“Community” is a common buzzword in the law school admissions world. I once feared it was only a buzzword (a reasonable thought, I think—warmth and coziness aren’t traits I’d normally associate with a massive amalgam of type-A personalities). But as a prospective student, HLS convinced me that I might actually find community here. And as a current student, I have found community here, and contribute to it myself. My favorite vehicle for that has been the Section 5 Social Committee.

Over the summer, incoming 1Ls are randomly divided into seven sections of eighty students. While you interact with plenty of students outside of your section, the section is the hub of your 1L experience; you take all of your 1L doctrinal courses together, creating a school-within-a-school dynamic. But there are also opportunities to interact with your sectionmates outside of the strictly academic context. That’s where the Section Committee comes into play.

Each section has a Section Committee. Any section member is free to join, and to be as involved or uninvolved as they want—I chose to get more heavily involved and serve as Treasurer of our Section Committee. The Dean of Students Office provides the committees with budgets, and we have broad discretion over how to spend them. Section Committees may do modest activities, like pizza nights after a stressful week; they also might plan larger events, like autumn apple-picking outings.

I’m not afraid to say it: the Section 5 Social Committee is the best one. We’ve put on three large events—a section paint night, a pre-Thanksgiving potluck, and a winter formal. We purchased matching Section 5 quarter-zips for the section and our professors, assembled goodie bags for our sectionmates during the fall finals season, and hope to put on a murder mystery night this semester.

The quarter-zip purchase is my personal favorite thing that we’ve done—so much work went into it, and the payoff of seeing everyone wear the sweatshirt has been immensely gratifying. We placed them at everyone’s seat before Civil Procedure, and the next morning we asked our Contracts professor—Randall Kennedy—to take a picture of all of us wearing them. He kindly obliged, and you’ll find that picture above! 

Section Committee has been so much fun, and it is a great source of personal fulfillment for me and my peers. It’s been heartwarming to see my sectionmates enjoy the activities that we’ve made happen.

I was never the type to be involved in something like this. But whether you were always engaged in your campus communities, or just watched from the sidelines and wish you had been involved, Section Committee—and the section in general—is a community for all.

–Brandon Jacobs ’26

Filed in: Student Voices

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