Contact Us: 617-496-6054

2013-2014 RA Job Description

Contract Period
RA Positions and Payment
Financial Aid Relationship to RA Payment
Primary Responsibilities

Contract Period

  • The Resident Assistant contract begins August 21, 2014 at 8:00 am (which means RAs need to move in by August 20th) and ends May 15, 2015 at 5:00pm.
  • RAs can leave for the Holiday Break on December 20, 2014 and must return by January 4, 2015.
  • RAs must remain on campus for all of January Term 2015.
  • 3L RAs in good standing who served as RAs for their 2L year are allowed, with permission from the Housing Coordinator, to be away for January term. However, it is their responsibility to find another RA to cover their residents during this time, and they will not be paid for winter term.
  • RAs are allowed to leave for Spring Break on March 14, 2015 but must return  by March 22, 2015.

RA Positions and Payment

RAs are paid an amount based on how many students they advise and what types of housing they oversee.

Dorm Salary
North Hall 1, 2, 3 $9,000
North Hall 4, 5, 6 $9,000
Hastings Hall Entrance 1, 2, 3 $6,900
Hastings Hall Entrance 4, 5 $6,900
Shaw 1/Story 1 $6,500
Shaw 2/Story 2 $6,500
Shaw 3/Story 3 $6,500
Story Hall 4 $4,900
Ames 1/Dane 1 $6,500
Holmes 2/Ames 2 $6,500
Dane 2 $5,000
Dane 3 $5,000
Holmes 3/Ames 3 $6,500
Ames 4 $5,200
HLS Apartments $4,500

Financial Aid Relationship to RA Payment

This salary is paid through a credit to your student bill.  If you are applying for financial aid, you should be aware that under federal student aid guidelines, the value of your RA compensation must be included in your financial aid package and is treated like an outside award.  While this will not ordinarily affect your grant eligibility, it does have an impact on your loan borrowing limit, because the total of all your financial aid (including the RA compensation) cannot exceed your student budget.

For example: if two students had the same award package and student budget, but one had a $5,000 RA-ship, then the student with the RA-ship can borrow $5,000 less than the student without.  (In other words, your RA compensation replaces an equivalent amount of potential borrowing in your aid package – which is a good thing – but as a result reduces the amount you are permitted to borrow given that the student budget sets the  limit for your total aid.)  This is demonstrated in the examples below:

Student 1 ($5,000 RA-ship):

Budget $70,100 – (HLS Grant $20,000 + Base Loan $38,600 + RA-ship $5,000) =

Remaining Loan Eligibility of $6,500.

Student 2 (no RA-ship):

Budget $70,100 – (HLS Grant: $20,000 + Base Loan: $38,600) =

Remaining Loan Eligibility of $11,500

While the RA compensation covers most of the fee charged for most Gropius dorm rooms, it does not cover the full cost of more expensive dorms such as North Hall, Hastings Hall, or the HLS Apartments.  While the RA compensation will reduce the charge (and the amount you have to borrow to pay it) for living in a higher-cost dorm, you will have less of your financial aid living allowance remaining for non-housing expenses than if you were to live in a cheaper dorm.  In other words, like any other student who lives in more expensive housing, RAs living in higher cost dorms will need to allocate a higher portion of their monthly living allowance to housing costs, given the available financial aid budget.

We strongly recommend that you contact your financial aid officer at HLS Student Financial Services with any questions about how your RA-ship will affect your aid package or your budgeting plans.


New and returning Resident Assistants will participate in an intensive training session from August 21, 2014 through August 23, 2014. Staff meetings will happen approximately once a month for about one and a half hours. The meetings will be set each month according to everyone’s schedules.

Primary Responsibilities

Liaison to the Dean of Students Office

  • Serve as a liaison between residents and the Dean of Students Office, and keep regular contact with Housing Coordinator
  • Attend staff meetings organized by Dean of Students Office every month or as necessary to discuss upcoming activities and collaborate/brainstorm on any residence life issues
  • Attend brief one-on-one check-in meetings once every other month with Housing Coordinator

Facilitate Community

  • Plan and promote social, recreational, and academic programs that foster community among residents
  • Work collaboratively with other Resident Assistants to plan events for all residents
  • Solicit feedback from residents for activities and engage residents in the planning and implementation of those programs
  • Promote and participate in events organized by the Dean of Students Office and fellow RAs

Peer Advisor/Mentor

  • Develop and maintain positive interpersonal relationships with residents and be a visible presence in the residential community
  • Handle sensitive information properly
  • Help residents, particularly first-year J.D.s and LL.M.s adjust to resident life, Harvard Law School, and Cambridge


  • Hold a floor meeting during the beginning of the year and as needed during the remainder of the academic year
  • Inform residents of the housing policies and rules outlined in the HLS Housing Handbook and monitor compliance
  • Work with Green Team Leaders to encourage and maintain sustainable practices in the dorms
  • Promote general awareness of security issues and residence hall safety among residents

Facilitator of Responsible Behavior

  • Demonstrate responsible behavior in accordance with Handbook of Academic Policies, the Housing Handbook and all other Harvard Law School and Harvard University policies
  • Promote awareness of and commitment to the Handbook of Academic Policies, the Housing Handbook, and all other Harvard Law School and Harvard University policies

Facilitator of Sustainability

  • Education and Collaboration
    • Learning about campus sustainability efforts during RA orientation and educating your residents about HLS sustainability working with your assigned Green Living Reps to host at least one collaborative sustainability event for their residents during the academic year
  • Event planning
    • Planning events carefully to minimize wasted food
    • Setting up recycling and composting at your events
  • Facilities Support
    • Notifying facilities of opportunities for efficiency you notice within your dorm, including but not limited to temperature policy adherence, leaky faucets, broken or malfunctioning equipment (windows, thermostats etc), and waste management

Special Events and Activities

  • Participate in Resident Assistant Orientation on August 21, 2014 thru August 23, 2014
  • Assist with 1L Move In on August 25, 2014
  • Serve as Orientation Leaders during JD Orientation,  scheduled for August 26, 2014 – August 29, 2014
  • Assist with Admitted Students Weekend – lead dorm open houses; dates for the 2014-2015 weekends have not been finalized, but one will occur in March and the other in April
  • All RAs will be required to volunteer at one Dean of Students Office event
  • Graduating RAs assist with the hiring of new RAs for the following academic year

Other Responsibilities

  • Maintain and have responsibility for the master keys for the residence halls
  • Open a resident’s room door when he/she is locked out
  • Work with Facilities Management to report repair and maintenance needs
  • Assume general supervisory responsibility for the neatness and cleanliness of floors/entryways, especially the kitchens and lounges
  • Keep track of expenditures and be aware of assigned Resident Assistant budget activity. In order to use funds responsibly, be mindful of the equitable distribution of funds throughout the academic year and including a cross-section of residents.
  • Disseminate and post appropriate information to residents.
  • Respond to personal crises and medical emergencies.