‘It’s good to be back’

At a staff appreciation event, Harvard Law School employees shared what they are most excited about this year

From faculty and student support, to clinical staff, to those who help keep the lights on and computers running, HLS employees are as diverse as the students they serve. While one is advising third-year students on public interest careers, another is helping demystify LexisNexis. Some enjoy curling up with a good book in their spare time, while others are leading students in a Japanese martial art.

Yet, at a recent staff appreciation event, everyone could agree on one thing — they were excited to be back on campus to meet and connect with Harvard Law School students. Read on to meet a few of the people who help make HLS what it is, including one of its newest employees —  and one of its most established.

***

Yvonne Smith, administrative coordinator for the Board of Student Advisors, Dean of Students Office
Started working at Harvard Law School: 1978
Likes: “Spending time with family. The pandemic makes you stop and think and realize things — that although sometimes family can drive you crazy, it’s wonderful to have them and be able to spend time with them. That and reading.”
What are you excited about? “Believe it or not, actually being back on campus. I loved working from home, but I did miss my colleagues and students. I missed that personal interaction with my students, so I’m glad to be back on campus and see them in person, even though I’m getting used to seeing them with a mask on.”

Close up of a woman's face, wearing glasses. Smiling at someone off camera.

Yvonne Smith, administrative coordinator for the Board of Student Advisors


Alexander Horn, program administrator, Transactional Law Clinics
Started working at Harvard Law School: 2012
Likes: Photography, cycling
What are you excited about? “Getting used to being in person again, remembering how that works and transitioning away from the remote — and meeting new students!”

A man wearing a black hat and glasses, smiling with a woman wearing glasses, both outside posing for the camera.

Credit: Martha Stewart Alexander Horn, program administrator in the Transactional Law Clinic, and Bettina Neuefeind, staff attorney with the Education Law Clinic/TLPI


Annie Stachura, administrative assistant, Office of Communications
Started working at Harvard Law School: “The day before this interview.”
Likes: Writing (she is pursuing her MFA in creative writing from Emerson College); singing; hiking.
What are you excited about? “I’m excited to be in an academic environment again. I feel like there’s no better place to be. Touring campus has been really beautiful. And just getting to know everyone in the office will be really great.”

Woman standing outside smiling for the camera.

Credit: Kim Wright/HLS Staff Photographer Annie Stachura, administrative assistant, Office of Communications


Sama Elbannan, program manager, Harvard Defenders
Started working at Harvard Law School: “Three years ago, and I’m loving it.”
Likes: Biking, knitting, writing poetry, socializing
What are you excited about? “Seeing all of you.”

A woman smiling, standing outside.

Credit: Kim Wright/HLS Staff Photographer Sama Elbannan, program manager, Harvard Defenders


Daryl Muranaka, assistant director, Faculty Support Services
Started working at Harvard Law School: About 20 years ago
Likes: Walks with his family; Aikido, a Japanese martial art (he’s an instructor with Harvard Aikikai)
What are you excited about? “So much has changed since we were gone, that I’m just excited to be back. It’s exciting to see all the new people and how everything has shifted a little bit and changed. I’m looking forward to just seeing how the whole thing turns out.”

Man wearing glasses, outside, smiling at someone off camera.

Daryl Muranaka, assistant director, Faculty Support Services


Robin Just, communications and outreach manager, Environmental & Energy Law Program
Started working at Harvard Law School: “I’ve worked at the University for seven years, and I’ve been at the law school for four.”
Likes: “I love to swim – I like to swim in Walden Pond. I like to hike. I watch British crime dramas.”
What are you excited about? “I’m really excited to see the students in person again. We don’t teach in our program, but we work with a lot of research assistants, and they bring so much fresh energy and optimism. Environmental work is sometimes depressing, so it’s nice to have people around with ideas and joy.”

A woman smiling, standing outside.

Credit: Kim Wright/HLS Staff Photographer Robin Just, communications and outreach manager, Environmental & Energy Law Program


Anya Marino, clinical instructor, LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic
Started working at Harvard Law School: On August 7 – a month ago.
Likes: “I really enjoy theater, which has been absent the last two years, but I’m really looking forward to going back to the theater and going back to live concerts. I’m a nerd, so I really enjoy researching and writing too.”
What are you excited about? “I think what’s really exciting to me is the opportunity to work with students while also maintaining a legal practice … to show them the type of cases that I have a lot of great enthusiasm for while helping them develop their own legal skills.”

Anya Marino and Alejandra Caraballo

Credit: Kim Wright/HLS Staff Photographer Anya Marino, clinical instructor, LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic (left), and Alejandra Caraballo, clinical instructor, Cyberlaw Clinic

Alejandra Caraballo, clinical instructor, Cyberlaw Clinic
Started working at Harvard Law School: One month ago
Likes: Building computers, making electronic music, brewing beer, playing video games, cooking
What are you excited about? “I think getting to work with the students on some of the various projects at the clinic. And then being able to build up and work on some of the projects that are of interest to me as well.”


Chris Green ’04, executive director, Animal Law & Policy Program
Started working at Harvard Law School: Seven years ago
Likes: “I love this school. I took six years off between my first and second year here to work in the music business. I was a tour manager for a lot of different rock bands. I tend to lean toward things music- and film-related.”
What are you excited about? “We’ve got an amazing cohort of visiting fellows. Because so many of them last year deferred, we have a bumper crop this year, from all over the world, from all sorts of different disciplines, all working on different animal law and policy issues. It creates a really vibrant community within our program. We’re also working on a very large research project with 15 other institutions around the world, studying global policy responses to live animal markets and the role that they play in the transmission of zoonotic disease. A timely issue, as you can imagine.”

A man and woman standing outside. Harvard Law School banners in the background.

Credit: Martha Stewart Chris Green ’04, executive director, Animal Law & Policy Program, and Kate Barnekow ’19, clinical fellow, Animal Law & Policy Clinic


Carmen Halford ’16, clinical instructor, Transactional Law Clinics
Started working at Harvard Law School: August
Likes: Cooking, kayaking, practicing languages
What are you excited about? “I’m excited because it’s my first semester working here. I used to be a student, and I actually participated in the same clinic, so I’m excited about getting to see everything from the other side of the table.”

Woman wearing glasses outside smiling.

Carmen Halford ’16, clinical instructor, Transactional Law Clinics