Harvard Law Clinics Go Online
In this chaotic and unprecedented times, more people need support and help that ever before.
And Harvard Law is adamant on continuing to provide legal support even if its students can’t do so in-person.
The Harvard Crimson reports that Harvard Law students will continue to serve Boston residents in need of its free legal services virtually. The law school currently offers 46 clinics and student practice organizations that offer a range of legal specialties from health to immigration, according to info on Harvard Law’s website.
Since campus is closed and many cities have already implemented social distancing measures, students have turned online utilizing video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Skype to continue offering legal services to clients.
“Students are still working on the cases they were working on when they left,” Housing Law Clinic Director Maureen E. McDonagh tells the Crimson. “They’re still connected to their clients.”
Some of the work that has arisen during the pandemic include advocating for rent suspension amidst the coronavirus outbreak and working with the housing rights organization City Life Vida Urbana.
While virtual platforms can assist during these times, McDonagh realizes there are limits to what virtual meetings can provide.
“There’s no substitute for the students getting up and doing something and us giving them feedback, you know, either in class or in person at the office when they’re working on their cases,” she tells the Crimson.
How Students Are Adapting
For students, the virtual clinic world is closely aligned to taking courses online and many are adapting smoothly to the switch.
“While we miss working together on campus, I’m impressed with how graciously and generously the students have adapted,” Nicole Negowetti, Clinical Instructor at the Animal Law & Policy Clinic, tells the Crimson. “Through Zoom classes and meetings we have been working together to ensure that our projects move forward and that everyone feels as positive and supported as possible during this challenging time.”