Positions at the Legal Services Center represent a unique opportunity to work within Harvard Law School’s clinical program, to join a dynamic public interest and clinical teaching law office, and practice in burgeoning areas of state and national importance. Unless indicated otherwise in a posting, applicants must apply for open positions via the Harvard University employment website.
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We invite applications to serve as a Clinical Fellow with the Tax Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. The Clinical Fellow will become an important member of the Tax Clinic team, will carry a docket of cases both individually and in collaboration with other attorneys, and will support the Clinic’s advocacy and community engagement. The Tax Clinic’s work combines individual client representation with impact litigation strategies and policy advocacy. The Clinical Fellow position represents a unique opportunity to join Harvard Law School’s clinical program, to work in a dynamic community-based legal services program, to advocate for low-income taxpayers in a variety of case types and practice settings, to develop lawyering skills and knowledge of low-income taxpayer advocacy, and to receive mentorship. The Clinical Fellow reports to the Clinic Director.
Job Specific Responsibilities
The Clinical Fellow will:
- Represent clients in controversies with the IRS and Massachusetts Department of Revenue at different stages of dispute, from audit to Tax Court and, potentially, to the federal district and circuit courts.
- Participate in community outreach and in training sessions led by the Clinic.
- Participate in systemic reform efforts, including litigating impact cases in the circuit courts; filing amicus briefs in federal courts; and writing comments on regulations and other policy pronouncements to provide a voice for low-income taxpayers.
- Generate and help move forward ideas for new Clinic projects.
- Participate in the Clinic’s collaborative learning environment.
The Fellow should have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school with a J.D. degree in the last five years. The Fellow should be admitted to the Massachusetts bar, or be eligible for admission upon exam or waiver, or be eligible for temporary admission pursuant to Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:04.
We are looking for people who have:
- Prior experience advocating for community members of limited means
- Curiosity and creative problem-solving skills
- The ability to quickly pivot and adapt
- The ability to work independently and ask good questions
- The ability to prioritize work, especially given competing priorities
- The ability to exercise discretion and comply with confidentiality requirements
- The ability to exercise sound and effective judgment in complex decision making
- Strong research, writing, and editing skills
- Effective interpersonal and communication skills
- Enthusiasm for being part of a program that teaches and mentors law students and helps people from diverse backgrounds with urgent legal needs
- The ability to interact with clients, community members, colleagues, and others in a culturally competent way
- A commitment to diversity and an inclusive working and learning environment
The candidate need not have a significant tax background, as the Clinic will train and mentor the Fellow in developing the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively represent low-income taxpayers; however, prior experience in tax or an expressed an interest in tax are positive factors, as would be an LLM in Taxation.
The position has an anticipated start date of spring semester 2023. We will review applications and conduct interviews on a rolling basis during fall semester 2022. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
This is a full-time fellowship (35 hours per week), eligible for Harvard benefits.
This is an initial two-year term appointment with potential for renewal, subject to departmental funding and need.
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.
To apply, please submit a letter of interest, a resume/CV, a writing sample, and a list of three or more references. Applications must be submitted via e-mail to LSCfacultyassistant@law.harvard.edu. Please put “Tax Clinic Fellowship Application” in the subject line of your e-mail.
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.
We are an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.
About The WilmerHale Legal Services Center
Founded in 1979 by the trailblazing clinicians Gary Bellow and Jeanne Charn, the WilmerHale Legal Services Center (LSC) of Harvard Law School is located at the crossroads of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury in the City of Boston. LSC’s longstanding dual mission is to pursue justice for community members of limited means while educating Harvard Law Students for practice and professional service. Through six clinics—Consumer Protection, Family Law/Domestic Violence, Low-Income Taxpayer, Housing, LGBTQ+ Advocacy, and Veterans Law and Disability Benefits—and numerous projects and pro bono initiatives, LSC advocates and student attorneys provide essential legal services to community members from nearby neighborhoods in Boston, to residents of Greater Boston and Massachusetts, and in some instances, where cases present unique law reform opportunities, to clients from across the country.
Across its many practice areas, LSC works to improve the lives of individual clients, to seek systemic change for the communities it serves, and to provide clinical law students with a singular opportunity to develop fundamental lawyering skills within an immersive and community-based, legal services practice setting. LSC’s clinics use a variety of advocacy tools—including high-volume civil legal services, cutting-edge litigation and policy advocacy, and innovative outreach and community legal education strategies. Central to LSC’s model of legal advocacy and clinical education is an understanding that legal crises do not arise in isolation, that many clients face multiple and intersecting legal and non-legal needs, and that a holistic approach to lawyering best serves client and community interests. LSC actively partners with a diverse array of community groups, prioritizes cooperation and inter-disciplinary work, including through two medical-legal partnerships, and regularly adapts its practice areas to meet the changing legal needs of client communities. To learn more about LSC and its individual clinics, projects, and initiatives, please visit here.
The Legal Services Center has a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals who are interested in serving the community and contributing to our public service mission. We especially welcome volunteer applicants with experience and interest in the following areas:
- translating legal education materials into Spanish, Haitian-Creole, and other languages
- medical professionals (doctors, nurse practitioners, psychologists, mental health specialists, and others) who can help review medical records for cases on behalf of disabled veterans and others seeking disability benefits
- graphic design, web design, communications, and development
- photography, filmmaking, and videography
- administrative tasks, such as photocopying, scanning, and organizing case files
- any other skill-set or idea that can help contribute to our mission of providing passionate legal advocacy to low-income communities
For more information about volunteer opportunities, please call us at 617-522-3003 and ask to speak to our volunteer coordinator. You can also send email inquiries about volunteer opportunities to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Legal Services Center welcomes applications from graduating law students and those completing judicial clerkships who are interested in sponsorship for a public interest fellowship. LSC has a strong track record of successfully sponsoring applicants for public interest fellowships. To apply for sponsorship, please send a resume and email expressing interest to LSC Faculty Director Daniel Nagin at dnagin[at]law.harvard.edu. We encourage potential applicants to contact us as early as possible in the fellowship cycle process. Decisions about sponsorships are made on a rolling basis.
In most years, the Legal Services Center actively seeks to sponsor applicants for a variety of fellowships, including the Skadden Foundation Fellowship, the Equal Justice Works Fellowship, the ABA Tax Section Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellowship, and other foundation and law-school based fellowships. Our subject-area interests for sponsorship are wide ranging and include consumer, tax, veterans, disability and safety net programs, housing and family law.
The Legal Services Center has an ongoing commitment to studying public interest lawyering, the provision of legal services, and the role of legal advocacy in combating poverty and disenfranchisement. Please contact Anna Pierce, Director of Administration, if you have a query about a potential research collaboration.