Spanish for Public Interest Lawyers - Fall 2009

Spanish for Public Interest Lawyers is a non-credit class that offers HLS students the opportunity to learn Spanish language skills in a legal context, emphasizing language most commonly used in civil and criminal legal services practice.

The class will strengthen existing Spanish speaking and comprehension abilities and teach Spanish legal vocabulary to students involved in public interest practice. Some grammar will be reviewed while introducing students to general legal Spanish vocabulary, and then the class will progress to the legal vocabulary of specific substantive areas (e.g. immigration, human rights, civil procedure, etc.). Through this class, students can develop stronger attorney-client relations by improving communication with Spanish-speaking clients and enhancing cultural knowledge of the Latino community.

Students in clinics, particularly those working directly with Spanish-speaking clients or who are interested in working more with this client population, are encouraged to participate.

Student Eligibility

  • Students must have a strong foundation of Spanish language skills (speaking, listening, reading). This class is aimed at strengthening existing speaking abilities and teaching Spanish legal vocabulary to enable students to better communicate with Spanish-speaking clients in clinics.
  • Regular attendance is required.
  • Class participation is vital, though outside homework will be minimal.
  • Open to Harvard Law 1L, 2L, 3L, and LLM students only.
  • 3Ls and students in clinical programs will receive priority in enrolling, and some priority may also be given to students in student practice organizations. Within this criteria, enrollment will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

To Apply

There are still a few spaces left in the fall class!  Classes will meet on Wednesdays from 5pm-7pm in the fall semester.  The first class is on Wednesday, September 30.  Enrollment is limited to 20 HLS students. To sign up, email with the following information, and we will confirm if you attain a spot in the class:

  • Name
  • Year (1L, 2L, 3L, LLM)
  • Resume (for informational purposes only, admission is not selective)
  • Name of clinic or student practice organization you are working with, and semester of clinic/SPO participation
  • At least one paragraph, in Spanish, describing your interest in this course, prior or current experience with Spanish-speaking clients, and what you hope to learn in this class.


If you have any questions about the content of the class, you are welcome contact the instructor, Carlos Vasconsellos (

Last modified: September 16, 2010

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