Berkeley Exchange Program- deadline Friday, February 4

The Berkeley Exchange Program was designed for the purpose of enhancing the educational opportunities available to law students at both Harvard and Berkeley by providing them with exposure to a different faculty and student body. Each year, the program allows up to five Harvard Law School students to spend their third year studying at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. In return, up to five students from Berkeley can spend their third year here at Harvard.

HLS students who wish to be considered for the Exchange Program should submit an application to the Administrative Board via the Dean of Students (send email to by Friday, February 4 at 5pm. The application should be in the form of a letter indicating why you wish to participate in the program. Special attention will be given to academic reasons for wishing to go to Berkeley such as a desire to work with a particular faculty member there, or to take courses not available at Harvard. In any event, the application should include a proposed course of study at Berkeley. Courses at Boalt Hall are listed on their website

 Additional information can be found at:

 Any questions about the Program may be raised with the Dean of Students Office.

Spring Break Pro Bono Trips

The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs offers students the opportunity to conduct pro bono work during spring break through organized group trips. This years trips include working with musicians in the Mississippi Delta and migrant farm workers in Nashville. HLS provides partial funding.

Applications due February 6.

Information session: Tuesday, February 1
7:15 -8:00 pm
Pound 100
Light dinner provided

See for more information and application.

Harvard Course in Reading & Study Strategies

Harvard Course in Reading and Study Strategies

Cost: $150

Feb 7 – Mar 3 (4 wks),  M-W-Th-F,  4-5 p.m.
Feb 14 – Mar 4 (3 wks),  M-T-W-Th-F,  8-9 a.m.

Each year the Bureau of Study Counsel at Harvard University offers the Harvard Course in Reading and Study Strategies that is open to the wider public.  It is the longest continuously running, non-credit course at our university.  Taught since the 1940s with constant updating, the Reading Course is designed for people who are faced with the need to read more materials, more critically and who find themselves overwhelmed or disengaged.  It is based on the premise that our learning depends upon both what we read, as well as how critically we read.  This course helps students read strategically, selectively, and actively and is directed for those engaged in undergraduate and graduate studies.

Full details of the course can be accessed by going to the link:

Bureau of Study Counsel  617-495-2581

International Course on “Living Realities of Legal Pluralism” – Cape Town, South Africa

An International Course on ‘Living Realities of Legal Pluralism’
4-7 September, 2011, Cape Town, South Africa


In September 2011 the International Commission on Legal Pluralism, in cooperation with the Centre for Legal and Applied Research (CLEAR), the Research Chair in Customary Law and the Chair for Comparative Law in Africa, University of Cape Town, South Africa, will organize a course in Cape Town, South Africa, about theories, knowledge and methodologies of legal pluralism. The purpose of the 3½-day course is to familiarize the participants with the current international debates and insights in socio-legal studies and legal pluralism and to offer them a comparative perspective that allows them to rethink their own research and practical work. At the centre of the discussion will be issues of rights protection, gender, natural resource management and land tenure, and dispute management, in the context of globalising economic, political and legal developments. These issues converge in the theme of living realities of legal pluralism.

Participation is limited to 25 persons, to allow for maximum discussion. A balanced participation is sought which includes a strong presence from South Africa, but also attracts scholars or practitioners from the region, other developing countries and a limited number from western countries. The participants are academics and/or practitioners, e.g. NGO activists or government officials, who deal with issues related to legal pluralism and social justice in their academic or practical work. During this intensive training the participants will be able to build a national and international network both with other participants and with the teaching staff. As in past courses (held amongst others in Wellington (New Zealand), Accra (Ghana), Williamsburg (USA), Moscow (Russia), Chiang Mai (Thailand), Fredericton (Canada), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Zurich (Switzerland)) the teaching team will consist of senior academics of various backgrounds drawn from the Commission of Legal Pluralism and of colleagues from the region, in this case from South Africa. The course is followed by the Commission’s biennial international conference. The conference covers the same topics and themes as the course. Students will be given the opportunity to present their work at the conference and directly engage with leading scholars and practitioners in their fields, allowing them to become part of a regional and international network.

Proposed topics for the course are:

1. Theoretical and methodological aspects of legal pluralism
This session provides an introduction to theoretical and methodological aspects of legal pluralism, one of the most interesting and controversial concepts in the anthropology and sociology of law and legal theory. The session will sensitize the
participants to the complexity of the coexistence of legal orders and the empirical and theoretical challenges it raises.

