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Peer Advising for J.D.s

Board of Student Advisers

These 42 Board of Student Adviser (BSA) students are mentors, guides to 1L year, and teaching assistants in theFirst Year Legal Research & Writing Program (LRW) with the Climenko Fellows. They also administer two key appellate argument programs: the Ames Moot Court competition, and 1L Ames Moot Court program. BSAs are 2Ls and 3Ls selected for their skill in both advising and teaching and serve as resources for the first-year class. Call on your BSA with questions about HLS, Cambridge, managing the transition to law school, or where to get the best ice cream. Your BSA will host office hours and study breaks throughout the year.


SectionConnect is a program designed to pair incoming 1Ls with the 2Ls and 3Ls from within the same section, through the Amicus platform. With this pairing, returning students will have the opportunity to meet and welcome the incoming students, give information regarding the city around us, as well as help 1Ls get to know their section. Likewise, this enables 1Ls to meet experienced students and ask questions relating to the law school experience. Participants in SectionConnect can help forge a deeper connection and history within sections and meet new students in a casual setting.

Student Organizations

Student organizations are a source of peer advising and mentorship for all HLS students. Many of these organizations have formal mentoring programs that match incoming students with upper-level students. For 1Ls, these programs offer unique opportunities to find peer mentors in addition to the official BSA member assigned to each 1L Section. For LL.M. students, these programs supplement the mentoring available from S.J.D. students who have recently completed the LL.M. program.

Peer Advising for LL.M.s

LL.M. students benefit from academic and related advising by a network of doctoral (S.J.D.) candidates, almost all of whom have completed the LL.M. at HLS in recent years. They include:

  • LL.M. Advisors, who provide individual guidance on course selection, hold regular group meetings to review key questions and foster a sense of community, and serve as resources for other aspects of academic and student life at Harvard.
  • Legal Research, Writing and Analysis I (LRWA I) Teaching Assistants, who lead small-group discussions and answer questions arising out of the LRWA I lectures offered during Orientation, and offer feedback on the essay exercise.
  • Writing Workshop Teaching Assistants, who offer advice and support for LL.M. writing projects, including guidance on choosing paper topics and supervisors, support with research and writing, and coordinating presentations of work in progress.
  • Byse Fellows: each Byse Fellow will offer a mini-course (six or seven two-hour sessions) on an issue of current doctrinal and/or theoretical interest. (Open to all HLS students.)
  • Harvard Empirical Legal Studies (HELS) series Co-ordinators, who design and coordinate a yearlong program of talks and workshops by faculty from HLS and other institutions working on the forefront of empirical analysis in legal scholarship. (Open to all HLS students.)
  • Graduate Forum Coordinator, who takes the lead in creating, planning, and expanding activities and events to foster closer integration among students in the LL.M., J.D., and S.J.D. programs at HLS, including the International Film Festival, which is open to all HLS students.

HLS Amicus

Amicus is a searchable directory and advising tool. Using the latest matching technology, Amicus will help you find other students who share your experiences and interests. It is a terrific way to make connections and build community here at HLS.