Two professors, six students, three rooms 18

Two professors, six students, three rooms

A look back at the beginnings of Harvard Law School

"Notice is hereby given that a law school is established at the University to commence on the first Wednesday in October next,” began the Aug. 9, 1817, advertisement in Boston’s Columbian Centinel, one of many newspapers and journals that touted the opening of a new law school, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It promised a program unlike any that had been offered in the nation before—bringing intellectual rigor to the study of law, “under the patronage of the University,” while still preparing graduates for practice in the profession.

Alumni Notes and Newsmakers

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  • Judge Reena Raggi

    Unfazed: Reena Raggi looks back at 30 years on the federal bench

    When Reena Raggi graduated from Harvard Law School in 1976, the student body was only 20 percent female. But Raggi, who went on to serve 30 years on the federal bench—on the District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 1987 to 2002 and since then on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit—never thought of herself as a Harvard pioneer.

  • Faiza Saeed

    The Dealmaker

    Faiza Saeed ’91 arrived at Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s New York office as a summer associate in 1990, convinced that the prestigious law firm would be just a way station on her journey home to the West Coast.

  • Alex Spiro

    Basketball Stars’ Go-To Guy

    Alex Spiro '08 has emerged in short order as the go-to lawyer for professional basketball players who get in trouble with the law in New York--just one slice of Spiro’s clientele, summarized by sports and culture website The Ringer as “the rich, the famous, and the restless.”

  • Tournament of Champions

    In January, it was as if the U.S. Supreme Court were playing host to a tournament of champions for past winners of the Ames Moot Court Competition, with three attorneys who argued Midland Funding, LLC v. Johnson having been on teams that won the competition within four years of each other at Harvard Law School.

  • People reading on steps illustration

    HLS Authors and Auteurs

    From the Supreme Court, to the SEC, to an unidentified city under siege: legal analysis, memoir, a documentary and more works from HLS alumni.

  • Dariusz Mioduski

    A conversation with Dariusz Mioduski ’90

    Polish-born lawyer and businessman Darius Mioduski ’90 applied to Harvard Law School not having known English five years earlier. That hopeful step led him on an adventurous career path, from starting out in international M&A and project finance, to his present role as part owner of Poland’s top football club.

  • A Mother’s Voice

    Even when he was 5, Joel Motley '78 knew his late mother was doing important work; now, he has co-produced "The Trials of Constance Baker Motley," a short film about the woman who the first black female Manhattan borough president, New York state senator, and federal judge.