There are several ways to engage in international legal studies during Harvard Law School's Winter Term.
Students may apply to participate in a two-credit Independent or Continuing Clinical during the Winter Term, which involves working 40 hours per week under the supervision of an on-site attorney and in coordination with an HLS faculty sponsor. For more information, please contact the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs in Austin 102. HLS students are not eligible for credit for an "internship" abroad unless it meets the criteria of an independent clinical placement.
It is also possible for an individual HLS student engaged in writing projects worth at least two credits to apply to participate in the Winter Term Writing Program. Students who participate in the Winter Term Writing Program devote their Winter Term to intensive, individualized research and writing on a paper of two or more credits under the supervision of an HLS faculty member. Click here for further information, including specifics regarding credits (go to "J.D. Winter Writing Program" for J.D. students; LL.M. students will receive information on the LL.M. Winter Writing Program directly from the Graduate Program).
Please note that HLS students may not take courses at a foreign law school as a way of earning credit for Winter Term.
HLS J.D. and LL.M. students who will be traveling abroad in furtherance of an approved Winter Term Writing or Clinical project who meet basic eligibility requirements (set forth in the Sources of Funding section below) will receive a Winter Term International Travel Grant of $800. All students meeting these criteria will automatically be considered for additional support. Additional funding is limited and will be awarded on a competitive basis, therefore students should not assume the availability of additional support beyond the $800 base grant.
Program Deadline and Requirements
In order to receive a Winter Term International Travel Grant, students must meet basic eligibility requirements and complete two applications: one regarding the substance of the project and the other for the travel grant itself. The process is analogous to applying for admission and financial aid.
Program applications are due as follows:
- J.D. and LL.M. students seeking approval for Independent and Continuing Clinicals projects should submit applications to the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs in Austin 102 by October;
- J.D. students seeking approval for Winter Term Writing Program projects should submit applications to the Registrar's Office in Pound 300 by November;
- LL.M. students seeking approval for Winter Term Writing Program projects should submit applications to the Graduate Program in Lewis 203 by November in accordance with information distributed by the Graduate Program;
International travel grant applications are due as follows:
- J.D. students for Independent and Continuing Clinicals and for Winter Term Writing Program projects should submit grant applications to International Legal Studies in Lewis 231 by November;
- LL.M. students for Independent and Continuing Clinicals should submit grant applications to International Legal Studies in Lewis 231 by November;
- LL.M. students for Winter Term Writing Program projects should submit grant applications to International Legal Studies in Lewis 231 by November.
The Winter Term International Travel Grant Program confers a financial grant only. Students are responsible for arranging academic credit for the Winter Term directly with appropriate faculty and offices (e.g., Registrar's Office, Clinical and Pro Bono Programs, Graduate Program).
Projects and Placements
Students have participated in a wide variety of international projects and placements during the Winter Term. Examples of past Winter Term Writing Project topics include: dispute resolution systems of failed states; juvenile justice reform in the United Kingdom; human trafficking in Colombia; securities regulation in Korea; and post-abortion care in the Philippines, among others. Students should consult with their faculty supervisors about the best direction for their writing projects. Examples of past clinical placements include: the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons in South Africa; the National Children's and Youth Law Centre in Australia; and the Cambodian Legal Education Center (click for a more comprehensive list of past clinical placements). Students may wish to consult with the appropriate program office for guidance on a project of interest.
Sources of Funding
For international travel related to Winter Term clinicals and projects approved for the Winter Writing Program in January 2009, students who meet basic eligibility criteria and program requirements and who are accepted to the applicable Winter Term program will be guaranteed Winter Term International Travel Grants of $800 per person, provided that anticipated, reasonable expenses are equal to or exceed that amount. If expenses for a proposed project will be less than $800, students should apply for that lower amount.
