LIDS is firmly committed to two goals: making a difference in international development and providing our members with opportunities to get involved in hands-on, exciting, and high-impact work in a field of their choice. To serve these goals, LIDS sets up semester-long projects with leading organizations and entrepreneurs active at the intersection of law and development. Typically, we run a number of projects during the fall (September-December) and spring (February-May) semesters. Over the last five years, LIDS has worked on over 50 projects with more than 35 different organizations.
During the 2016-17 academic year, we will continue to run projects in collaboration with international development organization partners. These projects will be carried out with, and on behalf of, our partner law firm, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Please check our Projects page for specifics. LIDS is also very pleased to continue a recent addition to our student participation system, the White Paper Series. The White Paper Series will be built around researching questions of law and development and will result in student-generated documents that will be both posted on our website and shared with the development community at large. This will be an opportunity for students to build research and writing skills and substantive knowledge on the practice and theory of development, and for LIDS to develop its institutional knowledge and find a voice in the wider conversation around law and development.
Our project teams typically consist of 5-10 graduate students (from schools such as HLS, HKS, Fletcher, or MIT) and work directly with a senior client at one of our partners — generally, a development-focused NGO, IGO, an entrepreneur serving the bottom of the pyramid, or foreign government. LIDS projects are excellent opportunities to become an expert on an exciting development issue, hone research and writing skills, become a great team player and build a professional network. (And, according to our members, they’re also a lot of fun!)
If you are a current graduate student in the Boston area interested in participating in a LIDS Project, please keep reading below for more details. Be sure to also check our website’s calendar for recruitment dates and LIDS Live for up to date information, or email Michael Harold, Mike Maruca, and Isabel Yang.
To be eligible to work on a LIDS project, you must be a current graduate student in the Boston area. Students can join a project as a team leader or a team member.
Team Leaders are responsible for managing the project. This role involves liaising with the client and the Orrick attorney assigned to the project, communicating frequently with team members, running weekly or bi-weekly team meetings, and ensuring that the final product is of high quality. Leadership, communications skills, and an ability to manage a team are important skills for this role. Expertise in the subject matter, while helpful, is not essential, but a demonstrated interest in the topic is expected. There are typically two team members assigned to each project, and they are each expected to dedicate 5-10 hours per week to the project.
Team Members are primarily responsible for preparing the deliverable, which may be a legal memo, policy report, business plan, among other possibilities. This role involves research work, which can include conventional research (online, libraries, etc.) and also, in some cases, interviewing individuals or experts on the subject matter. Being a team member is an excellent opportunity to work with an external development group and gain subject matter expertise and valuable employment skills. Expertise in the subject matter is not essential, but a demonstrated interest in the topic is expected. Research and writing skills are important for this position, as is an ability to work on a team and meet deadlines. Team members are expected to dedicate 3-5 hours per week to the project. The number of project team members depends on the size of the project and can range from 5-10.
Read descriptions of current and past projects to get a sense of the work we do!