Our next installment of the Real Talk blog series covers the question of how expressing interest in HLS plays into the application process. 

Prospective applicants often ask us how demonstrating interest in Harvard Law School impacts our admissions process. It brings us great joy to know that HLS is a place where you can see yourself flourishing as a student, a professional, and a community member. We also believe that investigating and expressing interest can be done in many ways. There are some things we would like you to keep in mind as you navigate questions of expressing interest.

Meeting applicants is a highlight of our roles. We love connecting with you, answering your questions, and discussing the ways HLS can support learners in pursuit of their goals. These conversations, while impactful for us all, do not play a role in our selection process. One reason for this is that we know some students cannot meet us and their applications can be just as compelling as the applications of those who can. If anything, meeting our team is an opportunity to collect information to gauge if HLS is the best fit for you.

Similarly, visiting HLS (even virtually!) is an excellent way to get a feel for the law school environment and gather information on your potential specific interests in our community. While it helps confirm your desire to study at HLS, knowing you have seen Langdell Library in all its glory does not play a part in our admissions decision either. Of course, we would be remiss not to take this opportunity to plug this fascinating virtual tour of the library.

Prospective applicants sometimes ask if they should discuss why they want to attend HLS in their personal statement. In general, we leave it to your best judgment to decide what to include in your personal statement. We are looking for your voice and relevant information that we may not have gleaned in other materials. For some, that may mean unpacking an HLS resource that is central to their motivation towards legal study. However, it is not necessary, required, or encouraged unless it is the best use of space for your experience.

We know a lot about HLS. We are hoping to learn more about you. So, when you read your personal statement, ask “what does this share about me? My motivation? My passion? My background?” If you are pleased with the answer to any of those questions, you are probably on the right track.

We hope that this is helpful. Keep exploring, keep learning. We cannot wait to learn more about you.

Filed in: Inside the Black Box

Contact the J.D. Admissions Office

Website: hls.harvard.edu/jdadmissions

Email: jdadmiss@law.harvard.edu