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Faculty Advising for 1Ls

1L Reading Groups

As a first-year student, you are invited to participate in 1L Reading Groups organized around topics proposed by law school professors. 1L Reading Groups provide an informal setting for you to meet fellow first-year students with common interests and get to know a law school professor early in your first year. The professor hosting your reading group serves as your faculty adviser. During your first year, you will meet individually with your professor for mentoring and advice about law school, academic offerings, and career paths. If you choose not to sign up for a 1L Reading Group, you may find an adviser through your section.

1L Faculty Leaders

The faculty leader of your 1L section is a resource for you for orientation, course registration, and general advising. Your section also has assigned faculty affiliates from different fields of legal study who are available for advising.

Faculty Advising for 2Ls and 3Ls

HLS faculty mentor and advise students throughout law school. Faculty who were 1L Section leaders are one group to which you can continue to connect. Students who participated in a 1L Reading Group can also continue to connect with the Faculty who led the reading group.

You also are encouraged to think about working with a faculty member as a research assistant or teaching fellow. Working as a research assistant is an excellent way to engage with a faculty member and be exposed to cutting-edge research and/or advocacy. Research assistant opportunities are posted on the Administrative Updates page. In addition, writing a paper under the supervision of a faculty member is a great way to engage with a faculty member and garner academic and other advice from that professor. For multiple opportunities under faculty supervision, please see the HLS Writes! page. If you need guidance on finding a paper supervisor, please feel free to consult with the Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs and review our online faculty directory.

Programs of Study

To help you navigate the law school’s many and broad range of course offerings, the faculty has developed seven Programs of Study. The Programs of Study are pathways to guide students through the upper-level curriculum. They provide guidance from the faculty of how different courses, seminars, clinics, and extracurricular offerings relate to the work of practicing lawyers and academics. Each program has affiliated faculty advisers with expertise in related fields. You may decide to focus your upper-level studies within one or several of the Programs of Study, but there is no requirement that you do so.

Writing Opportunities

Writing is arguably the most crucial skill of practicing lawyers and legal academics alike.  While only some lawyers will enter careers involving significant oral advocacy, nearly all lawyers regularly write, provide feedback to colleagues on their writing, and respond to feedback on their own writing.  At HLS, we recognize that excellent writing is not a solo enterprise, but takes a community.  J.D. students receive their first intensive writing experience in the First-Year Legal Research and Writing Program (LRW).  Upper-level J.D. students and LL.M.s develop their writing skills further through rigorous writing opportunities in courses, clinics, and independent writing supervised by a faculty member, completing in the process the J.D. Written Work Requirement and the LL.M. Written Work Requirement, respectively. Learn about all writing opportunities on the HLS Writes! page.