The Lion’s Main Strength


There is one constant to Harvard Law School. Far more perpetual than dispiriting grade reports, infinitely more unchanging than the faculty itself, it is the hand-me-down. First-year students will surrender unbridled enthusiasm to next year’s admits. Second-year students will pass on interviewing tips and bundling strategies. Third-years will bestow many gifts, chief among them positions of leadership in student organizations.

It is the season for torch passing. The Law Review and BSA have new leaders. In a few weeks, the Law School Council will elect a new slate of candidates. Throughout the campus, leaders are shrugging off the mantle of responsiblity and laying it on the willing shoulders of others.

Most of those giving up positions are 3Ls. They’re like the grizzled lions in the pride, with ragged scars speaking of battles with the administration, other students, even members of the same organization. Thanks to the McKinsey survey and strategic planning, the current 3Ls have seen enough controversy to last an HLS lifetime, which isn’t quite as short as it seems in hindsight. In essence, they’re looking for a quiet retirement from campus politics and academic strife.

But there is more to be done. 3Ls have more than three months left at HLS, and they are in a better position to contribute to the school, and leave a lasting legacy, than ever. Most are just now figuring this place out. Rather than drop off and let all that knowledge go to waste, they should get involved and pass what they know on to others, leading by words and example. 3Ls with time on their hands should remain active, or get involved, in campus activities. There is no better time than the present.

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