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Clinical and Pro Bono Programs

With 38 Clinics and Student Practice Organizations (SPOs) Harvard Law School has more opportunities for students to engage in the supervised practice of law than any law school in the world. Each clinic is connected to a class; students receive both academic credit for the classroom component and clinical credit for the practice component. Hear former HLS students talk about their clinical experience. Through 11 SPOs students are able to do legal work on a pro bono basis, and are supervised by experienced practitioners.    

In clinics, students take direct responsibility for representing clients in actual cases/matters under the supervision of HLS clinical faculty and instructors who are expert practitioners in their fields.


Student Practice Organizations (SPOs) are run by a student board and provide opportunities for practical legal experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney. 

While students do not receive academic credit for volunteering with SPOs, their volunteer hours can count towards the pro bono requirement. All J.D. students, including 1Ls, and LL.M. students are welcome and encouraged to participate in SPO practice.


Harvard requires all J.D. students to contribute at least 40 hours of legal pro bono work as a condition for graduation. Many students choose to fulfill this requirement through clinical work. 

Our hope is that by giving back to the community, our graduates will develop a lifelong commitment to using their education and skills to contribute to the public good.

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Last modified: August 19, 2014

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