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Dean Martha Minow

Welcome to Harvard Law School! Our website offers a window into the programs and people of this vibrant community.

Harvard Law School is a place for people who love ideas that make a difference in the world. HLS is alive with thinking, research, and advocacy. We address law’s interaction with public policy, ethics, business, information and biomedical technologies, and human needs and perceptions. We invite close analysis of institutions, rules, and practices—and also of their potentially unintended consequences in people’s lives. Fundamentally, our community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni advance law and justice in service of society.

Clinical Professor Dehlia Umunna

Credit: Brooks Kraft Clinical Professor Dehlia Umanna teaches clinical defense as part of Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute.

Our 113 full-time professors give HLS a depth and range of experience unmatched by any other law faculty in the world. We offer more than 300 upper-level classroom and clinical courses—over 100 with 25 or fewer students. Topics range from international legal studies, child advocacy, venture capital, and social and economic rights, to the law of Ancient Greece and the law of cyberspace. Pathbreaking faculty scholarship influences regulation of corporate governance and consumer protection, design of domestic and international finance systems, drafting of emerging constitutions, and debates in law, economics, history, psychology, literary theory, philosophy, and more. Members of our faculty regularly argue cases before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, shape governance of the Internet, propose better regulation of risks, address tensions between security and individual rights, and advise developing nations on their legal systems. From our library—the largest private law library in the world—to our partnerships with institutions across the globe, HLS promotes access to the study and improvement of law, rights, and the human welfare they advance.

HLS students

Credit: Brooks Kraft Students gather outside the Harkness Commons on the Harvard Law School campus.

Our students—accomplished women and men from around the world—organize human rights missions; argue in local, federal, and international courts; launch and assist nonprofit organizations; analyze anticorruption measures; and mediate conflicts and build dispute resolution systems for public and private organizations. They advocate for people facing eviction, for defendants and prisoners, for children with disabilities and other vulnerable individuals; they advise cities on environmental protection and economic development. Our students engage in their own scholarly research and edit 17 internationally renowned law journals, while also putting on plays, making films, competing in intramural sports, organizing conferences, and leading 90 student organizations.

Established in 1817, HLS nurtures a spirit of innovation, critique, and revision that will guide the work of our third century. Current challenges demand nimble and yet well-designed responses. Through the efforts of our 38,000 alumni, superb faculty, extraordinary students, and remarkable staff, we continually strive to advance justice, the rule of law, and human welfare. HLS supports collaborative leaders skilled at analyzing problems, defining solutions, and deploying the power of persuasion so that the powerful will be persuaded and the powerless will be empowered.

Enjoy learning more about the Harvard Law School. Welcome!

Martha Minow
Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law