Harvard Law School J.D. class is most academically accomplished, diverse in school history
August 27, 2021
Today, Harvard Law School welcomed to campus its most diverse class of J.D. students in school history — with record-breaking test scores and grade point averages, to boot.
Why I vote
October 30, 2020
Members of the HLS community share why they believe voting is important.
HLS announces Weil Legal Innovators Program
September 2, 2020
Harvard Law School today announced plans to participate in the 2021-2022 Weil Legal Innovators Program (WLI), a paid fellowship that enables incoming students to defer their first year of law school to work at a WLI partner nonprofit organization.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Harvard Law School J.D. Admissions Office announced last week that the deadline to apply for the School’s Junior Deferral Program has been postponed by two months, and clarified that pass/fail grades in spring 2020 will not harm an applicant’s chances of admission.
Harvard Law School to make applications to Junior Deferral Program free
November 13, 2019
Harvard Law School today announced plans to eliminate the HLS application fee and reduce other application costs for college juniors applying through the School’s Junior Deferral Program (JDP). The changes will save each applicant more than $300. “Harvard Law School is looking to attract and admit talented applicants, regardless of their financial means,” said Kristi Jobson ’12, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Chief Admissions Officer. “We hope and expect that eliminating the application fee and other costs for this group of applicants to our J.D. program will encourage more college juniors, particularly those for whom these costs are more burdensome, to apply to Harvard Law School.” The Junior Deferral Program enables college students to apply to HLS during the spring of their junior year and receive an offer of admission prior to the start of senior fall, if they agree to defer admission for at least two years after college graduation. The program was created to encourage students to gain practical work experience before beginning law school. Students admitted to the program enter the senior year job search with the law school admissions process behind them, and thus may feel more free to explore a full range of opportunities.
Soon-to-be Harvard Law School student Olivia Castor says she has "strong feelings" about the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT. First, it was expensive. She dropped about $300 on prep books and practice tests and paid about $2,000 for private tutoring. Castor took the LSAT last summer and says for about four months preparing for the exam practically took over her life..."Accepting the GRE is part of a larger strategy here in our office to be constantly innovating and thinking about ways to make a Harvard Law School education more accessible to any applicant," says Kristi Jobson, the assistant dean for admissions. The need for more diversity in the legal profession is something she takes personally. "As a practicing attorney myself and as a woman in the profession, I can tell you riding the elevator up a fancy New York City law firm, you feel it," she says. "And walking down the courtroom hallway, you feel the lack of diversity in the profession."
Ahead of the Curve: Harvard Law Welcomes Vets and the LSAT Cracks Down on Serial Repeaters
July 2, 2019
Here’s some cool news. Harvard Law School has become the first law school to join VetLink, a group of top colleges and graduate programs actively seeking to increase their veteran enrollment. VetLink is an initiative of Service to School—a nonprofit that aims to help veterans get into those schools by offering free application counseling and peer guidance to veterans. (It was co-founded by Anna Ivey, a former admissions dean at the University of Chicago Law School.) Until recently, VetLink focused on undergraduate programs. But the George Washington University School of Political Management and Harvard Law are now the first two graduate programs to join the initiative. Here’s what Harvard’s assistant dean for admissions, Kristi Jobsen, had to say about the new collaboration: “Today, we are proud to host one of the largest communities of U.S. military veterans of any law school in the country. Harvard Law School is excited to form this new partnership with Service to School, and to add the VetLink program to our many efforts to connect with veterans thinking about a career in the law.” So just how is Harvard doing when it comes to veteran enrollment? Well, last year vets numbered 45 out of about 2,000 students. That figure is poised to grow, with 20 more veterans expected in the incoming class.
Harvard Law School Increasingly Favors Applicants With Real-World Work Experience
September 13, 2018
If you want to get into Harvard Law School, you should probably spend some time working in the real world before you apply to hit the books in Cambridge. Law School Assistant Dean for Admissions and Chief Admissions Officer Kristi L. Jobson ’06 said in an interview that the school is placing a greater emphasis on applicants' work history than it did in the past. In recent years, the vast majority of successful Law School applicants have boasted at least one year of work experience. Eighty-two percent of this year's incoming first-year class worked for at least 12 months prior to starting school, Jobson said. “One thing that we continue to be interested in, for your reference, is work experience,” said Jobson, who graduated from the Law School in 2012. “When I was a 1L, my class was almost 60 percent straight from college. It's almost a flip of what it used to be."
Harvard Law Sees Spike in Applications. Some Point to ‘Trump Bump’
September 11, 2018
Harvard Law hopefuls, beware — the number of applicants to the Law School spiked by more than 30 percent this past year, and experts say it’s a trend that’s likely to continue. Harvard Law received 7,578 applications for the Class of 2021, compared to 5,755 for the Class of 2020, representing a 32 percent bump. That increase is significantly higher than the rise in law school applications nationwide, which clocked in at 8.3 percent...Harvard Law School Assistant Dean for Admissions and Chief Admissions Officer Kristi L. Jobson...said she thinks Harvard’s increase has little to do with the national increase. “We don't attribute the 32 percent increase that we saw to a parallel to the national increase because it was much higher,” Jobson said. “We think that our office has engaged in a systemic strategy in knocking down barriers to legal education.” She cited a few tactics in particular: Harvard recently eliminated seat deposits, included video interviews as part of the application process, accepted the GRE as a standardized test, and created a Junior Deferral Program. Still, Jobson believes that the spike is fundamentally due to excitement for the school itself.