Harvard Law School’s Graduate Program has officially welcomed the LL.M. Class of 2024 to campus: 183 students representing 69 countries and jurisdictions, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, who will spend the upcoming academic year pursuing a Master of Laws degree. These new students will represent the program during a historic year, as celebrations begin to commemorate 100 years of the Harvard Law School LL.M. program.  

The law school’s LL.M. program attracts students from a variety of legal systems, with many different backgrounds and career plans. As is typical, 98% of this year’s class hold law degrees from law schools outside of the United States or Puerto Rico. Many of the LL.M. students already hold advanced degrees in law and/or additional degrees in fields such as history, indigenous studies, literature, political science, and engineering. More than 80% have completed two or more years of law practice, teaching and/or advanced studies. They include lawyers in private practice, government officials and policy experts, law teachers, tech and legal startup founders, judges, prosecutors, activists and NGO founders, doctoral students, Fulbright scholars, U.S. Navy and Coast Guard JAG officers, and Supreme or Constitutional Court clerks for courts in eight countries.

Their interests outside of the law are just as wide-ranging: the LL.M. class includes former professional soccer and tennis players and other nationally and internationally competitive athletes; an accomplished opera singer and many other talented dancers, artists and musicians; two published novelists and an illustrator of romance novels; an international Go-Kart racer; and an aspiring restaurateur, to mention just a few.

In addition, seven students are beginning their studies for the law school’s most advanced degree, the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.). These new candidates — who bring experience as Supreme Court Clerks, a researcher and book author, a law firm associate, and a senior case and policy officer on a social media oversight board  — join 41 continuing S.J.D. students at HLS. Together, they represent 26 countries and jurisdictions.

Harvard Law School has also welcomed six international exchange students from the law school’s exchange partner schools in France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These students will spend the fall semester or the academic year pursuing J.D.-level studies or doctoral-level research.

The new cohort’s first week on campus began with a welcome breakfast and introductory remarks by Professor Gabriella Blum LL.M. ’01 S.J.D. ’03, vice dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies; Catherine Peshkin, assistant dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies; and senior Graduate Program administrators, followed by a welcome reception for the students and their families. In addition to course consultations with their advisors, information sessions, and social events, the LL.M. and international exchange students are completing a special one-credit course on U.S. legal research, writing and analysis. They will also attend their first Harvard Law School lectures, with Professors Yochai Benkler ’94 and Michael Klarman.

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