An Open Letter to the Harvard Law School Community from the staff of the Student Practice Organizations (SPOs):
We, the below named staff of the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, Harvard Defenders, and the Tenant Advocacy Project, wish to state our support for the demands put out by Reclaim Harvard Law. The list of demands can be found here.
SPOs are unique at Harvard Law School in that we meet students early – many in the first weeks of 1L year – and we often get to spend the next three years with them and get to know them well. Many of our programs also welcome LLM students, and students who discover a passion for public interest work later in their law school careers. Since we don’t grade our students and they participate in our programs voluntarily, our relationships with them are different than they might be in a class or a graded clinic.
Like many other clinical programs at Harvard Law School, the SPOs focus on assisting disadvantaged clients. Our clients are often caught in the crosshairs of multiple oppressions. Systemic and individual racism is a concern for us for our students, our clients, and ourselves.
Our students, clients, and colleagues inspire us every day. We look forward to engaging with the rest of the Harvard Law School community in dialogue, and particularly in action to make this institution truly a place in pursuit of justice for all.
Elizabeth Blake, Tenant Advocacy Project
John Fitzpatrick, Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project
Maria Leister, Harvard Defenders
Sarah Morton, Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project
Marcia Peters, Tenant Advocacy Project
John Salsberg, Harvard Defenders
Joel Thompson, Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project
Lynn Weissberg, Tenant Advocacy Project
Related letters of support: