Academics & Membership Support
We are fortunate to have a welcoming student body and faculty and a very supportive administration. Harvard has taken great steps forward in expanding academic opportunities regarding the intersection of law and sexuality, including a spring course with leading LGBTQ rights advocate and GLAD attorney Mary Bonauto. Other opportunities available through Lambda include:
- Faculty Social Events: Events include a dessert night with faculty sponsor Professor Robert Bordone, a game night with faculty sponsor Professor Glenn Cohen, and brunch with Professor William Rubenstein
- 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
- 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, CA.
- Queer Theory Discussion Group: Lambda members gather to read and discuss queer theorists and theory over dinner, sometimes with guest professors from around the university.
- 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 and special events during the Early Interview Program for 2Ls, and by participating in an annual “Out in the Workplace” panel.
- 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.
Lambda’s current membership and academic chair is Karthik Reddy, ’15, and the current professional chairs are Derek Cash, ’15, and Marisa Schnaith, ’15. We encourage your input! If you have any questions or suggestions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: including a dessert night with faculty sponsor Professor Robert Bordone, game night with faculty sponsor Professor Glenn Cohen, and brunch with Professor William Rubenstein
- Study breaks: at Berryline, a Boston frozen yogurt staple
- Lambda Women’s events: For Lambda’s female members 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 current social chairs are Natacha Lam, ’14, and Thomas Garza, ’14. We welcome your ideas and input! If you have any questions or suggestions, or are a student interested in getting involved with the social committee, please email email@example.com.
Harvard’s prominence and financial resources have greatly facilitated our political programming. We not only push for increased awareness and advocacy on behalf of our members, we also bring in leading academics and practitioners from across the country to speak, often in conjunction with other HLS or Harvard organizations. Events planned for the 2013-2014 year include:
- 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.
- Harvard LGBTQ Conference: Our first joint conference with the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School will take place this upcoming February.
- Lesbians of Color Symposium (LOCS): For the third year running, Lambda will be co-hosting this annual symposium with the Boston-based LOCS Collective, Inc. on the HLS campus in early March
- Harvard Lambda Legal Advocacy Conference (HaLLA): Our ninth annual HaLLA will be hosted at HLS this upcoming April. Recent topics have included: “Hanging in the Balance: LGBT Rights and the First Amendment” and “The (Dis)United States: Diverse Experiences, Diverse Goals in LGBT Law.”
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
Lambda’s current political chairs are Conor Ahern, ’15, Ma’ayan Anafi, ’15, and Caroline Sacerdote, ’15. We welcome your ideas and input! If you have any questions or suggestions, or are a student interested in getting involved with the political committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lambda’s email listserv is the primary channel for communicating event information and other important developments. Students who are interested in becoming more involved with any of our committees should attend an upcoming general membership meeting for more information. These meetings will be announced on the listserv and on this website.