Harvard Law School announced today that it will move to videoconferencing technology to conduct interviews of candidates for admission to its J.D. program. The school’s Admissions Office will also offer interview opportunities to more applicants than in the past, said Assistant Dean and Chief Admissions Officer Jessica Soban.
The HLS Admissions Office has included telephone interviews of applicants as part of the J.D. admissions process for six years, but will now expand the interview program beginning with the current admissions cycle for candidates seeking to be admitted to next year’s entering class.
“The interviews will give applicants additional opportunities to present themselves, and also to engage with folks here and learn more about the school,” said Soban. “We expect that these face-to-face conversations will offer candidates a more personal and satisfying way to let the Admissions Office learn about their strengths.”
“The job of the HLS Admissions Office is to find the students who will become leaders in their chosen fields and will contribute to the advancement of justice and the well being of society, especially through teamwork and collaboration” Soban said. “In order to do this, we evaluate applicants from all angles, starting by looking for a history of excellent academic achievement. We also consider professional and extracurricular accomplishments, personal statements, and recommendations from professors and employers. The interview is one more tool that allows us to assess an applicant’s ability to communicate ideas and engage well with others.”
The enlargement of the J.D. interview program is a continuation of the Law School’s broader focus on training lawyers who will work well together, communicate effectively with clients and others, and solve problems through collaboration and innovation—skills that are especially important in real-world practice settings. That focus has included curricular reforms, the steady expansion of the school’s clinical and pro bono programs, a new Public Service Venture Fund, and the recent opening of the Wasserstein Hall, Caspersen Student Center, Clinical Wing building, which features classrooms and other spaces designed to maximize teamwork and creativity.