Harvard Defenders

Harvard Defenders, a student practice organization at Harvard Law School, provides free representation to low-income defendants in criminal show-cause hearings before clerk-magistrates. Working to ensure defendants receive quality representation, we enrich students’ education and encourage them to become thoughtful, compassionate, and persuasive legal practitioners.

If you have been notified by a court to appear at a criminal show-cause hearing before a clerk-magistrate, please contact us.

If you wish to take advantage of our legal referral services, please contact us.

News & Announcements   

Jack T. Litman Fellowship Program

The Jack T. Litman Program, established in 2012, is dedicated to the memory of Jack T. Litman, a renowned defense attorney who was a member of Harvard Defenders during his time at the law school. Each year, Harvard Defenders selects three law students to serve as full-time Litman Fellows.  Fellows have the unique opportunity to handle all their own cases, which involves interacting with clients, interviewing them in preparation for hearings, and conducting extensive investigations, which often entail meeting with witnesses and police officers.  In addition, Fellows develop their own litigation strategies and ultimately present their cases to clerk magistrates in the Boston area's criminal courts.

Fellows are also be required to perform academic research, on a topic of their choosing, related to a legal issue that they encounter during their fellowship. The papers are supervised by a Harvard Law School faculty member and will be presented at a Symposium in the fall. Last year's topics ranged from an academic paper exploring the moral and ethical dilemmas that defense attorneys face, to a guide on what to do when an attorney suspects child maltreatment, to the creation of a criminal immigration class, to be offered in the fall of 2013.

The Fellowship allows for flexible schedules and independence while providing a rare opportunity to advocate on behalf of actual clients. Work is supervised by John Salsberg, Harvard Defenders' Clinical Instructor, a practicing attorney with over thirty years of trial experience.

Fellows will be awarded $1000, in addition to SPIF funding. 
To apply for a 2013 Jack T.  Litman Fellowship, please submit a cover letter and resume to emulder@jd14.law.harvard.edu and meverhart@jd15.law.harvard.edu. Applications now accepted.




Last modified: May 27, 2015

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