Hello from Austin Hall! I am delighted to return to Harvard Law as the new Assistant Dean for Admissions and Chief Admissions Officer.
Just a bit about me – I graduated from HLS in 2012. During my time as a student, I participated in the Board of Student Advisers and the Women’s Law Association, danced in the Parody, and led the Journal of Law & Gender. Following law school, I clerked on the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and then joined Ropes & Gray in Boston. At Ropes, I litigated complex commercial disputes and maintained an active pro bono practice, with a particular emphasis on issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community.
You might be wondering what the transition from Jessica to Kristi means for you, the prospective applicant. To answer a few common questions: Yes, we will continue to interview. Yes, we will continue to accept GRE scores this upcoming year. Yes, the Junior Deferral Program will continue. The timetable for 2018 – 2019 may look different than past years, but the process will remain consistent. The core values of our office have not changed, nor have the qualities we’re looking for in an incoming student. Put simply, our mission is to find 560 of the most engaging minds in the world to join the most exciting and dynamic law school in the world.
As a former student, now alumna, this is personal. When I read your file, I will inevitably think of you as a potential sectionmate. The members of my 1L section hailed from all over the country and world, from Oklahoma to China to Alaska to right here in Cambridge. Our political beliefs spanned the spectrum, and our paths varied from professional dancer to tenants’ rights activist. In class, we debated everything, from criminal justice reform to privatizing the fire department (if you’ll pardon the pun, that argument got heated). But we also went out for curly fries at Cambridge Common and gathered together in Gropius to watch Jersey Shore (I know, I know – what can I say, it was 2009). If Harvard Law is the big city of law schools, your 1L section is your neighborhood, the proverbial place where everybody knows your name.
And on the topic of my section, the J.D. Admissions team will review applications for the class of 2022 this year – a class that will share a reunion year with my class of 2012 sectionmates and me. I’m tremendously excited to meet you and your future sectionmates, and maybe one day introduce you to mine.
This fall, our team will travel throughout the United States and to multiple countries outside the U.S, looking to meet you. You can check out our schedule online. We also hold monthly info sessions on campus if you are ever in town. Please follow us on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with our travels. Better yet, tell us more about you so we can let you know when a member of our team will be hosting an event in your area.
I will use this blog to introduce you to the J.D. Admissions team and publish some of my thoughts on the upcoming application cycle. Please check back often, and I hope to meet you soon!