HLS Lambda is a social and political student organization dedicated to serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community at Harvard Law School. We play an active role in the national debate on LGBTQ civil rights by organizing and sponsoring conferences, networking with national LGBTQ rights leaders, and connecting students with LGBTQ-related academic opportunities. We also provide programming, events, and services for LGBTQ students and allies at HLS.
We welcome all LGBTQ students and straight allies to join our email list and to become a part of HLS Lambda.
Constitution and Bylaws
The Constitution of HLS Lambda establishes the organization’s purpose, membership requirements, and basic structure. The Bylaws of HLS Lambda lay out the composition and duties of most of the Executive Board, govern the election of new Board members, and set some parameters for organizational decision-making.
The most current version of the Constitution & Bylaws (last amended October 17, 2019) is available here.
The Campus Advocacy Committee aims to serve the needs of Lambda members and to make the law school a more welcoming and affirming space for all LGBTQ people. We hope to support you during your time as students here, and to improve Harvard Law School for future generations of LGBTQ law students. Current and past projects by this committee include:
- advocating for more LGBTQ legal courses and clinics
- creating gender-inclusive bathrooms on campus
- organizing protests against the JAG Crops recruiting on campus with the trans military ban in place
- working with the administration to improve mental health services at HLS.
This Committee’s work is driven by the needs of each year’s Lambda’s members, so please reach out to the co-chairs with what you would like to do to improve HLS!
Community Service Committee
Lambda’s Community Service Committee organizes projects for Lambdans and other HLS students to give back to the local, national, and international LGBTQ community. Current and past projects include:
- Weekly volunteering and organizing clothing drives with the Y2Y Homeless Shelter.
- Canvassing with Project No One Leaves (PNOL)
- Research for local LGBTQ organizations.
- Helping homeless youth get State IDs including licenses, social security cards, and birth certificates.
- Working with Yes on 3 to protect transgender rights in Massachusetts
Lambda’s political committee fosters critical debate on LGBTQ issues in and out of the law school by organizing the annual HLS Lambda Conference, hosting speakers to discuss critical and novel LGBTQ issues, and co-sponsoring events with other HLS student organizations and local organizations that touch on issues relevant to the LGBTQ community.
Lambda’s 2019 Conference will focus on LGBTQ+ Issues in Health Care Law and Policy. More details forthcoming.
Lambda’s 2018 Conference was titled “Fighting the (Q)arceral State” and tackled issues such as:
- Alternative to Calling the Police
- Divestment form the Prison Industrial Complex
- Carceral Feminism/Carceral Queerness
- Criminalization of Queer and Trans People of Color
Lambda’s 2017 Conference was titled “(Pre)serving the Community: Striving for Equality in 2017” and tackled issues such as:
- LGBTQ Discrimination through State Legislation
- To Arm or Not to Arm: An LGBTQ Conversation
- LGBTQ Elders and their Care
- Combating Poverty in the LGTBQ Community
Lambda’s 2016 Conference was titled “The Ongoing Struggle for Full LGBTQ Equality in Our Local Communities” and tackled issues such as:
- Supporting the Boston LGBTQ Community
- Fighting LGBTQ Discrimination through Impact Litigation
- Battling Homophobia in the Muslim Community
- Protecting Our Families: LGBTQ ART and Adoption Laws from State to State
- The Struggle for Marriage Equality in the Navajo Nation
The Professional Liaisons provide information for the Lambda community about professional opportunities in an effort to help students explore a variety of avenues for future legal careers. We connect Lambda members with practicing attorneys through: LGBTQ panels on a variety of legal practices, a speed-networking event, partnering with select LGBTQ attorneys from various firms for casual 1L cocktail receptions or dinners, and providing general advice on EIP and legal employment..
Social Committee is responsible for building Lambda’s sense of community by hosting social events and gatherings. Examples of events include:
- LamFams: Social Committee is responsible for facilitating Lambda’s Lambda Family (LamFam) program, which pairs 1Ls with upperclassmen based on interest and similarities. LamFams each receive funding for events.
- Fall Retreat: Every year, Lambda escapes from the fast-paced excitement at HLS to build community. Traveling is a great opportunity to get out of Cambridge and get to know the rest of Lambda. In 2018, Lambda is going to a cabin in Maine. In years past, we’ve gone to Provincetown: the Massachusetts equivalent of Fire Island.
- Faculty Social Events: Our faculty sponsors generously host events at their homes in Cambridge.
- Study breaks: Throughout the year, Lambda members leave their books behind to gather at Berryline (a Boston froyo staple), Burdick’s (the best hot chocolate in Cambridge) and other spots.
- Other social events: Miscellaneous social events throughout the year, including crafts, finals puppy therapy, and trips to queer-friendly locations in and around Boston. Also includes events hosted by the wider Harvard LGBTQ community, such as those hosted by the Harvard Gender and Sexuality Caucus.
Pan-Harvard Committee is responsible for organizing the annual Pan-Harvard LGBTQ Conference and facilitating relationships and communication between HLS Lambda and the LGBTQ organizations at other Harvard schools. Other than the Pan-Harvard Conference, examples of events include:
- Cross-School and Pan-Harvard mixers: LGBTQ mixers held with One Queer Harvard and Boston-area schools such as Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, MIT, and Tufts.