HLAB Membership and Application Process

About the Bureau

The Harvard Legal Aid Bureau is a student-founded, student-run legal services organization where second and third year law students represent low-income clients in proceedings to fight unfair evictions, resolve domestic disputes, obtain public benefits, and claim unpaid wages.

Bureau members have also led the fight against the foreclosure crisis, breaking the mold of traditional legal advocacy to organize tenants living in foreclosed properties.  Students have won jury verdicts of more than $55,000 and have worked outside of the courtroom to create lasting legislative change for low-income residents in Massachusetts.

Practicing as a student attorney with the Bureau is one of the most rewarding experiences Harvard Law School has to offer.  Students gain knowledge of the law and client advocacy skills while participating in a collaborative community of student attorneys and experienced clinical instructors. They emerge as well-trained, capable attorneys with an enduring network of fellow Bureau members.

Each year the Bureau selects about 25 first-year Harvard Law School students to join the Bureau for the remainder of their studies.  In addition, the Bureau selects Summer Fellows from various law schools to handle its cases during the summer recess.

What is Registration?

The Harvard Legal Aid Bureau requires that you register in advance to receive an application, which is then sent out via email on the Application Release Date. You can register in person at any HLAB event (see schedule below), at our Registration Tables in the Hark, or by emailing HLABMembership2020@gmail.com. In the email, simply provide your full name, email address, and a phone number where we can reach you. This year, applications will be released on March 1, 2020. To register for an application, please follow this link.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at HLABMembership2020@gmail.com!

Recruitment and Selection Timeline 

HLAB OPEN HOUSE

FEB. 6, 3-6PM 23 EVERETT ST

JOINT HLAB/HLR/BSA INFO SESSIONS

FEB. 12, 12PM AMES COURTROOM

FEB. 14, 12PM AUSTIN NORTH

HLAB CLINIC TALKS

FEB. 20, 12PM WCC 3018

IN-PERSON APPLICATION REGISTRATION

FEB. 25, 11AM – 1PM HARK RAMP

FEB. 26, 11AM – 1PM HARK RAMP

FEB. 27, 11AM – 1PM HARK RAMP

FEB. 28, 11AM – 1PM HARK RAMP

MAR. 1, 11AM – 1PM HARK RAMP

APPLICATIONS RELEASED VIA EMAIL

MAR. 1, 12PM

APPLICATION DUE

MAR. 24, 5PM

All first-year Harvard Law School students who will be returning to the Law School next fall are eligible to apply for Bureau membership.

The application process consists of:

  • Resume
  • Written Application
  • Case Strategy Memo
  • Interview Process

Applicants will be asked to provide responses based on material included in the application. The Case Strategy Memo involves responding to questions based on fact patterns that resemble real cases that Bureau members may handle. The application does not require any outside research or knowledge of a specific area of substantive law. The Case strategy Memo, written application, cover letter, and resume will be evaluated blindly by current Bureau members. Based on these materials, a group of finalists will be selected for interviews.

The Bureau is committed to maintaining a diverse membership for the benefit of the organization and our clients. To address the needs of our non-English speaking clients, we may give some weight to strong skills in languages other than English.

For Transfer Students

All transfer applicants are encouraged to apply to the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. In order to be considered for membership, each transfer applicant is required to submit a modified application and participate in a round of interviews.

Transfer students who wish to receive an application should write to HLABmembership2020@gmail.com by June 10, 2020, when we will send out our application to any interested transfers. The application will be due on June 21st, and we will read apps and conduct Skype interviews accordingly after that. Information about the organization itself can be found on our website.

If admitted to both the law school and the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, each transfer student will be required to attend orientation and training in Cambridge, MA beginning August 30, 2020. Please email HLABMembership2020@gmail.com for more information.

Questions?  E-mail HLABMembership2020@gmail.com. You can also check us out on Facebook here! And Twitter here!