‘I felt like I was joining a family of folks who genuinely … wanted me to succeed’

Harvard Law School celebrates staff — including 149 longer service employees — at annual luncheon

Harvard Law School recently held an appreciation lunch for its employees, including 149 “longer service” staff members, who have worked at the school for 15 years or more. At the April 27 event, Dean John F. Manning ’85; Tracee Whitley ’88, dean for administration; and Roxanne Armbruster, assistant dean and chief human resources officer, congratulated 19 of the newest longer service staff, and thanked all employees for their hard work during the pandemic and the current academic year.

Before the event, Harvard Law Today spoke with two of the school’s longer-serving employees — and two of its newest ones — to find out what they like about working at Harvard Law. 

Stephen L. Ball, assistant dean and dean of students

Started working at Harvard Law School: 2022

I’m excited to be a part of the HLS staff because of the opportunity to work with an eclectic group of leaders with deep experience and broad subject matter expertise. I’m amazed at some of the things my colleagues have done professionally, and it’s inspiring to be part of such a talented team. The environment is also highly collegial and collaborative.

From day one, I felt like I was joining a family of folks who genuinely welcomed me and truly wanted me to succeed. As an HLS alum now serving as part of the staff, I’m struck by the enormity of what it takes to keep the school running like a well-oiled machine. While I had interacted with the Office of Career Services, Office of Public Interest Advising, and certain other staff employees as a student, I truly had no sense for the scale and complexity of other operations. Now that I’m able to see behind the proverbial curtain a bit, I am even more impressed by — and thankful for — the contributions of staff at Harvard Law, both now and in years past.

Edeline Prevost, senior applications specialist, ITS

Started working at Harvard University: 2006

This is really an amazing community of people. I’ve got the best team in our IT group. But not only that, I work on the business solutions team, and we interact with several different departments … and those relationships and bonding with those business owners has been really an amazing experience. We’ve been lucky to work with some great and talented people. And I’m not just saying that!

Not only is our team great, but so is the whole HLS community. Dean Manning and HR have supported all of us over the last few years during the pandemic. I am grateful every day to be part of this amazing community.

Yvonne Smith, administrative coordinator, Board of Student Advisers, Dean of Students Office

Started working at Harvard Law School: 1978

For the time I have been here, I know that I have touched lives. I cherish the friendships I have made with students and staff.

As to how things have changed? I would say the progress made, including the first tenured female African American professor, the first female dean, and the retiring of the old shield.

Sarah Trautz, director of admissions and financial aid, Graduate Program

Started working at Harvard Law School: 2022

I’m really excited to join the Graduate Program at HLS. I joined the team just as we were accepting our LL.M. Class of 2023. So far, my favorite part of my job has been getting to know this diverse and interesting group of incoming students and being able to help some of them with the logistics necessary to get them to HLS.