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For LL.M. Students

What is a clinic? | Clinical Work | Time Commitment | Required Class Component
Application Process | Timeline | Resources

What is a clinic?

Clinics provide the opportunity to learn and practice legal skills under the supervision of experienced attorneys. You earn credit while working in a clinic, and take a class that teaches the related substantive law. The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs (OCP) facilitates registration for and oversees all clinical programs. 


Clinical Work

In clinics, you take direct responsibility for legal cases and projects under the supervision of clinical faculty and attorneys who are expert practitioners in their fields. Clinic work varies but typically includes direct representation, research into the application or interpretation of law, the formulation of legal policy, the drafting of legislation or regulations, or legal advocacy. Clinics may be in-house (internal to HLS) or externship placements with independent organizations. You can review the clinics open to LL.M. students on the OCP website.


Time Commitment

Since clinic work involves real clients and cases, clinics are a serious professional and academic commitment. You must be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to a clinic, and may enroll in only one clinic per semester. Clinics generally require 10 to 20 hours per week in the fall or spring semesters, and 40 hours per week in the three-week winter term. Classroom hours and classroom credits are in addition to the clinical hours and credits. 


Required Class Component

Clinics always contain a related class component. The class component provides an academic and substantive law background to clinic work. Generally, the class must be taken simultaneously with the clinic. To view a list of clinics and the course(s) associated with each clinic, please see the course catalog


Application Process

LL.M. students should follow these steps to apply:

  • Complete the preliminary online application.

    • Select the clinic(s) you are going to apply to. You may apply to a maximum of one clinic per semester. (Harvard Law School has three semesters - Fall, Winter, and Spring.)
    • Please be sure to upload you resume.
  • Each clinic details additional required application materials. Please review these requirements for each clinic you apply to. Send all relevant application information to by Fri, Aug 2, 2013 (unless otherwise noted).
Please read carefully through the clinic information and application materials. Before applying to a clinic, you should think carefully about how a clinic will factor into your schedule, how it will affect your course plans, and how it will factor into your overall degree requirements.



  • Aug 2: Deadline to apply to clinical programs in any semester (some clinics may have different deadlines).
  • Aug 23: Clinics make first-round admission decisions (some clinics may defer decisions to a later date).
If accepted, students will work with OCP to be enrolled in the clinic and course component. Students may drop a clinic (and the attached course) up until the semester's clinic drop deadline. Students are strongly discouraged from dropping once enrolled in a clinic.

  • Sep 4: Fall clinic drop deadline
  • Dec 6: Winter clinic drop deadline
  • Jan 17: Spring clinic drop deadline


There are many resources available for you to learn about clinics, including: 

Please do not hesitate to contact Maggie Bay or anyone else in the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs if you have any questions or concerns. We look forward to working with you!

Last modified: April 18, 2014

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