On May 26, 2016, Harvard Law School conferred over 750 degrees—593 J.D.s, 167 LL.M.s and 9 S.J.D.s. Each of these 769 students brought unique experiences to law school, and each one tailored their academic careers while at HLS to explore their individual interests.
This year, as they prepared to graduate, five members of the Class of 2016 took time to reflect on those interests and share experiences they will take from their time at Harvard Law.
If you ask law students how they would solve a problem, some of them may talk about negotiating with disputing parties or seeking redress from the courts or spurring social action. For Tyler Vigen ’16, solving a problem usually means writing a program.
As Alice Lee LL.M. ’16 talks about her decision to pursue an LL.M. degree in the United States, she breaks into a smile. “I love animals and wildlife. I just feel something for them.”
Being Native American defines Elizabeth Reese ’16. Then again, so does being the granddaughter of a Lutheran minister from Pennsylvania. Together, the two have helped shape a woman and a lawyer.
When a severe speech impediment left him struggling to be understood, food became a way for Tommy Tobin to connect with others. In high school he volunteered at a food bank and with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and watched his actions speak volumes.
“I didn’t need to speak, I could just do,” said Tobin. “And speaking through service became a theme for me.”
Doaa Abu Elyounes believes that law can change people’s lives.
After all, it was the law that changed hers. An Israeli of Arab descent, she attended a Jewish school. Israeli law mandates that schools accommodate students with disabilities, regardless of their origin.
Now, set to graduate with an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School, Abu Elyounes plans to become a public service lawyer to ensure that everybody has access to the law.
“I was helped by laws that allow people like me overcome barriers and be fully integrated into society,” said Abu Elyounes as she sat in her dorm room, a smile spread across her face. “Now I want to give back.”