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Happy September!  It is the first day of class here at HLS, and the campus is buzzing.  Our campus can get quiet during the summer, and we’re thrilled to have the 2Ls and 3Ls back, and to welcome our 1Ls – the Class of 2021!  We searched the world for you, we read your essays, we called you to welcome you to the HLS community . . . and now you are here.

For me, registration and orientation week went by in a happy blur.  On Tuesday, I spoke at international students orientation and the welcome event for partners and families (I gave birth to my son right after exams 2L year, so I have lots to say about parenting during law school!).  That night, I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural First Class dinner for students, faculty, and staff who identify as first-generation college students.  Thank you to Mark Jefferson, our Director of Community Engagement and Equity, and to Li Reed ‘20 and the members of First Class for putting together such a memorable night.  Professor I. Glenn Cohen ’03 served as the keynote speaker, and reminded us all that we belong at Harvard Law.

Wednesday marked the official start to orientation, and the entire admissions team attended Dean Manning’s welcome speech in Sanders Theater (and saw him posing for selfies after the speech!).  Assistant Director Alex Feinson and I sat out on a picnic bench to eat our lunch after the speech, and saw Dean Manning on his way back from Sanders.  Something he said really stuck with us, a great thought for our students or really anyone starting school this fall:  “Listen generously to your classmates and teachers, especially the ones you disagree with.”

On Thursday, the entire class was treated to a talk from former Dean Kagan (perhaps you’ve heard of her?).  Justice Kagan and Dean Manning (both graduates of HLS) engaged in a chat about law school, the legal profession, and life.  Justice Kagan shared an inside view on life as a SCOTUS justice, from serving on the cafeteria committee to her guess as to the “funniest justice” for the October 2018 term (she thinks her old antitrust prof, Justice Breyer, will take the title again this year).

Justice Kagan advised the Class of 2021 to get to know their classmates.  Speaking on behalf of the admissions team, we couldn’t agree more!  You are an incredible class, and we cannot wait to see what you accomplish.

And now, as the 1Ls embark on their first day of class at HLS today . . . the admissions team looks ahead to the Class of 2022!  Our application opens in less than two weeks, and we are excited to meet our future community members on the road and read your applications this fall.

All the best,

Kristi (and the J.D. Admissions team)