft legislation or regulatory guidance.
Post-Foreclosure Eviction Defense Housing Clinic
The Post-Foreclosure Eviction Defense Housing Clinic represents tenants who are facing evictions by banks or other lenders. Lenders routinely insist on evicting all tenants after foreclosure and in the process misrepresent the rights tenants have under these circumstances. The Clinic counsels and represents individual tenants in this situation, takes on impact litigation, lobbies on the local, state, and federal levels for greater tenant protections, provides trainings to pro se tenants, housing subsidy providers, social workers and legal services attorneys on tenants rights after foreclosure, and works with community partners and the press to bring public attention to the social problems caused by mass displacement of tenants living in foreclosed buildings. The bulk of the Clinic’s work consists of litigation in the Boston Housing Court, defending evictions and prosecuting affirmative cases to improve housing conditions and to prevent utilities from being shut-off.
The Clinic also represents individual tenants and tenant groups on a variety of other issues affecting low-income tenants and the low-income housing market in the city of Boston. These issues include (1) thwarting gentrification by preventing displacement of low-income families from the Boston neighborhoods served by the office; (2) ameliorating indoor environmental hazards â€“ including lead paint, mold, and insect and rodent infestation and otherwise improving the physical condition of housing in Boston’s low-income communities; (3) combating discrimination in the rental market and ensuring housing access and accessibility; and (4) improving the functioning of the various institutions – courts, agencies, etc.- that affect the lives of low-income tenants.
Students working in the Post-Foreclosure Eviction/Housing Clinic will have numerous opportunities to engage in client interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, pre-trial discovery (including taking and defending depositions), negotiation, and motion practice, as well as to try cases. Students will also have the opportunity, working with organizers, to engage in community lawyering and mobilization efforts and to work on legislative and other law reform initiatives.
Predatory Lending Prevention /Consumer Protection Clinic
The Predatory Lending/Consumer Protection Clinic focuses its advocacy efforts on preserving and protecting equity for low- and moderate-income homeowners; combating abuses in the consumer financial services industry; and ensuring equal and fair access to credit markets. The practice is primarily litigation and involves consumer, bankruptcy, real estate, banking, and tort law. The Clinic defends homeowners against foreclosure and commences complex litigation in Federal District Court, Bankruptcy Court, and Massachusetts Superior Court against subprime lenders, banking institutions, mortgage brokers, loan service’s, and foreclosure rescue scam artists. The Clinic also maintains a vibrant consumer law practice in which students defend against unlawful debt collection practices in small claims court and represent consumers seeking a fresh start through petitions for bankruptcy.
Students in the Clinic gain extensive experience interviewing clients, analyzing loan documents, drafting complaints, drafting and responding to discovery requests, conducting and defending depositions, negotiating with opposing counsel, arguing motions, and engaging in long-term case strategizing. Students also have the opportunity to engage in bankruptcy and transactional work; to participate in the Clinics Small Claims Debt Collection Project; and, on occasion, to work on legislative initiatives and impact litigation, particularly regarding patterns of racial discrimination in lending in the Greater Boston credit markets.