The Harvard Legal Aid Bureau is a student-run civil legal aid organization committed to providing free representation to low-income and marginalized communities in the Greater Boston area. Students and staff aim to provide these services in a way that responds to the systemic racial, social, and economic inequalities that are the causes and consequences of poverty. To that end, the Bureau trains its student attorneys to advocate vigorously for their clients, create enduring community partnerships, and become socially conscious leaders.
If you need a lawyer, but can’t afford one…
We can help. The Bureau is an entirely student-run non-profit law firm currently composed of approximately 50 second and third year Harvard Law School students who provide free civil legal services to a diverse population of low-income clients in the Greater Boston area. The Bureau employs seven practicing attorneys, each with extensive public interest and private practice experience, who train students, accompany them in court, provide strategic advice, and assist in case management. The Bureau also has a managing attorney and faculty director, who supervises the ongoing activities of the organization and serves as a liaison between the Bureau and the Law School, and an administrative director, who oversees office operations.
The Bureau specializes in five major areas of practice: housing law, including evictions from public and private apartments; family law, including divorce, child custody, paternity, visitation, and support issues; government benefits law, including appeals of the denial or termination of welfare, food stamps, unemployment, or social security disability benefits; fair wage law, including nonpayment or underpayment of wages; and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases, supporting foreign children in the United States who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected.
Because the Bureau is student-run, students with take the lead in exploring new potential practice areas. Bureau members are encouraged to improve the organization’s work areas to better serve client needs.