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March 7, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

I write to share the news that Harvard Law School is launching a new strategic initiative that seeks to bring the expertise of our faculty to new learners around the world. Through the new Harvard Law School Online initiative, we will develop online courses to reach new learners with the goal of creating unparalleled opportunities for people around the world to learn about law and its impact.

Our Learning Experience and Technology office will become the new Office of Learning Experience and Innovation, or LXI, and will support the HLS Online initiative and our efforts to develop, produce, and distribute an array of educational content. The newly configured office will also continue to support technological and other classroom innovation and will work in coordination with our Executive Education program, Program on Negotiation, and other programs that already offer online learning to build on their important work and help facilitate further knowledge-sharing and online innovation across the school.

I am delighted to announce that Deputy Deans John Coates and Glenn Cohen are serving as the inaugural Faculty Directors of HLS Online, and that Leah Plunkett will serve as our new HLS Online Executive Director and Associate Dean of Learning Experience and Innovation. To further build on our expertise and experience in professional and lifelong learning, I am also pleased to share that Rebecca Coyne, who has helped steward and grow our Executive Education program under the leadership of Executive Education Faculty Director Scott Westfahl, has been named Assistant Dean for Executive Education. As we expand our opportunities for new learners, our Executive Education program will remain, under their continued leadership, a vital component of our professional and lifelong learning offerings in its on-campus and online teaching for lawyers and legal organizations.

Our HLS Online initiative will be informed by our groundbreaking Zero-L online course, which has already served thousands of students at law schools nationwide, as well as by the other great online offerings developed by HLS faculty in the past decade. HLS Online’s early priorities include offering our Zero-L program directly to interested individuals (in addition to continuing our collaboration with law schools), as well as developing and launching new online courses on such topics as constitutional law with Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen, constitutional history with Professor Michael Klarman, food law with Professor Emily Broad Leib, mergers and acquisitions with Professor John Coates, quantitative reasoning with Professor Crystal Yang, and theories of adjudication with Professor Glenn Cohen. We will also continue to work with Professor Alexandra Natapoff to grow the Constitutional Rights in Black and White (CRBW) video casebook project. 

Harvard Law School’s on-campus degree programs will of course continue to define our mission of educating the next generation of great lawyers and leaders. We are also thrilled to build on the Law School’s educational mission by reaching new learners – from pre-college students to senior professionals around the globe – with excellent online offerings.

We look forward to continuing to update you on the work of HLS Online and our new LXI office. We hope you will share your questions or suggestions with our HLS Online directors.

All best,


John F. Manning
Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law
Harvard Law School