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Legal Practice Settings Series

In the fall and spring semesters, OPIA and the Office of Career Services co-sponsor a Legal Practice Settings series, at which attorneys from diverse legal fields share their experiences. Visit our webcasts and handouts page for videos of prior panels and bios of the panelists.

Other Panels and Workshops

Informational panels on public interest and public sector careers are held regularly by OPIA. These informative and dynamic sessions allow students to meet public interest practitioners and faculty with public service experience and to talk with potential employers on an informal basis about career options. View our events calendar for all the latest details.

Community Building

In order to help foster a sense of community among those who are public interest minded here at the law school, including faculty, students and staff, OPIA organizes or participates in several events designed to bring people together. These events include:

Public Service Orientation

This event kicks off our programming for 1Ls. Students can come to be inspired by our keynote speaker, HLS alum and MacArthur Genius award winner Bryan Stevenson, Dean Martha Minow, and Professor David Barron, now with the Office of the Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice. Members of the OPIA staff review some of the public interest offerings here at HLS and introduce many of those from across the law school who care about public service and can help students throughout their 3 years here. Public Service Orientation is typically held in mid-September.

Section Reps Program

Each year, about thirty first year volunteers serve as OPIA section representatives. These section reps publicize OPIA events, assist OPIA with projects, keep OPIA in touch with the needs of the first year class, and write the Cheap Living Guides, which are guides to inexpensive places to live, eat, shop, and find entertainment in cities popular among HLS students. This program is a great way for 1Ls to meet other 1Ls who care about public service. Email for more information.


OPIA hosts two potlucks each year at the home of an OPIA staff member. All students are welcome! Check out OPIA’s calendar for the date of our potlucks.

Public Interest Auction

OPIA provides administrative oversight to this critical fundraiser which provides essential funding to supplement HLS’ Summer Funding Program, and also serves as the law schools preeminent social event. Over 300 students, faculty and staff pack the Ames Courtroom for this annual tradition. The Public Interest Auction is run entirely by 1Ls to raise money for summer public interest work by auctioning items donated by students, faculty, businesses, and celebrities. Last year’s Auction Co-Chairs will be recruiting 1Ls to work on this year’s Auction in the early fall; the Auction takes place in the spring.

Kaufman Dinner

This dinner at the Harvard Faculty Club takes place in the late Spring of every year and honors the Kaufman Fellows and all other graduating students planning to go into public service work upon graduation or after a clerkship.

Other programs, such as the Human Rights Program, and student groups, such as the Student Public Interest Network and student practice organizations, provide great vehicles for finding others with shared interests. In addition, OPIA always welcomes other suggestions for good community building events.