With the fall season upon us, the J.D. Admissions office is hard at work gearing up for the 2021—2022 application cycle. And we know many of you are beginning to prepare your materials and get organized as well. To that end, the J.D. Admissions team recently came together to offer their thoughts on some underrated and overrated approaches that applicants might take towards their HLS application. We hope you’ll find some of these nuggets useful. First up, Underrated Approaches to the Application Part 1.

Assistant Director Courtney McMann

Underrated: Part-time work
“Don’t limit yourself to only listing those “fancy” titles or organizations on your resume. Your part-time work is absolutely worth highlighting on your resume for a host of reasons. Whether you worked throughout college to finance your studies, or in between jobs to make ends meet, we want to know how you’ve spent your time and what different types of skills you may have gained along the way.”

Associate Director Nefyn Meissner

Underrated: Keeping things professional
“It goes without saying that we want you to be yourself when meeting us at recruitment events, speaking with our front desk staff over the phone or email, or sitting for an admissions interview. Keep in mind, however, that you are applying to earn a professional credential and enter a professional community. In addition to assessing your academic potential and your community engagement, we are equally interested in assessing what kind of colleague you will one day be to your classmates and what kind of counsel you will one day be for your clients. To present the best case for yourself, keep your emails crisp and clear, your questions relevant and sincere, and your overall presence on point.”

Assistant Director Lucas Harty

Underrated: Knowing yourself
“I’ll wax philosophical for a moment with this one. One thing we hope to learn from the application is who you are as a person, and what qualities and passions you might bring to HLS. Over my years reading applications, the strongest applicants often have a strong sense of self and purpose and can therefore articulate these things efficiently and clearly. Approaching the application with a certain level of self-curiosity and introspection can be a useful starting point to articulating why HLS is the right path, and place, for you.”

Filed in: Inside the Black Box

Contact the J.D. Admissions Office

Website: hls.harvard.edu/jdadmissions

Email: jdadmiss@law.harvard.edu