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HOLLIS 14538531

Records of the Community Legal Assistance Office

Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard Law School

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS 14538531
Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Ferren, John M.
Title: Records of the Community Legal Assistance Office
Date(s): 1966-1970
Quantity: 2.5 linear feet (in 6 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Papers relating to the creation and operation of the Community Legal Assistance Office, established in 1966 by Harvard Law School to provide clinical legal services to low-income residents of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Donated to the Harvard Law School Library by John M. Ferren, October 2014.

Processing Information:

Processed by Lidia Santarelli, November 2015

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business-day advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Historical and Special Collections staff for further information. Restrictions on personal client information and official university administration records are noted in the container list below.

Conditions Governing Use:

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Historical and Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.

Historical Information



Series List/Description

Scope and Contents

The Records of the Community Legal Assistance Office (CLAO) span the years 1966 to 1992, with the bulk falling in the 1966 to 1970 period. The collection includes: reports, proposals, studies, memos, correspondence, drafts, teaching materials, publications, pamphlets, leaflets, maps, and one photograph. These materials relate to the various aspects of the creation and operation of the office, which was established by the Harvard Law School in 1966, to provide clinical legal services to low-income residents of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Records in this collection document how CLAO was created with a joint effort of Harvard Law School and the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), the agency that, beginning in 1964, became responsible for administering the local application of the War on Poverty programs promoted by President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society legislation.
A significant group of records relates to CLAO's handling of both criminal and civil cases, the latter involving primarily housing, governments benefits, and domestic relations. The records in this collection refer also to a diverse range of topics relating to: antipoverty programs, law reform, legal education for the poor, housing and building projects, and community-based municipal government. Particularly, the records focusing on the Cambridge Model Cities project (1967-1968) shed light on the role that the office played in the application process for the Model Cities program fir urban aid planning which was promoted by the Johnson's administration, and its ensuing implementation. There are also records documenting CLAO's contribution to the housing "modernization" program in the cities of Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts (1968).
Another significant group of records refer to various issues relating to scholarly debates, course planning, and curriculum development in the areas of poverty law and clinical legal services, especially with reference to the Harvard Conference on Law and Poverty (1967), and the course focusing on "The Provision of Legal Services", based almost entirely on CLAO's cases and experiences, which was presented by John Ferren at the Harvard Law School during the academic year 1969-1970.
The collection also includes several scholarly essays and newspaper articles which trace the history of CLAO and discuss its significance. Writings include essays by Robert H. Adkins, John Ferren, Steven M. Fleischer, A. Van C. Lackton, and an unpublished manuscript by Meldon E. Levine. TEST

Container List

Additional Index Terms

City planning -- Citizen participation
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School -- Community legal assistance office
Law -- Study and Teaching (Clinical education) -- United States
Legal aid -- United States
Legal assistance to the poor -- United States