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A milestone on the path of law

Six members of the Class of 2017 reflect on their educational journey

On May 25, 2017, Harvard Law School conferred over 781 degrees 602 J.D.s, 171 LL.M.s and 8 S.J.D.s. Each of these 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, several members of the Class of 2017 took time to reflect on those interests and share experiences they will take from their time at Harvard Law.

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With a path to law school shaped by hardship and doubt, Nguyên hopes to empower the powerless

Credit: Lorin Granger Mario H. Nguyên ’17

As he prepares to graduate, Mario Nguyên ’17 can stand as an example as someone who has overcome hardship and doubt, who has achieved more than he ever thought possible and plans to achieve much more. He will soon begin a job at a firm in his native Texas, with a goal of using his legal skills to bring about systemic change to benefit disadvantaged and marginalized people.

Read Mario’s story »


Trenton Van Oss: ‘I’ve really had to defend my views and self-reflect on why I believe the things I believe’

Credit: Lorin Granger Trenton Van Oss ’17

For Trenton Van Oss ’17, coming to Harvard Law School meant adapting to a different culture and experience as a student who had been educated at Christian schools, and whose strong allegiance to the GOP put him in a distinct minority at a secular school with a predominantly liberal student body and faculty.

Read Trenton’s story »


A persuasive oralist, Mundell pays it forward

Credit: Lorin Granger Amanda Mundell ’17

You would never know it from her unhesitating, responsive arguments in the Ames Courtroom, but when Amanda Mundell ’17 was growing up in California she dreaded giving presentations in class. “I was a very nervous speaker,” she remembers, “so I decided that I was never going to do anything like this.

Read Amanda’s story »


A call to do justice

Credit: Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer David White ’17

For five years in the Army, including one in Afghanistan, David E. White Jr. was zealous about leadership and public service. At Harvard Law School, he added to his passionate pursuits. “At the end of the day, it’s about justice,” said White, J.D. ’17. “In everything I pursue, my goal is to do justice.”

Read David’s story »


Back to law school—after being chief justice

Credit: Lorin Granger Gloria Scott LL.M. ’17

Gloria Scott LL.M. ’17, who is from Liberia, served as chief justice of her country’s Supreme Court from 1997 to 2003. She has also been a practicing lawyer, a senator, and most recently, the chair of Liberia’s Constitutional Review Committee. But for the past year she has been eager to be a student again.

Read Gloria’s story »


Exploring cultural differences on questions of life and death

Credit: Lorin Granger Konstantin Tretyakov ’17

The subject of Konstantin Tretyakov’s doctoral thesis, the “right to die” and how it is handled in different countries, would be a fascinating one under any circumstances. But as a Russian student who has also studied Chinese law, Tretyakov brings a unique perspective to the topic.

Read Konstantin’s story »