Join Lambda’s email listserv for regular updates on upcoming events, opportunities to get involved and other important developments. Students who are interested in becoming more involved can also email us at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAMPUS LIFE: ADVOCACY, Academics & Membership Support
The Campus Life committee is at the center of Lambda’s on-campus advocacy. It aims to serve the needs of Lambda members and to make the law school a more thriving and welcoming space for LGBTQ people. This past year, Lambda took on a number of substantial campus advocacy projects, such as planning a potential LGBTQ Law clinic, successfully pushing for some bathrooms to be converted to gender-neutral, and working to create more LGBTQ-focused courses. The Campus Life Committee also encourages and solicits member-initiated campaigns, and provides members with the tools and support they need to change our law school for the better. Email us any time with your ideas or concerns at email@example.com.
The Campus Life Committee also coordinates a comprehensive support system for members, including mentorship, academic resources and career growth.
This year, we have a number of courses dealing with the intersections of law, gender and sexuality, including:
- Gender and Sexuality in Transnational Law (Fall 2014)
- Sexuality, Gender and the Law (Spring 2015)
- LGBT Flashpoints – Litigation, Policy and Persuasion (Spring 2015)
Lambda also offers its members a number of academic and professional growth opportunities, including:
- Faculty Research Opportunities: Lambda maintains a list of HLS professors who have identified themselves as interested in sponsoring student scholarship on various LGBTQ-related legal issues
- Queer Theory Reading Group: A biweekly student-run discussion group for some fun, thought-provoking debate over dinner or drinks.
- Exam and Outline Bank: Fill out this form to request a past exam or outline for your classes. Have an exam or outline to contribute? Send it our way at HLSLambdaExamBank@gmail.com with the course name, semester/year, professor’s first and last name, and grade received.
- Lavender Law: Lambda helps to send a contingent of students every year to the Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair, hosted by the National LGBT Bar Association.
- Williams Institute Moot Court Competition: Thanks to the generosity of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Lambda is able to sponsor two student teams to compete in the UCLA Williams Institute Moot Court competition, dedicated to issues pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity law, in Los Angeles.
- Student Mentorship Program: 1Ls are given the option of being paired with a 2L or 3L who can advise on navigating law school, courses, summer job searches, and any other issues, whether school-related or not.
- Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association: Lambda sends a student representative to the association’s monthly meetings, keeping them informed about current Lambda initiatives and ensuring that Lambda is up-to-date on the happenings at local schools and professional organizations, providing mentorship and other networking opportunities with other openly LGBTQ Massachusetts lawyers.
- Firm Partnerships: Law firms from throughout the country regularly visit and recruit Lambda members, hosting 1L dinners throughout the spring, organizing special events for 2Ls during the Early Interview Program, and participating in events like the “Out in the Workplace” panel.
The critical mass of LGBTQ students here at Harvard truly constitutes a community rather than just another small group, and there are ample opportunities to find peers and allies with similar interests. Throughout the year, Lambda hosts numerous events providing members the chance to meet, bond, and just have fun. Examples of events hosted in the past year have included:
- Outlaw Dance: Boston’s largest LGBTQ social event, with over 700 students and community members from the Boston area heading to the nearby Sheraton Commander to enjoy a night of food, drink, music, and dance.
- Provincetown Retreat: Beat the law school stress with an expenses-paid weekend retreat in Massachusetts’ LGBTQ-getaway: Provincetown.
- Cross-School mixers: Past LGBTQ mixers have been held with Boston-area schools such as HBS, HKS, MIT, and Tufts.
- Faculty Social Events: Last year’s events included a dessert night and brunch with faculty sponsor Professor Robert Bordone, and game night with faculty sponsor Professor Glenn Cohen.
- Study breaks: Throughout the year, Lambda members leave their books behind to gather at Berryline (a Boston froyo staple), Burdick’s (the best hot chocolate in Cambridge) and other spots.
- Lambda Women’s events: For Lambda’s ladies to get a chance to bond among themselves.
- Other social events: Hosted by the wider Harvard LGBTQ community, such as those hosted by the Harvard Gender and Sexuality Caucus.
Lambda’s political committee fosters critical debate on LGBTQ issues in and out of the law school, and pushes legal advocacy efforts in the field. This past year, we held several conferences that strove to expand the frontiers of LGBTQ activism, including
- Marginalization and Mobilization in LGBTQ Communities: Our 9th annual Harvard Lambda Legal Advocacy conference explored issues affecting marginalized groups within the LGBTQ community. Featuring a TED-X-style speaker series, the conference brought together a diverse mosaic of lawyers, scholars, activists, and multi-disciplinary experts to exchange ideas on building a more inclusive LGBT rights movement.
- The Inaugural LGBTQ Conference at Harvard: For the first time ever, LGBTQ groups across Harvard’s graduate schools came together to learn, share ideas and develop strategies around critical issues facing LGBTQ communities. Bringing together leaders from across disciplines and walks of life – including Ash Beckham, Kristin Beck, Kenji Yoshino, and Cailtlin Cahow – the Inaugural LGBTQ Conference at Harvard explored what’s next for the movement and created a promising new tradition for our community.
- The 35th Anniversary Colloquium: This event, co-hosted with the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, celebrated thirty-five years of an HLS LGBTQ student organization, bringing back to campus leading HLS alumni working in the field of LGBTQ rights, and concluded with a keynote address by Roberta Kaplan, counsel to Edie Windsor in United States v. Windsor, in which the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA.
- Lesbians of Color Symposium (LOCS): For the third year running, Lambda supported this annual symposium with the Boston-based LOCS Collective, Inc. on the HLS campus.
The political committee also brings in leading academics and practitioners to speak throughout the year. A small sample of speakers from 2014-2015 included:
- Allyson Robinson, a West Point graduate, former army Captain, and former Executive Director of OutServe-Servicemen Legal Defense Network, on transgender inclusion in the military
- Yehoshua Gurtler, lawyer and leading LGBT rights advocate in Israel
- Adrian Jjuuko, Executive director of Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum, a human rights NGO providing legal aid services to LGBTI, sex workers, and other marginalized groups in Uganda
- Professor Pam Karlan, former Dean of Stanford Law and Director of the Stanford Supreme Court Clinic, on United States v. Windsor and Shelby County v. Holder
- Zack Paakkonen, attorney on the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) Transgender Rights Project, on impact litigation focusing on transgender rights
- Professor Michael Klarman, Kirkland & Ellis Professor of law at Harvard Law School, on United States v. Windsor
- Pedro Robledo, Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion, Fundación Pensar
- Congressman Mark Takano, first openly gay minority member of Congress