Prospective and Newly Admitted HLS Students

Thank you for your interest in Lambda and Harvard Law School!

HLS Lambda is a social and political student organization dedicated to serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer and allied community at Harvard Law School. Lambda is one of the most active and visible student groups on campus, organizing a variety of social, political, and academic events throughout the year.

Political Activities

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: a TEDx-style speaker series exploring different issues affecting marginalized groups within the LGBTQ community and strategies for more inclusive legal advocacy
  • The Inaugural LGBTQ Conference at Harvard: a two-day collaboration across different graduate schools to develop ideas on cutting-edge issues in the LGBTQ movement
  • The 35th Anniversary Colloquium: a celebration of Lambda’s 35th anniversary that brought back leading HLS alumni working for LGBTQ rights and concluded with a keynote address by Roberta Kaplan, who argued Winsdor, the case that struck down Section 3 of DOMA

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 (veteran and former Executive Director of Outserve, speaking about trans* inclusion in the military), Congressman Mark Takano (first openly gay minority member of Congress), and Adrian Jjuuko (Executive Director of a human rights NGO providing legal aid services to LGBTI, sex workers and other marginalized groups in Uganda).

Campus Advocacy

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 creating a number of gender-neutral bathrooms, 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.

Academics

HLS has a number of LGBTQ professors, many of whom are actively involved in Lambda. Professor Bob Bordone, for example, has regularly hosted dinners and gatherings for the Lambda community at his home, and Professor Glenn Cohen hosts Lambda game nights. Lambda also provides its members with academic resources, like an exam bank, mentorship opportunities, and scholarship information. It also connects interested members with professors who are willing to oversee LGBT-related research in their area of expertise.

Social Activities

The critical mass of LGBTQ students here at Harvard truly constitutes a community rather than just another group. Throughout the year, Lambda hosts dinners, brunches, and parties as a chance to socialize and have fun. This past October, we held our 21st annual Outlaw Dance, one of the largest LGBTQ parties in the Boston area. Hundreds of students and LGBTQ community members from the greater Boston area attended last year’s event. Along with regular excursions into Boston, we also organize an annual retreat to Provincetown, MA, to help build our community. In addition, Lambda members frequently plan informal get-togethers, like watching movies, playing board games, and holding potlucks. Further, we organize events focusing on internal identity communities such as women and Lambda members of color, and coordinate frequently with other affinity groups at the law school and across other Harvard campuses. We are always looking for new ideas for social events, so let us know your thoughts!

Applying to Harvard Law School

HLS Lambda is only one of over a hundred student organizations on campus. Given the
breadth of activities and opportunities available, we believe that Harvard Law School provides a uniquely rich, rewarding, and satisfying experience for its LGBTQ students.

We invite you to e-mail us with any questions about the application process, academics and student life at the law school, as well as any other concerns you may have. You can find more information about Lambda on the rest of our website here. You may also wish to contact the Admissions Office directly at (617) 495-3179. If you’re still in the process of applying to Harvard Law School, good luck! If you’re a recent arrival, welcome! In either case, please don’t hesitate to be in touch! E-mail us at lambda@mail.law.harvard.edu.

Sean Cuddihy, ’16, and Ma’ayan Anafi, ’15, Co-Presidents