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An Introduction to Harvard Law School

The unique strength of our community is that it brings together, from around the world, so many exceptionally talented people of different backgrounds, lived experiences, interests, ambitions, approaches, methodologies, and perspectives. At HLS, we don’t look alike; we don’t think alike; we don’t come from the same place. Here, you don’t have to do any particular thing, in any particular way. Whoever you are, whatever you do, however you do it, Harvard Law School is a place where you can thrive.

John F. Manning ’85, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law


  • Student to Faculty Ratio 7:1
  • Full-time Faculty 116
  • Visiting Professors 33
  • Lecturers on Law 185


Harvard Law Today

  • Featured image for Students honored at 2023 Class Day article

    Students honored at 2023 Class Day

    A selection of Harvard Law students from the Class of 2023 were recognized for their contributions during the Class Day ceremony on May 24. They were honored for outstanding leadership, citizenship, compassion, and dedication to their studies and the profession. Ralph D. Gants Access to Justice Award Stephanie Perez ’23 was the recipient of the

    May 25, 2023

Public Service

  • The Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising (OPIA) is dedicated to supporting and encouraging law students and lawyers to incorporate an ongoing commitment to public service work throughout their careers
  • HLS students are required to serve 50 pro bono hours before graduation. The average HLS student in the 2020–2021 academic year served 662 pro bono hours
  • Up to $1M in grant awards is available to graduating students pursuing careers in public service through the Public Service Venture Fund
  • More than 58% of 1Ls received Summer Public Interest Funding (SPIF) during the summer of 2019

Clinical and Pro Bono Programs

Clinics in Action | 2L Adeyemi Adediran ’21 goes to the Seventh Circuit
  • Hours of pro bono legal services HLS students have provided since the inception of the program 4.8 mil
  • Areas of the law in which HLS offers clinical placements 35+
  • Approximate percentage of students who participate in clinical work 91%
Clinics in Action | Child Advocacy Clinic internship with the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts
Clinical and Pro Bono Programs
Animal Law and Policy Clinic
Capital Punishment Clinic
Child Advocacy Program
Criminal Justice Appellate Clinic
Criminal Justice Institute
Criminal Prosecution Clinic
Crimmigration Clinic
Cyberlaw Clinic
Delivery of Legal Services Clinic
Domestic Violence and Family Law Clinic
Democracy and the Rule of Law Clinic
Education Law Clinic – Externships
Education Law Clinic/Trauma & Learning Policy Initiative
Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic
Employment Law Clinic
Federal Courts Clinic
Federal Tax Clinic
Food Law and Policy Clinic
Government Lawyer: Attorney General Clinic
Government Lawyer: United States Attorney Clinic
Government Lawyer: Semester in Washington Clinic
Harvard Dispute Systems Design Clinic
Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic
Harvard Legal Aid Bureau
Health Law and Policy Clinic
Housing Law Clinic
Institute to End Mass Incarceration Clinic
International Human Rights Clinic
Judicial Process in Trial Courts Clinic
LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic

Research Programs and Centers

Access to Justice Lab
Animal Law & Policy Program
Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
Center on the Legal Profession
Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice
Child Advocacy Program
East Asian Legal Studies Program
Environmental & Energy Law Program
Foundations of Private Law
Harvard Initiative on Law and Philosophy
Harvard Law School Project on Disability
Human Rights Program
Institute for Global Law and Policy
Institute to End Mass Incarceration
John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Business
Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law
Labor and Worklife Program
Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics
Program in Islamic Law
Program on Biblical Law and Christian Legal Studies
Program on Corporate Governance
Program on Institutional Investors
Program on International Financial Systems
Program on International Law and Armed Conflict
Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World
Program on Negotiation
Shareholder Rights Project
Systemic Justice Project
Tax Law Program

Student Life

Student Practice Organizations (SPOs)
Harvard Defenders
Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project
Harvard Mediation Program
Prison Legal Assistance Project
Advocates for Human Rights
Harvard Immigration Project
Mississippi Delta Project
Harvard Law School Negotiators
Project No One Leaves
Recording Artists Project
Tenant Advocacy Project

HLS Journals

Harvard Black Letter Law Journal
Harvard Business Law Review
Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
Harvard Environmental Law Review
Harvard Human Rights Journal
Harvard International Law Journal
Harvard Journal of Law and Gender
Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy
Harvard Journal of Law & Technology
Harvard Journal on Legislation
Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law
Harvard Latinx Law Review
Harvard Law & Policy Review
Harvard Law Review
Harvard National Security Journal
Harvard Negotiation Law Review
Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left


Each year, hundreds of Harvard Law School students bring their talents and energy into the world

  • 11% of the JD Class of 2024 are international students
  • Over 100 courses and reading groups in international, foreign, or comparative law
  • One comparative or international law course is required
  • More than 25 clinics, student organizations, and journals have an international focus
  • More than 130 HLS students travel to 40+ countries for courses, clinics, and research projects in a typical year
  • HLS has study abroad agreements with 11 universities across 10 countries
  • 7,100+ alumni live and work outside of the United States

After HLS

  • 98% of Class of 2020 graduates were employed at 10 months
  • In the past decade, 525+ students have secured public interest fellowships immediately after graduation or after a clerkship
  • More than 400 private sector employers participate in the HLS Early Interview Program
  • 260+ HLS alumni serve as law clerks on federal and state courts each year
  • One-quarter of clerks at the Supreme Court in the past five years have been HLS graduates
  • 450+ CEOs/Chief Executives are HLS graduates

Financial Aid

  • 75% of J.D. students receive financial aid
  • Over 40% of students receive need-based grants
  • Summer Public Interest Funding (SPIF) provides guaranteed stipends for summer work
  • 17% of the class of 2019 participated in the Low Income Protection Plan (LIPP) immediately following graduation
  • Loan options are available so all students can finance their three years at HLS