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Research Programs and Centers

Harvard Law School's research programs and centers produce cutting-edge work in a wide range of fields and disciplines. From civil rights law to cyberlaw, human rights law to law and economics, these "idea laboratories" host lectures, symposia, and conferences that enhance intellectual discourse and debate on campus and beyond. The programs also provide students with valuable research opportunities and the chance to work directly with faculty members on projects at the cores of their scholarly agendas.

Reflecting a commitment to interdisciplinary study and bridge-building between academia and the world of practice, the programs are incubators for new approaches to how law can best address complex problems in a complex world. Together, the programs help make Harvard Law School what has been described as an “Infotopia”—a place where the collaborative efforts of many people can help societies build bodies of accurate and useful knowledge.

Berkman Center for Internet and Society
An entrepreneurial research program founded in 1997 to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development.
Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice
Seeks to further the vision of racial justice and equality through research, policy analysis, litigation and scholarship. The Houston Institute will place a special emphasis on the issues of voting rights, the future of affirmative action, the criminal justice system and related areas.
Child Advocacy Program
Committed to advancing children's interests through facilitating productive interaction between academia and the world of policy and practice, and through training generations of students to contribute in their future careers to law reform and social change.
East Asian Legal Studies Program
Seeks to respond to the interest in the legal cultures of China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia on the part of lawyers, historians and scholars of international and comparative law.
Environmental Law Program
Dedicated to promoting and supporting scholarship, coursework, clinical practice, and academic programming at HLS in the field of environmental law.
Foundations of Private Law
An interdisciplinary research program at Harvard Law School dedicated to the academic investigation of private law. “Private law” embraces the traditionally common law subjects (property, contracts, and torts), as well as related subjects that are more heavily statutory, such as intellectual property and commercial law.
Harvard Initiative on Law and Philosophy
Working at the intersection of law and philosophy, the Initiative's website seeks to gather information about faculty and courses across Harvard University -- lectures, conferences, symposia, and recent publications --that address some aspect of law and philosophy.
Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security
Devoted to the creation of high-impact, independent, policy-relevant work related to the many areas in which law constrains security options.
Harvard Law School Project on Disability
Works to promote the human rights of people with disabilities worldwide. Facilitates domestic-level implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a human rights treaty that impacts the lives of some 650 million disabled persons globally.
Human Rights Program
Gives impetus and direction to international human rights work at Harvard Law School through clinical and course work, student participation, research and scholarship, and links with human rights groups.
Institute for Global Law and Policy
A collaborative faculty effort to foster new thinking about the ways we are governed at the global level. Fosters research and policy dialog about the structure and potential for global governance as we confront the most pressing issues of global policy.
Islamic Legal Studies Program
Dedicated to achieving excellence in the study of Islamic law through objective and comparative methods.
John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics and Business
Supports research, issues discussion papers, and offers research assistantships and fellowships to Harvard Law students in law and economics.
Labor and Worklife Program
A multidisciplinary, research and policy program examining labor issues and the world of work.
The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics
An interdisciplinary research program dedicated to scholarly research on important issues a the intersection of law and health policy, including issues of health care financing and market regulation, biomedical research, and bioethics.
Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy
Studies a range of issues at the intersection of behavioral economics, law, and public policy.
Program on Corporate Governance
Fosters research and scholarship about corporate governance.
Program on Institutional Investors
Seeks to contribute to research, policy-making, discourse, and education with respect to institutional investors and issues of interest to institutional investors.
Program on International Financial Systems
Promotes research and instruction linking law, economics, and finance; provides public policy assistance in commercial and financial law reform; and conducts international symposia that foster building the financial system.
Program on Negotiation
An innovative, inter-university (Harvard, MIT, Tufts) research center dedicated to improving the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution. PON hosts a wide range of scholarly events, publishes numerous educational materials, and offers negotiation training through its Harvard Negotiation Institute and Negotiation and Leadership courses for senior managers and executives.
Program on the Legal Profession
Promotes research, scholarship and teaching about the norms, structures, and functions of the legal profession in the United States and around the world.
Project on Law and Mind Sciences
Devoted to identifying, inventorying, archiving, blogging, and otherwise promoting research, writing, conferences, colloquia, and presentations directed toward understanding the implications of social psychology, social cognition, and other related mind sciences for law, policymaking, and legal theory.
Tax Law Program
Provides opportunities for the study of tax law at Harvard through a significant array of courses, seminars, and reading groups in U.S. tax law, open to students in both the J.D. and LL.M. programs. There are also opportunities for Visiting Scholars and Researchers in Taxation who wish to further their research at Harvard Law School.
Last modified: July 29, 2015

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