Harvard Law School Clinics Focus on Coronavirus Legal Aid

Several Harvard Law School clinics are shifting their focus to provide legal aid to vulnerable populations affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Reports The Harvard Crimson

Legal clinics offer students the opportunity to gain practical experience and provide pro bono aid to real clients. The Law School currently offers 46 clinics and student practice organizations covering more than 30 areas of law.

Sabrineh Ardalan — director of the Immigration and Refugee Clinic — said the group is currently advocating for the release of its clients from densely populated detention centers where detainees are unable to practice social distancing.

“We’ve been doing policy advocacy to try to get Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release immigrant detainees from detention centers locally and nationally,” she said. “We’ve also been doing advocacy to try to get Immigration and Customs Enforcement to halt immigration enforcement actions.”

Ardalan noted the clinic’s team at Greater Boston Legal Services successfully secured the release of one of its clients from a New Hampshire detention center Friday.

The clinic also continues to serve its clients who are not detained by connecting them to health services and financial assistance.

“Our social worker, Liala Buoniconti, has been busy with a lot of clients to try to connect them to unemployment insurance — to try to connect them to funds for undocumented workers,” Ardalan said.

Emily M. Broad Leib, who directs the Food Law and Policy Clinic, said the group is finding ways to aid food producers and farmers unable to sell their food to restaurants, universities, and other large buyers.

“Some of our work has been really looking at what are the ways that we can try to send funding to them to kind of purchase this food they produce and also make sure that it doesn’t get wasted,” she said.

Source: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2020/4/15/harvard-law-school-coronavirus-clinic-aid/