On behalf of the Harvard Law and International Development Society (LIDS), we’d like to welcome you to Harvard Law and to the greater Boston community!

LIDS is a diverse group of students from Harvard Law School, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the Fletcher School at Tufts, Boston College Law, and other graduate programs in Boston who are passionate about the challenges and opportunities that lie at the intersection of law, policy, and international development.

In pursuit of those passions, LIDS affords its Members opportunities to pursue international development work both during and after their time as a student.  Some of our main activities revolve around organizing teams of graduate students to staff multidisciplinary, long-term pro bono projects for outside clients (overseen by our attorney supervisors). Those clients range from social enterprises, to civil society organizations to legal advocacy groups, to the US Commerce Department to the World Bank. (You can see past projects here).

In addition to projects, LIDS carries out its mission in the following ways:

  • offering substantive, development-focused programming, such as the LIDS Symposium and other events that bring renowned speakers to campus;
  • developing students’ concrete skills by partnering with organizations engaged on the ground to conduct trainings and simulations for students;
  • facilitating professional connections and deepening knowledge of opportunities in international development, such as by advertising externship opportunities and course offerings and leading an annual career development trip to either NYC or Washington, D.C.;
  • fostering the experiences needed for members to pursue careers in international development, such as by, and bringing together like-minded LIDS students, alumni, and affiliates; and
  • building a vibrant community of people who share an interest in international and/or development-related work, as well as a useful network for those who want to work in international development and related fields after graduation.

Whether you have experience in international development or are simply interested in learning more about it, LIDS invites you to get to know us and learn more about the work we do!

There are several ways to become involved with LIDS as a new student.

  • Work on a LIDS Project: Join a team of 5-10 graduate students and work directly with a senior client at one of our development-minded, partner organizations. Projects allow Members to become an expert on an exciting and current development issue, while simultaneously honing their research and writing skills and building their professional network. Projects are also notoriously fun and typically count towards pro bono graduation requirements. Projects are supervised and guided by attorneys at one of LIDS’ partnering law firms.
  • Join a LIDS Committee: Join a small committee of LIDS Members that help plan a particular LIDS event. These include committees to help plan the annual spring trip, social events, or the LIDS Symposium.
  • Serve as a LIDS Section Representative: For 1Ls and LLMs interested in LIDS, one of the easiest (read: low time commitment!) ways to become involved is to serve as your section’s LIDS representative. This involves publicizing LIDS events to your section-mates via Facebook and chalking in classrooms. It also provides the opportunity to attend LIDS leadership meetings. Applications will be circulated to the listserv at the start of the fall semester.
  • Attend LIDS events: LIDS has a wide array of great programming planned for the coming year. Events will run the gamut of professional development-focused careers panels and skills trainings to substantive events, such as this fall’s LIDS Symposium and International Women’s Day in the spring.

You can also follow us on Facebook or sign up for our mailing list.

We look forward to meeting you!



Allison Beeman and Mohammad Zia

LIDS Co-Presidents, 2020-2021

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