Who We Are

The Harvard Law & International Development Society (“LIDS”) is the premier student-run organization at Harvard University focused on issues at the intersection of law, policy and international development. LIDS members are JD, LLM, and SJD students at Harvard Law School with passion for international economic law topics in all forms.

LIDS was founded in light of the growing recognition that many pressing challenges in international development are legal in nature. For instance, rule of law development, regulatory reform, contract design, litigation of economic and social rights and land titling programs all require a deep understanding of both development practice and the law. We actively promote dialogue on these issues among our members, leading academics, and development practitioners.


Unlocking solutions to international development challenges by empowering a global community engaged in law, policy, and entrepreneurship.

What We Do

Education, Dialogue & Networking. Through its multidisciplinary speaking events, symposia, annual networking field trip, and other programs and events, LIDS fosters learning and dialogue between students, professors, and practitioners on a wide range of subjects in the field of international development.

Promoting Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives. LIDS believes that the law is enriched when it invites perspectives and discussion across disciplines and practices. To that end, a core component of our work aims to facilitate legal discussion and thinking in fields ranging from economics to computer science and from finance to healthcare.

Cross-Campus Networks. LIDS creates a cross-campus, multidisciplinary academic community that expands social networks and encourages out-of-the-box thinking.

Our Values

  • Impact: We strive to have a tangible effect in the international development sphere by facilitating projects for real-world clients who are doing important work at the intersection of law and development.
  • Innovation: We are a community of graduate students with the ability to contextualize and think critically and creatively about the latest challenges in international development.
  • Collaboration: We believe in cross-disciplinary teamwork, we pride ourselves on implementing solutions from across the academic spectrum and working with organizations in all types of practice areas from around the world.
  • Justice: Our conception of development includes the spread of justice, human rights and the rule of law for all people in the world, regardless of demographics or socio-economic status.
  • Integrity: LIDS is committed to acting with the highest degree of integrity, in particular while dealing with client priorities and potentially sensitive and/or privileged information.

Getting Involved

We offer our members four ways to get involved with LIDS.

Core Committees
. Join one of our committees that support LIDS and our community of students. We currently operate two active committees: Harvard Trade Forum & Harvard International Finance Forum, both of which are responsible for inviting speakers, planning career activities, and promoting our events related to either international financial or trade topics. These committees are great ways to get involved in the organization, gain experience, and work up to a leadership position with LIDS.

Speakers & Events
. Attend a lecture through our lunch-time lecture series, come to our annual symposium, or participate in our annual career-networking field trip. Our events seek to both provoke conversations about development issues and education our members about opportunities for jobs in law and development.

Social Activities.
 Come get to know other students interested in international development at one of our happy hours or other community activities, such as potlucks or movie nights.