Harvard Law School- Clinical Instructor- Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative

06 Jul 2021 3:09 PM | Kathryn Pierce Banks (Administrator)

HARVARD LAW SCHOOL is hiring a clinical instructor for its Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI).

TLPI is an internationally recognized collaboration between Harvard Law School and Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC) that advocates to ensure children traumatized by exposure to adversity, including trauma arising from racism and other structural inequities, succeed in school. In pursuit of this mission, TLPI 1) works directly with impacted students and families through legal representation and organizing strategies; 2) partners with educators and school leaders to create and sustain trauma-sensitive schools; and 3) engages in reform advocacy at the legislative and policy level to set systemic conditions that promote trauma-sensitive school culture transformation.

As part of its work, TLPI operates Harvard Law School’s Education Law Clinic, in which law students provide direct legal representation to families in the special education system and practice the skills of legislative and administrative lawyering to advance the project’s education reform agenda.

TLPI consists of a small, close-knit, interdisciplinary team of lawyers, educators, and social workers, each deeply committed to ensuring that all children have access to safe, supportive, equitable and inclusive learning environments where they experience a genuine sense of belonging and connectedness. The team embraces an organizational culture that prioritizes curiosity, humility, and a spirit of perpetual learning and inquiry.

The Clinical Instructor (CI) is a lawyer who is responsible for working with the Faculty Director (and other team members of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative) to operate the project, including, but not limited to, activities related to client representation, clinical teaching, classroom teaching, and systemic change advocacy in public K-12 education. 

  • Job-Specific Responsibilities

    As a Clinical Instructor, you will:

    ·       Assist in the management of the Clinic’s day-to-day work, ranging from big-picture strategic planning to leadership of discrete projects to basic administrative tasks;

    ·       Maintain an active caseload representing low-income clients in special education matters (at IEP meetings and in due process hearings), with an emphasis on providing legal services to clients from communities of color, clients who are non-English speakers, and clients with disabilities;

    ·       Mentor, teach and supervise law students enrolled in the Clinic and its related seminars, helping to foster each student’s growth as a lawyer and child advocate;

    ·       Help to operate TLPI’s statewide Help Line, providing intake, referral, consultation, brief advice and limited representation to parents seeking legal assistance on behalf of their public school students;

    ·       Engage in community outreach, including forging organizational partnerships, participating in coalitions and advocacy initiatives, and providing legal trainings and workshops;

    ·       Contribute as a full member of TLPI’s interdisciplinary team, supporting the work of (and receiving support from) other team members as necessary and appropriate (including collaborating closely with colleagues at our organizational partner, Massachusetts Advocates for Children); and

    ·       Participate fully in TLPI’s multi-strategic systemic advocacy for trauma-sensitive, safe and supportive schools in Massachusetts and beyond.

    Basic Qualifications

    Candidates must have earned a J.D. at least 3 years ago, have at least 3 years of relevant experience, and be admitted to the Massachusetts bar or be willing to apply for admission within the first year of employment.

    Additional Qualifications

    We are looking for a colleague who has:

  • ·       experience in special education law (as well as other areas of education law and policy reform and advocacy);

  • ·       lived experience with and/or a history of significant professional/educational attention devoted to understanding the impacts of structural inequities, including racism;

  • ·       experience with lawyering strategies beyond individual client representation is desirable (e.g., legislative advocacy, impact or class action litigation, grassroots community organizing, appellate advocacy, communications and media work, and other forms of activism)

  • ·       a demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment;

  • ·       the ability to work independently as well as part of a close-knit team;

  • ·       experience with or a strong interest in supervising law students (or similar supervisory experience), as well as developing the skill of classroom teaching

  • ·       a long-term commitment to social justice advocacy, public interest lawyering and/or clinical teaching.

  • ·       Proficiency or fluency with one or more languages commonly spoken in the Greater Boston area is desirable (e.g., Spanish, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole, Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese).


    Additional Information

    This is a term appointment, with the initial term expected to extend through June 30, 2024, subject to departmental funding and need. Strong preference will be given to candidates who are able to start as soon as possible and no later than August 30, 2021. Assistance with relocation to the Boston area may be available as necessary. Candidates are invited to share any reasonable accommodations they may need in order to engage in the application and hiring process and/or as part of employment. Candidates can learn more about TLPI and its work at https://traumasensitiveschools.org.

The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

This job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.











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