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Our Team

Stephen Ball Headshot

Stephen L. Ball

Assistant Dean and Dean of Students

sball@law.harvard.edu | 617-495-1880

Stephen L. Ball (he/him) 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 Portrait

Lakshmi Clark

Senior Director of Student Affairs

Lakshmi Clark (she/her) 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 a Doctor of Education in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education from Johns Hopkins University.

Kristina Barrett Headshot

Kristina Barrett

Director for Student Administration

kbarrett@law.harvard.edu | 617-495-2858

Kristina Barrett (she/her) 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 (she/her) 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.

Photo of Jeff Sierra

Jeff Sierra

Assistant Director of Student Life

jsierra@law.harvard.edu | 617-384-0248

Jeff Sierra (he/him) is the Assistant Director of Student Life. Jeff is a resource for student questions related to personal and medical emergencies and academic support. He collaborates on DOS programming that aims to support student well-being and academic success. Before joining the Dean of Students Office, Jeff worked at Boston University as an Academic Advisor in the College of General Studies. Jeff has a Master of Social Work from the Boston College School of Social Work and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Thomas Jefferson University. In his free time, he enjoys hiking outdoors with his family and friends and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. Jeff is excited to support students in reaching their highest potential at Harvard Law School.

Sarah Parker Portrait

Sarah Parker

Bar Advisor

Sarah Parker (she/her) is the Bar Advisor at HLS. An experienced bar exam expert, Sarah is well versed in the bar exam world as well as the application and preparation process, having spent over a decade working for Themis Bar Review. Prior to entering the bar exam realm, she practiced Land Use and Winery Law in California and also served on her local Planning Commission. She earned her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and her Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo. She enjoys life in the North Shore with her partner and their rescue dogs, Leo and Ella.

Kristen Conklin Headshot

Kristen Leigh Conklin

Board of Student Advisers and Student Affairs Administrator

kconklin@law.harvard.edu | 617-495-1880

Kristen (she/her) is the Board of Student Advisers and Student Affairs Administrator for the Dean of Students Office. She is a resource and mentor for the BSA committees and serves as the Dean of Students primary liaison and
oversight for 1L and upper-level section social committees.
Kristen is the Coordinator of the Ames Moot Court Qualifying Round and Semi-final Round Competitions, arranging the publication of the Ames records and briefs for the Ames Qualifying round, Semi-Final, and Ames Final round. Collaborating with the Dean’s Office, Harvard University Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals Office, she plans and ensures the successful execution of the Ames Moot Court Final Round competition, which frequently is judged by a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
Most importantly, Kristen is a support, a guide, and a mindful sounding board for the Board of Student Advisers and, in turn, the entire 1L class of HLS students.
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 on the Mainland, Kristen joined HLS and is now a “Queen of all Trades”, a trusted support for the BSA and 1Ls, and an out-of-the-box thinker who eats process inefficiencies for breakfast!