In recommending Sudheer Poluru J.D. ’23 for one of Harvard Law School’s most prestigious honors, one nominator, a fellow student, wrote: “I can only imagine that Sudheer will get nominated for this award over and over.” That person was right.

Poluru, a joint J.D./M.B.A. student from Chicago, Ill., has been awarded the 2023 Righeimer Prize, an honor that celebrates a graduating student in recognition of exceptional citizenship within the Harvard Law School community, demonstrated through involvement in student organizations, community service groups, or through individual efforts.

Poluru, who was president of the Board of Student Advisers this year, is also pursuing a Master of Business Administration at The University of Chicago.

One nominator praised Poluru as an “exceptional human being,” who, as a member of the Harvard Law School Board of Student Advisers and subsequently as president of BSA, “exhibited exceptional leadership” in many initiatives, such as restarting the Affinity Coalition, getting input from the  J.D. Admissions Office about BSA selections, making substantive budget requests, and being a “kind and inclusive” leader.

“To say that he has touched the lives of almost everyone in our class is an understatement,” wrote another nominator, who praised Poluru as a “constant light of kindness, care, and friendship” who worked constantly to connect students and build community throughout his three years. Another student echoed that sentiment, writing that, “Sudheer has gone above and beyond to welcome and include both incoming and current students at HLS. He is far and away the most thoughtful and kindest student I’ve encountered at HLS.”

At Harvard Law, Poluru participated in the Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Clinic in fall of 2022 and winter 2023, and the Housing Law Clinic in the spring of 2022.

He was also active as a fellow with the J.D. Admissions Team, helping to advise and support prospective Harvard Law students. In that role, he was “always the first to volunteer for an event, whether it’s a tour during Admitted Students Days, or a recruitment panel,” wrote a staff member, who added that Poluru offered candid and supportive advice to prospective law students – many of whom later looked to him as a friend and mentor once on campus.

Prior to attending graduate school, and after earning an undergraduate degree from Harvard College, Poluru spent a year working on economic development projects in Brazil and Colombia and was a diversity and inclusion consultant with Jones Diversity.

He also co-authored a book titled “Mastering the Game: Strategies for Career Success,” with the CEO of Jones Diversity, Sharon E. Jones. Designed as a guide for diverse professionals, the book aims to make more transparent the unwritten rules of U.S. workplace culture.

“He truly wants to be a person in the service of the other students at HLS,” concluded another student nominator. “I can think of NO ONE more deserving of this award than Sudheer.”

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