2. The living realities of legal pluralism in South Africa
Prominent South African researchers in the field of legal pluralism discuss the current realities of legal pluralism in South Africa, and the challenges this poses for lawmakers, judges, activists, and researchers.

3. Dispute management and social control
The session introduces the legal anthropology of disputing and social control in plural legal settings and draws attention to ongoing processes of disputing and social control in a global or transnational environment.

4. Natural resources management
In most countries, the access-rules to natural resources as well as the corresponding rights of disposal are subject of different normative sets, which might influence each other or which might stay in a permanent competition for social recognition and public legitimacy. This topic will include a mock stakeholder meeting

5. Legal empowerment, gender and human rights
In this session attention will be paid to legal empowerment, the gendered dimensions of law, its impact on women’s and men’s access to resources, including legal institutions, and the human rights aspects involved. It will be discussed how gender is socially and legally constructed and the consequences that this has for people’s access rights. This topic will include both an academic debate and a practitioners’ panel focusing on their experiences and possible practical solutions.

6. Field trip: (half-day)

Selection, Fee, and Funding

Prospective students should be either young scholars studying for a JD or PhD degree or having just finished one, or more senior scholars who are relatively new to the field of legal pluralism, or they should be practitioners whose work is directly related to topics discussed in the course. Students should be able to demonstrate an English language ability that allows them to read and actively discuss relevant academic literature. Students will be selected based on their motivation to join the course. Such selection will also be based on a balanced regional participation as outlined above.

The course fee is 200 USD. Other costs include accommodation, food and beverages, which will be arranged at prices as low as possible. The course organizers are currently working on securing some funding for the non-Western participants. It is hoped that in this way for certain students the costs can be covered by the organization. However as such funding is not yet certain and will not cover all students applicants are encouraged to also seek their own funding.

Application, Contact and More Information

Scholars and practitioners interested in and qualified to partake in this course are warmly welcomed to apply before March 10, 2011. The application should include a motivation letter, a resume, information about their level of English, and an estimation of their travel costs to Cape Town. Applications are to be sent to Janine Ubink:  j.ubink at

For more information on the Conference and on the Commission on Legal Pluralism and its past courses and conferences visit: http://www.commission-on-legal-pluralism…. Participants need to register separately for the conference as well as submit an abstract for a paper presentation, both at

Spanish for Public Interest Lawyers

Spanish for Public Interest Lawyers is a non-credit Spring class aimed at enhancing legal Spanish language skills, particularly for students involved in clinical practice.  The class is for students who already have a strong foundation of the Spanish language and want to advance conversation and comprehension skills within a legal context, particularly in public interest law fields.  The application deadline is Thursday, February 3.  For more information about the class and how to apply, visit:

Volunteer with HLS TaxHelp

HLS TaxHelp invites you to volunteer this semester.  TaxHelp is a volunteer student organization at HLS that helps lower-income individuals file their income tax returns in Cambridge.  Volunteers can earn pro bono credit. 

TaxHelp provides its services through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.  Volunteers must pass the IRS’s test for the Basic VITA level, which involves the ability to file fairly basic income tax returns. 

For more information about TaxHelp and how to get involved, please visit  The website provides information about both the TaxHelp organization and the certification process, including a step-by-step guide on becoming involved with the organization. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact  taxhelp at

Covey Fellowships for Summer Work in Public Interest Environmental Law

The Environmental Law Program is offering four $7,500 fellowships to Harvard Law School students doing work within the public interest environmental law field during the summer of 2011.  Qualifying work could include positions at government entities, NGOs, or other public interest organizations working on issues such as climate change, land acquisition and management, pollution control, energy, carbon trading, environmental justice, or biodiversity conservation.  This is not an exclusive list of employers or fields, and students are invited to think broadly about work that might qualify.

Applicants should be students who are returning to HLS in the fall of 2011.  Experience with environmental law is not a requirement for the fellowship, and those new to the field are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should first secure their summer position, and then apply for the fellowship; applications by students who have not secured a summer position will not be considered.  The Environmental Law Program may be able to assist students in making contact with potential employers with which the Program has a relationship; students interested in soliciting the Environmental Law Program’s assistance in this fashion should contact Kathy Curley at  curley at

Applications should include: a description of the organization where the student will be employed, a brief description of the summer projects the applicant will undertake, the name of the applicant’s supervisor, a resume, transcript, and a statement of interest conveying the reasons why the applicant was drawn to the job and any background the applicant has in environmental law.  Applications should be submitted by March 22, 2011 to Kathy Curley at  curley at  Successful applicants will be notified by April 19, 2011.

Questions regarding the Covey Fellowships should be directed to  curley at