In addition, students who meet the criteria for guaranteed funding, and whose anticipated expenses exceed $800, will be automatically considered for a small number of additional Winter Term grants through the Cravath International Fellows Program, the Human Rights Program, and the Reginald F. Lewis Internship Program. In awarding these larger grants, the Selection Committee will consider:
- the necessity of travel in order to complete the project;
- the reason that a particular student should undertake the project, including its relation to the student's past and intended academic, intellectual, clinical and other experiences;
- the appropriateness of the scope and the feasibility of the project;
- the potential impact of the project;
- the thoughtfulness and clarity of the proposal;
- the relationship of the proposed budget to the outlined project.
Funding priorities of the Cravath International Fellows Program, the Human Rights Program, and the Reginald F. Lewis Internship Program are as follows:
Cravath International Fellowships provide funding to a selected number of HLS students to pursue academic projects with an international, transnational, or comparative law focus. Priority will be given to J.D. students, but LL.M. students are also eligible to compete for selection. Although Cravath Fellows' projects may involve clinical placements, efforts will be made to first fund the strongest research proposals. Following the completion of their Winter Term projects, Cravath Fellows will present their work to members of the HLS community as well as lawyers from Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
The Human Rights Program awards grants to HLS students conducting human rights research abroad during winter term. The program's emphasis is on research for 3L papers, seminar papers or other academic work involving research in the developing world. HRP will also consider proposals from students traveling to the developing world in connection with human rights clinical or advocacy projects. (Note: the Human Rights Program will only sponsor students who have previously participated in a HRP clinical.)
Reginald F. Lewis Internship grants are available for research and clinical projects of an international nature. Past Lewis internship grants have supported work relating to law and development, environmental law, human rights, and international business, trade, and poverty, among other areas of focus.
There is no need for students to apply separately for Cravath, HRP, and Lewis grants as they will be coordinated as part of the Winter Term International Travel Grant Program.
Please note that students opting to purchase plane tickets in advance of the November grant notification date should be aware that the base grant is $800. While a small number of students will receive larger grants based on the strength of their proposals, these additional sums are not guaranteed. Therefore, students should plan accordingly to secure the balance of the funding needed and may wish to purchase cancellation insurance.
In those cases where additional funding is provided, Winter Term International Travel Grants will not exceed $3,500 per student save in exceptional circumstances justified in the application budget.
Depending on the nature of the project, students may also be eligible for funding from various research centers and programs at Harvard Law School or research centers and programs throughout Harvard University and are encouraged to inquire and apply directly.
Eligibility for Funding
In order to be considered for a Winter Term International Travel Grant of $800, a student must:
- Be enrolled as a J.D. or LL.M. student at HLS during Winter Term of January 2012
- Apply for and be approved for the Winter Term Writing Program or a clinical project that will require travel outside of the United States during the month of January 2012
- Submit the Winter Term International Travel Grant Application together with all required attachments, including a copy of the program application, to the appropriate office
- Demonstrate (in the application) the criticality of international travel to the completion of the project itself
- Provide evidence of strong faculty support for the project.
- Students who are citizens of countries other than the United States and are conducting Winter Term projects in their home countries will not be guaranteed the $800 base funding, though they may be awarded travel grants based on the substantive merits of their proposals and the availability of funding
- Students who are traveling internationally over Winter Term in conjunction with a class or a specially designated clinical service trip (such as clinical programs to South Africa) are not eligible for Winter Term International Travel Grants; they will receive information about funding directly from their professors or the Office of Clinical Programs
- In exceptional circumstances, applications of two or more students engaged in the same project will be considered. In no case may more than three students receive funding for the same independent Winter Term project. As well, when students propose to work in pairs or a group, they must explain in their grant application why each student is necessary and the role s/he will play. (The Winter Term International Travel Grant Program has a limited pool of funds and is designed to support a variety of well-conceived projects.)
- Students who received Winter Term International Travel Grants for January 2011 are not precluded from applying for funding for January 2012. The proposals of all applicants (whether applying for the first or second time) will be evaluated on their merits in relation to the other proposed projects for 2012
- Winter Term projects should be conducted for a minimum of 13 working days (not including travel) during January 2012.
