Each year the Graduate Program hosts some 30 to 35 Visiting Scholars and Visiting Researchers (“Visitors”) from around the world. The program provides Visitors access to Law School facilities (including the Law School’s libraries as well as other libraries at Harvard University) so that they can conduct research on an approved topic while in residence. Visitors may also audit Law School courses on a non-credit basis with the permission of the course instructor. Visitors do not have faculty status, nor do they have access to office space, telephones, or clerical services. The Graduate Program arranges a number of informal functions for Visitors at which they are able to present their work and meet each other as well as other members of the Law School community.
A Visiting Scholar (someone who received their highest law degree ten or more years ago) is generally a professor of law at another institution or a senior member of the legal profession; a Visiting Researcher (someone who received their highest law degree within the last ten years) is generally a person who is working towards a graduate degree, doing post-graduate work at another institution, or a junior member of the profession. Please note that “Visiting Student” status is not available at Harvard Law School.
Because of the large number of applications we receive each year, the Graduate Program is unable to accommodate all those who express interest in visiting for research purposes. In selecting applicants for Visitor status, the Committee on Graduate Studies considers the applicant’s background, field of interest, scholarly achievements, research proposal, availability of Harvard Law School faculty for consultation in the proposed research area, and English language proficiency. Applicants should have completed their basic legal studies with high academic standing.
Prospective applicants interested in an affiliation with a specific research program at the Law School (e.g. the East Asian Legal Studies Program, the Human Rights Program, the Institute for Global Law and Policy, etc.) should contact that program directly for application information and procedures. For information on specific programs, please visit Harvard Law School Research Programs and Centers. Please note that each program conducts its own admissions process; admission to the Graduate Program does not constitute admission to the other research programs, and vice versa.