Newly admitted HLS students come armed with lots of questions. They range from general, “What will my 1L year be like?” to specific, “If I want to become a law school professor, what classes should I take my 2L year?” From logistical, “What is the best neighborhood to live in?” to personal, “Will my boyfriend/spouse/partner be happy here with me?” From financial, “What careers would be covered in the LIPP program?” to funny, “Are you sure you meant to admit me?”
One question that comes up a lot is about the size of Harvard Law School. I usually answer this question by giving people some numbers to think about. With a class size of 560 students, HLS is large for a law school, but we’re still smaller than many small liberal arts colleges. In your 1L year, you’ll be a part of an 80 person section that you’ll get to know very well. Think about it–your Freshman Econ class probably had more than 80 people in it. And of course, there is the student to faculty ratio of 12:1. That is 108 full-time faculty members, with 108 different areas of expertise.
Okay, so it’s one thing to talk about a faculty ratio, but it’s another to actually interact with the faculty. The numbers alone don’t address that, so I want to share an email I received today. I think it’s more compelling than any number I could quote. The email was from a professor asking if the Admissions Office could help her find students to work as research assistants THIS SUMMER. Yes, faculty members are so committed to working with students that they want to start before students set foot in a law school classroom.
So, for any admitted students reading this, log onto the admitted student’s website where you will find a list of faculty members hiring incoming 1Ls for research positions this summer. And for those considering applying in the future, I hope knowing that our professors are committed to our students is just one more thing that gets you excited about HLS.