Items in a budget proposal should be expenses that are necessary for the completion of the project. These expenses should also be reasonable (for example, economy class flights only) and verifiable - students will be asked in their budget proposals to specify where they found the prices noted, and to provide receipts upon their return. Expenses related to retaining an apartment in Cambridge, MA while traveling abroad cannot be included in budget proposals. Students should try to secure the least expensive flights possible, as the pool of Winter Term funding is limited.
If travel will not originate in Boston, it should be because it is less costly to travel from another city to the destination than it is to travel from Boston to the destination. Other expenses such as lodging can be included in the budget proposal for funding consideration if they are necessary costs.
Winter Term International Travel Grants will be in the amount of $800 per student, provided that anticipated and reasonable expenses are equal to or exceed that amount.
As noted above, the amount of additional Winter Term grants, if any, will be determined on a case-by-case basis as described above in the section on Sources of Funding.
Students who are US citizens or permanent residents and who do not receive full funding for their projects should inquire with the Student Financial Services Office about a possible loan in order to cover a shortfall in Winter Term project expenses.
Applications for Funding
Applications for Winter Term International Travel Grants must be submitted in hard copy by 5:00 pm on a date in November TBA (except for those from LL.M. students applying for the winter term writing program; they will have a separate date) to International Legal Studies in Lewis 231.
Applications for Winter Term International Travel Grants must include the following:
- Application Form, which includes the Project Proposal Summary and Budget Proposal
- A letter (sent by e-mail to email@example.com or campus mail to International Legal Studies in Lewis 231) from the student's clinical supervisor in the case of clinical projects, or the writing supervisor in the case of the winter term writing program. The letter should indicate that the faculty member has reviewed the proposed project and offer comments on its merit and the student's ability to conduct the work outlined
- Official current HLS transcript from the Registrar's Office
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- A copy of the student's program application (J.D. or LL.M. Writing Program, Independent or Continuing Clinical). Specific program application requirements and forms can be found here: J.D. Winter Term Writing Program (see section entitled "J.D. Winter Writing Program"); LL.M. Winter Term Writing Program - information will be available from the Graduate Program; Independent Clinical projects;Continuing Clinical projects
Students who are working together on a project may submit a single funding application form, but must include the relevant information and attachments for each student involved, bearing in mind the specific requirements for J.D. and LL.M. writing and clinical projects.
We will notify J.D. students by November about decisions on the amount of the travel grant they have been awarded. J.D. students will have until December to decide whether to accept the travel grant in relation to a Winter Term project abroad. LL.M. students who apply for international travel grants will be advised of funding decisions following decisions on their Winter Term Writing Program applications.
Conditions of Award
Upon notification that a student has been awarded a grant, s/he will receive a grant agreement as well as relevant information about the grant. All steps specified in the grant agreement must be completed before a student can receive a grant check.
We hope that all students who receive Winter Term International Travel Grants will be able to take advantage of the funding. However, if a student does not pursue or complete his/her project in substantially the form proposed, then s/he is responsible for notifying the grant committee and returning any funding received.
Students must verify the costs of their travel by submitting the appropriate receipts upon their return to HLS in February 2012. HLS reserves the right to seek reimbursement of funds for any portion of a grant that a student is unable to substantiate.
Students who receive Winter Term International Travel Grants must submit a five-page report about their Winter Term work in February (Date TBA) to firstname.lastname@example.org. This report is related to the grant only and is not a substitute for any academic writing requirements in relation to the Winter Writing Program or Clinical Program. HLS reserves the right to seek reimbursement of funds from students who do not submit reports by the deadline.
For further Information or Questions:
Students should direct questions as follows:
J.D. Winter Term Writing Program
LL.M. Winter Term Writing Program
Independent or Continuing Clinical Projects Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs
Winter Term International Travel Grant Program
International Legal Studies