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Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The diverse student body at Harvard Law School is drawn from across the nation and around the world. With a dedication to excellence and lifelong learning, the HLS community cultivates inclusion and equity in an environment of trust and mutual respect. It is the commitment of the Law School to respect the rights, dignity, and differences of others, and to pursue honesty and integrity in engaging with all members of the community.


Meet Mark Jefferson, Assistant Dean for Community Engagement and Equity

Mark Jefferson.

Credit: Martha Stewart

Mark Jefferson is the Assistant Dean for Community Engagement and Equity. Mark counsels students from a wide variety of diverse backgrounds, with a special focus on developing relationships with and working through the concerns of students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, whether religious, socioeconomic, racial, gender/sexual identity, political, or any combination thereof. In collaboration with student groups, faculty, various administrative offices, and centers, Mark develops programming that promotes cultural competency, civil discourse, and thick articulations of the unique ways social justice, inclusion, and equity intersect at Harvard Law School and beyond. Additionally, he contributes to the planning and implementation of Dean of Students Office events and programs including Commencement, Orientation, and student leadership development programs. He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and his B.A. in Philosophy from Morehouse College. In his spare time he reads whatever he can get his hands on, writes fiction, and contemplates the seemingly effortless genius of Sarah Vaughan, among other things.

“Mark Jefferson displays an extraordinary ability to support and advise students from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives,” said Dean John F. Manning. “He is a wise and generous teacher and mentor to our students, and he brings tremendous insight and talent to bear on questions of how to deepen and strengthen the bonds of community at HLS.”

Advising and Mentoring at HLS

Advising and Mentoring at HLS

HLS Talks Student Speaker Series

HLS Talks Student Speaker Series

Share stories, not resumes

Four posters on easels featuring images of students who will be speaking at the Talk speaker series.

HLS Talks is a student-led speaker series that provides an open forum for students to share stories and connect with each other as people, not just as law students. By sharing stories and not resumes, HLS Talks has become an integral part of the HLS community. We invite all students to participate as Speakers, Listeners, and Coaches.

To learn more about HLS Talks, please email HLS Talks Co-Chairs Sarah Sadlier and Faith Jackson at

HLS Task Force on Academic Community and Student Engagement

HLS Task Force on Academic Community and Student Engagement

A working group of twelve Harvard Law School faculty, alumni, and students have examined the student experience in four core areas: (1) institutional culture, (2) curriculum, (3) mentoring, and (4) institutional supports. After gathering student input, advice and counsel from related law school offices, and research on the practices of peer institutions, the Task Force has submitted a report of their findings to Dean John Manning.

More about the Task Force

The information on this page has been researched and provided by the Dean of Students Office at HLS. If you find that any of this information is no longer current, or if you have a question, please contact the Dean of Students Office.