Frequently Asked Questions
- How can I obtain information about HLS?
If you are interested in J.D. admissions information, please visit the J.D. Admissions website.
If you are interested in LL.M. or S.J.D. admissions information, please visit the Graduate Program website.
If you are a journalist, please contact the HLS Communications Office.
- Can I visit the Law School?
Prospective applicants are welcome to visit the Law School at any time, although you may wish to consult the academic calendar to plan your visit at a time when classes are in session. Prospective J.D. students should stop by the J.D. Admissions Office when you arrive for information on where to go and what you can do while in Cambridge. The J.D. Admissions Office is open between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Information sessions with an admissions officer and student-guided tours are offered from mid-September through mid-November on most in the fall on select Friday afternoons. These sessions begin at 2:00 pm and last approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Please call 617-495-3179 in advance to confirm dates.
View the schedule and register for a session at: http://www.law.harvard.edu/prospective/jd/experience/infosessions.html.
- How do I get to the campus?
- I need legal advice. Can HLS help me?
If you require legal assistance, contact your local Bar Association for referrals to attorneys; or visit the American Bar Association information site. In Massachusetts, referral sources include the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association. For information about legal services for people with low incomes call the Legal Advocacy Resource Center at Greater Boston Legal Services (617-371-1234 or 800-323-3205) or the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School (617-522-3003).
- How old is Harvard Law School?
Harvard Law School was founded in 1817. It is the oldest continuously operating law school in the United States. Read more about the history of the school.
- How many students attend Harvard Law School?
Approximately 1,990 students attend the School each year: 1,750 J.D. students, 180 LL.M. students, and 60 S.J.D. candidates.
- How many faculty members are there at HLS?
In 2012-2013, the faculty includes 109 full-time professors, 33 visiting professors, 98 lecturers on law, clinical professors and instructors, and professors emeriti.
- How many courses does Harvard Law School offer?
The curriculum features more than 430 courses and seminars each year.
- How can I get a copy of my HLS transcript?
- How can I change my address in alumni records?
You can e-mail your new address to email@example.com, or contact the Alumni Records Office at 617-495-3114, or fax changes to 617-495-9684.
- Where can I find information about upcoming reunions?
Please visit the reunion section of the alumni website for information about upcoming reunion events and activities.
- Where can I find information about giving to HLS?
Information about giving to HLS can be found on the giving section of the alumni website.
- How many books are in the HLS library?
The Library’s collections include more than 2 million volumes.
- Can I use the library if I have no Harvard affiliation?
Please see the Admission to the Library page for information on the access policies.
- How can I find out what is in the HLS library's collections?
Please visit the HLS Library’s website for information on the library’s collections.
- Where can I get more information about applying to HLS?
If you have questions about applying to the J.D. program, how best to prepare for Law School, enrollment statistics, and other J.D. Admissions-related subjects, you may also be interested in viewing FAQs compiled by the J.D. Admissions Office.
- What is the first-year class profile?
View the first-year class profile for the current class.
- What are the eligibility requirements for applying to the Harvard Law School J.D. program?
You are eligible to apply if you will have a bachelor’s degree by August of the year you intend to enroll at HLS. You must also take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before the February 1 application deadline (no later than the December LSAT administration) in order for your application to be guaranteed consideration.
- Does HLS offer any part-time or summer programs?
Except for continuing legal education for practicing lawyers, HLS does not have any part-time or summer programs.
- What are the range of LSAT scores and GPAs of last year's admitted applicants?
Admission decisions are based on the Admission Committee’s experienced judgment applied to individual cases, and many factors are taken into account. Each application is given a thorough review, taking account of all available information. Because GPA and LSAT scores alone do not fully or adequately summarize information about individuals that is important to admission decisions, these “numbers” often prove poor predictors of admission decisions on individual applications. At no point on the GPA or LSAT scales are the chances of admission to Harvard Law School 0 or 100 percent. Current 75/25 percentiles for both GPA and LSAT scores can be found on the first-year class profile.
- Is financial aid available?
All students who demonstrate financial need according to a combination of federal and institutional guidelines receive adequate financial assistance to complete their course of study. For more information about financial aid, please consult our current application for admission or visit the HLS Student Financial Services website.
- How can I afford HLS if I am interested in public service?
The Low Income Protection Plan (LIPP) is one of the most generous loan repayment programs in the nation. This program helps relieve the burden of repayment of educational loans for J.D. graduates in qualifying jobs. Qualifying jobs include all full-time jobs in non-profits, government, or academia and some law-related jobs in the private sector.
- What is the best "pre-law" curriculum?
How does one prepare for law school? The Harvard Law School faculty prescribes no fixed requirements with respect to the content of pre-legal education. The nature of candidates’ college work, as well as the quality of academic performance, is taken into account in the selection process. As preparation for law school, a broad college education is usually preferable to one that is narrowly specialized. The Admissions Committee looks for a showing of thorough learning in a field of your choice, such as history, economics, government, philosophy, mathematics, science, literature or the classics (and many others), rather than a concentration in courses given primarily as vocational training. The Admissions Committee considers that those programs approaching their subjects on a more theoretical level, with attention to educational breadth, are better preparatory training for the legal profession than those emphasizing the practical.
- Does Harvard Law School offer concurrent or joint degree programs?
Harvard Law School offers joint degree programs, with the Harvard Business School (J.D./MBA), the Harvard School of Public Health (J.D./MPH), the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (J.D./MPP or MPA/ID), the Harvard Graduate School of Design (J.D./MUP), and the Cambridge University Faculty of Law (J.D./LL.M.) and the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (J.D./PhD). For those interested in combining a legal education with advanced training in a field in which a joint degree is not offered, we offer a number of concurrent degree opportunities with other graduate schools. Learn more about joint and concurrent degree programs, and the coordinated J.D./PhD program, as well as cross-registration and study abroad.