It’s December and here in the J.D. Admissions Office that means it’s Application Reading Season. Thanks to the rolling admissions timeline, we will be receiving your applications on a daily basis until the application closes, and our team is already hard at work carefully reviewing the files we’ve received thus far. We read files whenever we have time while in the office, but we’ve also found it to be invaluable to step away from Austin Hall to give our complete attention to your stories and accomplishments. We thought we’d share a little bit more on where you might find us when reading your applications.

Monique Atkinson (Admissions Officer)
“I regularly find myself reading applications wherever I can take in the Cambridge scenery. I will hunt down a comfy seat in Langdell Library that overlooks Holmes Field or curl up by my window in Austin Hall and peer up every so often at a frosty Cambridge Common park. I’ll often split my screens between an application and a YouTube fireplace to create a cozy environment for taking in the stories of prospective HLS students. Throw in hot cocoa in my favorite office mug, and you have a perfect setup.”

Kristi Jobson (Assistant Dean)
“This fall I developed a new reading habit: sitting in the student lounge in the Wasserstein-Caspersen Center and reading files. There are two fireplaces in there, making it a cozy place during the winter months. Students walk through the lounge all the time, so there is a nice bustle and good energy in there. Reading in the lounge helps me picture the person at HLS – what clinics would they enjoy? What student groups might they lead? What will they do for fun with their section? It’s my new favorite spot, especially because the Hark Box Café is right next door for coffee. And in case you were wondering, yes, I have a screen protector over my computer and my back to the wall, so no one can see your file.”

Lucas Harty (Assistant Director)
“I definitely find it tough to be productive if I’m at home in my apartment, so I’ll try to find a corner at a local coffee shop with reliable WiFi for a few hours. My usual routine is to grab a bagel and some coffee and really dig into the files. I’m also someone who is too easily distracted by notifications on my phone.  I’ve started using an app that helps with time management and focus called Forest (I promise this isn’t a product plug!), and it’s been a game-changer for my productivity, especially when I’m staring down a long queue of applications to read.”

Courtney McMann (Admissions Officer)
“When I read files, I try to set myself up to be free of distraction so nothing is on my mind but the file in front of me. I’ll make myself comfortable with some background music, close my door if I’m in the office, or cozy up against my dog if I’m at home. The one constant is that I always make myself a cup of hot tea – and always forget about it as soon as I start reading.”

Nefyn Meissner (Associate Director)
“My favorite place to read is at home at my desk. I brew a cup of coffee, put on my favorite sweatshirt, and work under the watchful eyes of my two cats, Maya and Boo. It reminds me a little bit of studying during college and graduate school – although it’s admittedly a lot more enjoyable than memorizing Latin poetry or sifting through course readings.”

Filed in: Inside the Black Box

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