Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising (OPIA)

Welcome! As a career services office at Harvard Law School specializing in public interest law, our primary goal is to encourage law school students and lawyers to embrace a career that incorporates an ongoing commitment to public service work. We offer advising appointments for Harvard Law students and alumni with our attorney advisors, as well as a wealth of print and online resources for planning a public interest career and landing your job.

Quick Links

Contact Us

Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising
Pound Hall, Room 329
1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138 (map)

Phone: (617) 495-3108
Fax: (617) 496-4944

OPIA Events

1L Section Rep Meeting
Location TBA. Final meeting of the year for OPIA's 1L Section Representatives. [Tue, 06 May 2008]


Impact Work
Western Mass Legal Services has been providing help for poor families, the elderly, and simply those with no one else to turn to for a number of years. Bridging the gap between law and social work, the dedicated attorneys who choose this path in public interest law often describe it as “challenging, rewarding, and often [...] [Mon, 07 Apr 2008]
Helping Public Service
Following the trend of a recently revealed loan forgiveness program, Harvard Law School is announcing a tuition waiver incentive for third-year students who pledge to commit at least five years working in public service. The move is attempting to address the calls of prosecutor’s offices and other public interest employers that high tuition costs are [...] [Wed, 26 Mar 2008]
The Lost Generation
A recent study from Harvard Law School’s Program on the Legal Profession, working with the American Bar Association, has found that big law firms are steadily hemorrhaging nearly 50% of their young associates - and most are leaving of their own accord. Ben W. Heineman, a senior fellow at Harvard Law School describes this [...] [Mon, 10 Mar 2008]
Limit Your Options
A new article in The New York Times discusses research on the decision-making process we all go through. Citing the work of Dr. Dan Ariely, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the article points to how eliminating some options from our lives can limit the opportunity costs we may face and thus reduces [...] [Wed, 27 Feb 2008]
Remembering Veterans Affairs
A new initiative is spearheading the fight to protect our veterans. The Veterans Rights Project, led by Rachel Natelson of New York’s Urban Justice Center, seeks to address the plight of our soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Ms. Natelson wants to fight “the unjust and abuse-ridden claims application process, the lack of accountability for [...] [Mon, 25 Feb 2008]
How Can Your Law Degree Work for You?
For a minority of law school graduates, the legal profession isn’t quite what they’re looking for. Those such as Jason Luros graduate from law school and simply find more available work in fields such as financial planning. Others, however, know the intrinsic value of an advanced degree in law when working with corporate legal departments [...] [Wed, 06 Feb 2008]
Law School Sues On Behalf of Immigrants
Seton Hall Law School along with the Brazilian Voice, a Portuguese-language newspaper, have sued the Department of Homeland Security over documents which the two groups believe pertain to unlawful raids. The raids, performed against immigrant families in New Jersey, are thought to be unwarranted though Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Mike Gilhooly maintains that a [...] [Wed, 30 Jan 2008]
Changing the Legal Tradition
As frustration with the legal profession grows, many young associates are becoming increasingly worn out. In response, many firms have started to change the way their businesses operates. Moving away from the classic model of billable hours, firms have introduced reduced annual hour quotas, adjustable salary and benefits packages dependent on merit rather than seniority [...] [Mon, 28 Jan 2008]
Mortgage Crisis Hits a High Point In Iowa
A recent USA Today article describes the legal tangle that has been left in the wake of the sub-prime mortgage scandal. With foreclosure rates reaching “historic” highs, state lawmakers in Iowa and across the country are struggling to provide households with assistance as well as to curb predatory lending. One proposed California measure would limit [...] [Wed, 23 Jan 2008]
An Unlikely Career Change
Sean Carter was a lawyer. He studied at Harvard with Barack Obama and comfortably worked as in-house counsel for a California mortgage company. Then he realized he was bored and deciding to unexpectedly change jobs, he pursued his other passion: comedy. “Every month I’d take the same eight mortgage agreements and change the names and dates. [...] [Wed, 12 Dec 2007]