Students Say

Harvard Law School—perhaps you’ve heard of it?—is like the land of Oz for aspiring lawyers, where “anything you want exists.” Indeed, the school has plenty of funding for student scholarships, interests, and activities, and the opportunities for “public service, research and publication, faculty mentor relationships, editorial, moot court, or legal aid experience, and international study and service options are endless.”

Overview

Applicants
5,485
Acceptance Rate
16%
Accepted Applicants Who Attend
568

Test Scores

LSAT
170 - 175

Deadlines

Application Deadlines
February 1

Application Process

Rolling Admissions
Yes

Application Fee
$85

LSDAS Service Used
Yes

Applicants accepted in terms other than fall
No

Transfer Applicants Accepted
Yes

Deferred Admission
Yes

Other Admission Factors

Overall

Students Say

Harvard Law School—perhaps you’ve heard of it?—is like the land of Oz for aspiring lawyers, where “anything you want exists.” Indeed, the school has plenty of funding for student scholarships, interests, and activities, and the opportunities for “public service, research and publication, faculty mentor relationships, editorial, moot court, or legal aid experience, and international study and service options are endless.” The “you name it, it’s on the menu” mentality is definitely present for most students, and humility can (understandably) be a bit short in supply. “Harvard is Harvard. This is…simply a reinforcing circle of virtue, i.e., you get brilliant professors, amazing students, interesting courses, great opportunities, attracting brilliant professors and amazing students, etc.”

The “abundance of resources” available here lends itself to excellent support for public interest law, including a formidable public interest advising group, who “do a lot to build the community.” “Though there’s a lot of pressure to take a firm job, the counselors at [the public interest office] do a heck of a job fighting back. They’ll chase you down in the hall and tell you it’s time to start applying for fellowships, clerkships, and jobs,” says a student. “When employers start cutting their recruiting classes, the last place they cut is HLS,” says another. Everyone agrees that the economy has taken its toll, though—the ice skating rink closed—and “While the Harvard name will open doors, students still have to put in work and make sure that they are putting their best foot forward.”

Though each HLS class is hefty in size, it actually creates an “atmosphere of conversation and collaboration.” “Because our class is so big, there is always a critical mass for any interest, activity, or cause students want to pursue,” says a 2L. “I was a littleconcerned entering this school that its size would be intimidating or overwhelming, but in fact I’ve found that its size is one of its greatest strengths,” agrees a 1L.

As expected, the courses offered are top-notch, with “a lot of very random options” to diversify the curriculum, though many students wish there was “more emphasis on practical lawyering skills,” not to mention an alternative to the “arcane and mysterious” registration system. Though in recent years, a sizeable portion of the faculty has “fled to Washington, D.C., to work on Change,” students are “still terribly spoiled to have as many wonderful professors as we do.” According to a student, “O[bama] left us a couple of our best profs,” and plenty of “superstar” professors remain at Harvard, and “everyone is extremely accomplished and an expert in his/her field.” “Not everyone is anatural teacher,” but “Most of them are approachable and have interesting insights into the law (and many other areas).” There are also many research assistant and student writing opportunities offered.

The administration is “very flexible and willing to work with students as circumstances arise,” and the school “really strives to please students, even in tough economic times.” In 2012, a new academic building opened with the Caspersen Student Center and new classroom space that “are nicely equipped,” research facilities “could not be better,” and the library—the largest law library in the world, by the way—is “huge and lovely, with a staggering quantity of books.” In other words, don’t come to this corner of Boston if you’re looking for the entire package of “sunshine, butterflies and architectural triumphs”—”There are reasons to come here; aesthetic bliss is not one of them.”


Faculty Information

Total Faculty
107

19
Female
14
Minority

Career overview

Career Rating
99
Pass Rate for First-Time Bar Exam
97%
Average Starting Salary
$160,000
% of graduates who are employed within nine months of graduation
96%

Career Services

On campus summer employment recruitment for first year JD students
Yes

On campus summer employment recruitment for second year JD students
Yes

# of Employers that Recruit on Campus Each Year
500

Employers who most frequently hire graduates
Major national law firms, federal & state governments, investment banks, consulting firms, law schools.

Graduates Employed by Area


Prominent Alumni

Barack H. Obama
President of the United States

Dates


Financial Aid Statistics

Average Annual Total Aid Package Awarded
$64,990

% Students Receiving Some Aid
78%

Direct Lender
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
$52,350
Estimated On-Campus Room and Board
$19,912
Estimated Off-Campus Room and Board
$19,912
Estimated Cost for Books / Academic Expense
$5,480
Fees
$958

Student Body Profile

Total Enrollment
1,741
Parent Institution Enrollement
21,000

Number of Foreign Countries Represented
77

Demographics

100% are full time
0% are part time

Campus Life

Students Say

There is most definitely “a lot of underlying stress and tension” at HLS, but “It’s never about beating your classmates.” While Harvard isn’t the same cutthroat school of the Paper Chase era, “There are still quite a few gunners”; however, once you hit your second year, “Everyone has relaxed a bit and gotten comfortable with their law schoolidentities.”

It’s “very easy to find a great group of friends” because people are “generally fun and good-humored (in addition to being extremely smart and accomplished).” There is a Bar Review every week, and “The student government and other organizations host happy hours and other social events.” While the size of the school means that students “wouldn’t say the school as a whole has a strong general sense of community,” it does provide a larger potential pool for friends, and students “are able to find a sense of community by joining various organizations.” Be careful—students often “overwhelm themselves with extracurricular activities.”

Students tend to be “quite liberal,” but “One of the biggest surprises at HLS is how acceptable it is to be a conservative,” as students here “tend to be tolerant and accepting of people despite their gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.” “It’s very cooperative—there’s a definite feeling of ‘we’re all in this together,’” says a 1L.


More Information

% of Classrooms with Internet Access
100%

Campus-wide network
No

Admissions Office Contact

Contact
Jessica Soban
Assistant Dean and Chief Admissions Officer

Address
1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

Phone
617-495-3109

Email
jdadmiss@law.harvard.edu
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Key Stats

5,485
Applicants
1,741
Size
16%
Acceptance Rate

Rankings & Lists