WATCH: A Bicentennial Send-off

The Class of 2017 — officially recognized as the Bicentennial Class — began a new chapter on May 25. Here are highlights of their Class Day and Commencement festivities, which included a talk by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who spoke about the before and after of her role in the Trump administration, and a poignant acceptance speech from Professor Mark Wu, honored by the class with the Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence.

Parting Thoughts

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. 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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Reflections of the Class of 2017: The Bicentennial Class

Graduating J.D.’s and LL.M.’s reflect on how it feels to be part of Harvard Law’s bicentennial class.

The History of Harvard Law

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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.

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Commencement 2017

  • A milestone on the path of law

    This year, as they prepared to graduate, several members of the Class of 2017 took time to reflect on their interests and share experiences they will take from their time at Harvard Law.

  • HLS Dean Martha Minow urges graduates to find connection across difference

    During this year’s Commencement ceremonies, Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow told graduates and their families and friends that at a moment when differences sharply divide people in this country and around the world, members of the Class of 2017 “share something indelible.”

  • Harvard Law School Commencement 2017

    On Thursday, May 25, the Harvard Law School Class of 2017 braved the rain to pick up their diplomas and officially become HLS graduates. Here's a look at their day of celebration with family, friends and a steady supply of rain ponchos.

  • GALLERY: Harvard Law School celebrates Class Day 2017

    Harvard Law School’s 2017 Class Day ceremony featured speeches by Sally Yates, former Deputy Attorney General of the United States, and Harvard Law School Professor Mark Wu, winner of the 2017 Albert M. Sacks-Paul A. Freund Award for Teaching Excellence.

  • Harvard Law School celebrates the Class of 2017

    Members of the Harvard Law School Class of 2017 gathered this week for two days of Commencement festivities which featured an address by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, a send-off from Dean Martha Minow, and accolades bestowed on students, staff and faculty including Mark Wu, who was honored by the Class of 2017 with the Sacks-Freund award for Teaching Excellence.

  • Konstantin Tretyakov S.J.D.: Exploring cultural differences on questions of life and death

    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.

  • Back to law school—after being chief justice

    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.