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Our Team

Stephen Ball Headshot

Stephen L. Ball

Assistant Dean and Dean of Students | 617-495-1880

Stephen L. Ball is the head of the Dean of Students Office. He is responsible for promoting the well-being of students and works collaboratively to build and implement a strategic vision for how the office can most effectively support students.  This involves, among other responsibilities, creating enriching student programming, helping prepare students for the Bar application process, connecting students to resources across the school and university, mentoring individual students, and overseeing major campus events ranging from orientation to commencement. A licensed attorney, Stephen began his career as a commercial litigator in Baker & Hostetler LLP’s New York office before moving to senior roles at CSAA Insurance Group, Airbnb, and Wells Fargo.  Proudly born and raised in Metro Detroit, he holds a B.A. in Political Science and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan, as well as a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Lakshmi Clark Headshot

Lakshmi Clark

Senior Director of Student Affairs

Lakshmi Clark is the Senior Director of Student Affairs. She is responsible for managing the facilitation of law student access to academic, co-curricular, and social activities at the University. Lakshmi oversees referrals and resources for academic support, is the primary contact for law student emergencies, manages the medical leave of absence process for HLS students, and coordinates support for international J.D. students. Additionally, she contributes to the planning and implementation of Dean of Students Office events and programs including Commencement, Orientation, and student leadership development programs. She has a Master of Arts in Learning Disabilities from Teachers College, Columbia University, a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University, and is receiving her Doctor of Education in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education from Johns Hopkins University.

Kristina Barrett Headshot

Kristina Barrett

Director for Student Administration | 617-495-2858

Kristina Barrett is the Director for Student Administration. She oversees key procedural operations, financial administration, and business functions in DOS, and works across the student services team to identify opportunities for cross-office service improvements. Additionally, she oversees Commencement and Orientation planning and contributes to the planning and implementation of all DOS events and programs. Kristina comes to DOS from the HLS Registrar’s Office and holds a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Boston University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

Tara Townsend Headshot

Tara Townsend

Assistant Director of Student Life

Tara Townsend is the Assistant Director of Student Life. Tara is a resource for student questions related to academic support, personal and medical emergencies, international student support, and leaves of absence. Additionally, she collaborates on DOS programs, including well-being and academic success programs, and works closely with the Resident Assistants (RAs) in the HLS residence halls. Before joining the Dean of Students Office, Tara worked for The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Student Affairs and Harvard University Housing with the Graduate Commons Program. She has a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from the Lynch School of Education, Boston College and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Merrimack College. She enjoys life in Somerville with her partner, two daughters, and exceptionally energetic goldendoodle.

Kandace Kukas

Bar Advisor

An experienced bar exam expert, Kandace has served in a senior role with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners and was the Assistant Dean and Director of Bar Admission Programs at Northeastern University School of Law as well as two other law schools in Massachusetts. Additionally, Kandace is well versed in the world of bar exam preparation, having spent nearly eighteen years at Kaplan Test Preparation and Bar Review. She earned her JD from Suffolk University Law School.

Yvonne Smith Headshot

Yvonne Smith

Administrative Coordinator, Board of Student Advisers | 617-495-4535

Yvonne Smith manages the Board of Student Advisers (BSA). The BSA is a student organization charged with providing several essential services to the Harvard Law School community. The members of the BSA serve as teaching assistants in the First Year Legal Research and Writing Program, and as academic and pastoral advisers to members of the first-year class. Yvonne oversees and monitors and manages the committees that perform the functions of the BSA, including Upper Round Ames, Orientation, and First Year Ames. Yvonne also serves as the administrative coordinator for the 1L Section Social Committees. She assists with planning section events, section memorabilia, and section budgets. Yvonne is also involved with planning Orientation and Commencement. Yvonne was a 2016 recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence. She has worked at Harvard Law School since 1987.

Kristen Conklin Headshot

Kristen Conklin

Staff Assistant | 617-495-1880

Kristen is the Staff Assistant for the Dean of Students Office. She is the friendly voice on the Dean of Students’ phone and inbox that you will encounter when you have a pressing question or urgent matter to discuss with DOS. Kristen also facilitates class recordings for students experiencing emergencies and supports all Dean of Students Office events and creative media and communications projects. A professional photographer and artist, Kristen began her career moving up the ranks in photography by jet setting around the globe as an independent contractor before opening her successful photography studio on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard. After settling with a burgeoning family back on the “mainland” MA, Kristen joined HLS and is now the “Queen of all Trades” for the Dean of Students office.

Rain Ferriter

Staff Assistant

Rain is the Staff Assistant for the Dean of Students Office. They manage the @hlsstudentlife Instagram and are available to help and support students and faculty, especially with events and commencement. At Boston University, Rain received a BA in Psychology with a minor in Visual Arts. After working with the Questrom MBA Center, they decided to join HLS at the DOS office to further support students on their journey to success.