LIDS has generated a lot of excitement at and beyond HLS. Hear what project partners, alumni, faculty and students are saying about LIDS.


“LIDS was one of the reasons I chose to come to HLS. The first semester of law school can be an overwhelming experience. Getting to know other LIDS members helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. They reminded me of why I came to law school in the first place. The mentorship and support from all LIDS members has helped me to find my place at Harvard and to reaffirm my commitment to a career in development.”

– First-year HLS JD Student & Participant in two LIDS projects

“LIDS is one of the things that attracted to me to Harvard Law School. It’s an innovative and unique student group that doesn’t exist at any other law schools. As someone who wants to work in the field of law and development, I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to get real experience as a 1L, doing research that is having a real impact in the field. Furthermore, I have loved the community of students I have met through LIDS. The people are passionate knowledgeable about development, and it’s been great to learn from my fellow students.”

– First-year HLS JD Student & Participant in two LIDS projects

“I really enjoyed working on my LIDS project this semester, for which I helped write a report for the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, because I had the opportunity to apply newly-gained legal skills to issues I care about, and to learn more about the issues themselves. It was also a huge privilege to work directly for a UN special rapporteur and feel like I contributed meaningfully to his work.”

– First-year HLS JD Student & Participant in one LIDS project

“I have studied alternative dispute resolution extensively at HLS and practiced my ADR skills in a number of settings, but I had never had the opportunity to see these processes at work in a developing country. It was an incredible learning experience and highly complementary to my work on these issues back in Cambridge.”

– Christine Rizk ’11, HLS Student & Participant in MCC-LIDS Clinical in Lesotho (land dispute project)

“From a personal standpoint, the project was a tremendous learning experience. Although I have had the opportunity to engage in significant human rights-related coursework and clinical work while at HLS, until this January I had never done fieldwork in a developing country. Although it was a short time frame, it was still a terrific opportunity to finally get on-the-ground experience.”

– James Small ’11, HLS Student & Participant in MCC-LIDS Clinical in Lesotho (health decentralization project)

“The idea to launch LIDS goes back to my first week at Harvard. When I first arrived at HLS, I was thrilled to find that so many of my fellow students were interested in using their legal skills for international development work. At the same time, my fellow students and I were frustrated by the lack of hands-on law-and-development work available to JD students – there just wasn’t much in the way of project opportunities or international clinical with a real development focus. I wanted to start an organization that created a community of students from HLS and across the University and give HLS students a way to launch their careers in law and development through hands-on work. Fortunately, several other students liked the idea and a small group of us launched the Law & International Development Society in April 2009. Despite a very lean budget in our first year, LIDS has grown explosively. It has more than 150 active members and receives financial and in-kind support from law firms, the US government and senior practitioners. The biggest challenge for LIDS today is managing the pace of growth and the overwhelming demand from HLS students and partner organizations to become more involved.”

– Alastair Green ’11, HLS JD Student, LIDS Founder & Past President

Project Partners

“Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has been working with LIDS for more than two years.  We have been deeply impressed by the commitment that the students display to the field of international development, including human and civil rights for the most disadvantaged around the globe.  The leadership of LIDS works with many of the most significant NGOs in this area, including several of our prominent pro bono clients.  The legal work that the students do, and that our attorneys supervise, is cutting edge and is having real impact assisting partners on the ground to address major issues affecting poor and marginalized communities around the world. Through our partnership with LIDS, Orrick attorneys have access to these exciting projects, as well as the opportunity to mentor and supervise outstanding, passionate students.  We are delighted to have developed such a strong relationship with LIDS and look forward to continuing to strengthen it in the near and long term.”

– Rene Kathawala, Pro Bono Counsel, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP & LIDS Advisory Board Member

“A partnership forged between the Harvard Law & International Development Society (LIDS) and two Brazilian organizations – the Brazilian News Agency for Children’s Rights (ANDI) and the Alana Institute – has given rise to an unprecedented initiative to map the regulation of food advertising to children in seven countries. The content of the study, titled ‘Regulations on Advertising Fattening Foods & Sodas to Children: Comparative Findings from Seven Countries,’ will play a critical role in enhancing the public debate on the issue in Brazil: first, by providing a robust technical analysis on the protection of children’s rights in the advertising field and, second, by serving as a model of good practices for lawmakers. The two Brazilian organizations have launched regular advocacy initiatives on behalf of the democratic regulation of various forms of advertising to children. In this light, the inputs produced by LIDS will be of value in strengthening the dialogue with public officials, media companies, and other social actors on promoting legislation that is in line with current international standards for the industry. The document will also contribute toward enhancing the evolving discussion on the need for a broad regulatory framework for the communications field in Brazil. Current legislation dates from 1962 and is today the object of criticism from civil society organizations and media companies alike.”

– Veet Vivarta, Executive Secretary, ANDI – Brazilian News Agency for Children’s Rights (LIDS Partner Organization)

Clinical Partners

“The contribution from the Harvard Law and International Development Society to the Lesotho Compact has been substantial. These students brought to the Health Decentralization and Land Administration Reform activities a wealth of professional and academic stills combined with a unique perspective on the realities of working within the developing country context. Both the MCC Resident Country Mission and all of our Basotho counterparts found their contributions to be insightful and value-adding.”

– Brian Baltimore, Deputy Resident Country Director, Millennium Challenge Corporation Lesotho

Advisory Board Members & HLS Alumni

“HLS students become America’s and World leaders.  As an HLS alumna working on strengthening justice in developing Asian countries,  I am thrilled to see LIDS generating enthusiasm and interest on critical law and development issues amongst large numbers of HLS students. Ensuring justice in development includes, but is more than, ensuring the rules are right. Aspects cover the gamut from the accountability of international financial and economic institutions; commercial law; climate justice; energy, water, and environmental regulation; disasters in development; and  human rights; all of which are fundamental issues for ensuring global justice.  In participating in events run by LIDS, I have seen, first hand, the commitment and energy of LIDS’ student leaders, to ensuring new generations of HLS students have exposure to these critical issues.  Like LIDs I consider it fundamental that these critical issues are raised at a premier institution such as HLS. They are essential to the knowledge armory that the next generation of Leaders possess. It is also critical that some of the best legal minds are dedicated towards addressing these challenges.”

– Kala Mulqueeny, Senior Counsel, Asian Development Bank & LIDS Advisory Board Member


“LIDS students succeeded in making a place in constitutional history for Bahrain. The result, a book-length document, will be a reference point for the country for years to come.”

– Professor Chibli Mallat, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Visiting Professor of Islamic Legal Studies

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