Every fall, a large group of our chapter members travel to Washington, DC for the Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention. This several-day occasion features panels, networking events, and social outings. Attendees have the opportunity to make essential contacts with judges, law clerks, and prominent practitioners.

Highlights include:

1. Jobs

1Ls – you can meet the right lawyers to land your summer job; 2Ls – you can meet the judges and clerks that will help you earn that clerkship you want.

“The National Lawyers Convention was the highlight of my first semester. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know other members in the chapter, as well as members from across the country. Just as importantly, it was a great opportunity to network with private lawyers, judges, government officials, and public interest attorneys. In fact, the Harvard Law Alumni Breakfast is where I met my boss for my summer job. I would highly recommend it to all 1L’s, as well as fellow 2L’s and 3L’s. The class missed is minimal, and the opportunity is huge” – Jeff Long, HLS ‘15

“I really was not planning on going to Convention during my 1L year, mostly because I was scared to miss class.  But, attending Convention has been far better for my career and for my HLS experience than those few hours of class would have been. I met alumni, who have connected me with judges and firms, and listened to really interesting panels, which I referenced in my clerkship and job interviews.  Class is important, but these are the opportunities that really engage you with the law.  You’ll regret missing out!” – May Davis, HLS ’15 

“I met Justice Don Willett of the Texas Supreme Court at Convention during my 1L year. He offered me an internship, which I was able to schedule for J-Term of my 2L year. I met Senator Ted Cruz’s chief counsel at Convention during my 2L year and got a clerkship with the Senator on the Judiciary Committee for the first half of my summer. Convention is, without a doubt, the single best opportunity you will ever have to make contacts with conservative leaders in the legal profession. It has been an invaluable asset to my legal and political career, and it has been the highlight of my law school experience.” – Cory Liu, HLS ’15 

2. Networking with other Law Students

Get to know law students with similar professional goals. Convention is a wonderful opportunity to make contacts who also plan to work in your preferred geographic and practice areas. The Abigail Adams Society also hosts a private lunch to connect students, practitioners, and judges.

“Convention is an unparalleled opportunity to get connected with the broader community of conservative law and policy. The weekend offers the perfect blend of intellectually engaging panels, student/alumni networking events, and great social events. Convention weekend was, without doubt, the best three days of my 1L year.” – Dave Casazza, HLS ‘15

3. Small Group Meeting with a Supreme Court Justice

Harvard Fed Soc members head over to the Supreme Court for a private meeting with one of the justices. Last fall, we met with Justice Scalia; and the year before, Justice Thomas.

4. Alumni Breakfast

HLS alumni host a breakfast during Convention where students can meet our chapter’s alumni from all over the country. Previous guests include Congressman Tom Cotton.

5. Have Fun in DC!

You are not required to attend every panel and luncheon. Take time to explore the town! The Harvard, Yale, and Stanford chapters also plan an evening together.

This trip offers a nice break from Cambridge. We know that taking two days off in November can be difficult, especially during 1L year. However, many of us have gotten our work done there and still met many great people — it is definitely worth your time!

“During my first year at HLS, our final version of our open memo was due after Convention. I met several judges and attorneys in the mornings, did my editing in the afternoon, and socialized with Fed Soc members every evening. By the end of Convention, I’d finished my memo and managed to meet my employer for 1L summer. I had an exciting and very substantive summer position exclusively thanks to Convention. Attending it was definitely the best decision I made 1L year.” – Bryan Cleveland, HLS ‘15