HMP Members Offer Advice to New 1Ls

    • If you’re confused, there is a very good chance others in the class are confused too. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions.
    • You will get faster at reading cases, so try not to panic.
    • Not all lawyers are court lawyers. The case method of teaching law biases us toward thinking litigation (specifically, appellate litigation) is what it means to be a lawyer. In fact, many lawyers end up doing something else and there are lots of opportunities at HLS to try your hand at policy work, academic research, business development, and alternative dispute resolution.

    • Your grades matter, but probably not as much as you think they do.
    • Three years feels a whole lot shorter than the four we spent in undergrad, so take advantage of the opportunities!
    • Remember that everyone here is extraordinary. You will not be the best at everything, and that is a good thing. Don’t get caught in the trap of comparing yourself to others; instead, use this unique environment to learn as much as you can and to grow as a person.
    • To that end, remember to be the person you want to be. Law school can be stressful and we have all made major sacrifices (personal, financial, and otherwise) to be here, but it’s also an immense privilege to be here. Take the time to look for opportunities that allow you to develop attributes of kindness and compassion.

Lauren Godles is a 3L. She is the president of the Harvard Mediation Program, an SPO that trains HLS students and community members in mediation. Victoria Hartmann is a 3L. She is the vice president of HMP. Alicia Daniels is 2L. She is the advanced training and events director of HMP. Benjamin Hecht is a 2L. He is the communications director of HMP.
This piece was a part of the 2016 orientation issue. To read more, click here.