November 1, 2019
Admissions Assistant Alessandra Luedeking takes you behind the scenes of the interview assignment process.
You’ve received your interview invitation from Harvard Law School, reviewed our tips on how to ace your interview, and even memorized our favorite questions to ask. As the date and time approach, you begin to wonder, who will my interviewer be? Are they nice? Scary? Can I choose my interviewer?
The J.D. Admissions Committee is comprised of four members: Assistant Dean Kristi Jobson, Associate Directors Odeviz Soto and Nefyn Meissner, and our newest member, Assistant Director Lucas Harty. You can read about each one by clicking on their names. And believe me—they are incredibly friendly and eager to meet you.
So, how does the Committee determine who your interviewer will be? The short answer: they don’t. You do! Each interviewer is pre-assigned to a specific time slot that is arranged prior to the release of interview invitations. Consequently, when you select your time preference on the calendar, you are also choosing the interviewer attached to that slot. You might be tempted to count the number of openings to guess at the total number of interviews being conducted on a given day, but this would be misleading. It is possible that more than one Committee member is interviewing within the same twenty-minute time slot.
So, now that you’ve selected your interviewer, what happens behind the scenes? We review your registration forms and print the roster of names you helped us create. Many of you leave notes about the potentially unusual circumstances of your interview: a loud background, spotty WiFi, remote international locations, or an explanation for a raspy voice as you recover from a cold. We wish to reassure you that such matters do not negatively impact our evaluation of your interview. We appreciate the time and effort you expend to have a conversation with us. Along with your notes, each member of the Admissions Committee then assiduously reviews your entire application file and prepares tailored questions that are intended to glean additional information from what is manifestly presented in your materials. These questions range from curiosity about a particular activity, employment opportunity, or academic achievement you’ve undertaken to a self-evaluation of your perceived strengths and weaknesses, or your interest in legal studies and Harvard Law School, in particular.
Is it possible to deduce my interviewer from the calendar selection I made? No. Each Committee member’s time preferences and availability shift from week to week. The process is intentionally randomized to ensure an equitable assessment of your candidacy. The only exception to this rule is when we discover that an interviewer is personally familiar with the candidate. In those rare instances, we reassign that specific time slot to a different Committee member.
If you have been invited to interview, it means we are intrigued to learn more about you! Do not fret about the unflattering lighting, the hair strand that won’t stay in place, or sustaining unwavering eye contact throughout the conversation. We do recommend, however, that you accept our Zoom contact request prior to your appointed interview, test out the audio and video features to minimize technical difficulties, and mind our time zone (Eastern). Finally, do not worry if we are running a few minutes late. That’s on us, and we’ll be sure to initiate the video call shortly.
Best of luck!
Filed in: Inside the Black Box