The 1L Curriculum and Registration Information

Registration for 1L Spring Courses

The 1L spring term curriculum consists of the two already scheduled spring courses, an international/comparative law course chosen from a select group of 1L offerings in this area, and a spring term elective of 2-4 law school classroom credits chosen from the upper-level curriculum.  You will begin the registration process on Monday, November 4 using Helios, the school’s online course registration system as described below.  


Preferencing PhaseStart DateStop DateResults Displayed By
1L International / Comparative CoursesMonday, November 4 at 9amWednesday, November 6 at noonFriday, November 8
1L Spring Elective CoursesMonday, November 11 at 9amWednesday, November 13 at noonFriday, November 15

1L Registration Information Sessions

    Wednesday, October 30 @ Noon in WCC 2004

    Thursday, October 31 @ Noon in WCC 2009

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call or email the Registrar’s Office at 617-495-4612 or .

 1L International/Comparative Law Courses

Registration for 1L international/comparative law course begins Monday, November 4 at 9am and runs until Wednesday, November 6 at noon.  You will need to prioritize all seven of these offerings in the registration process.  All of the courses are scheduled to meet in D block on Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 12pm, so you need not worry about how your international/comparative preferences will affect your spring elective course choices.

Spring Elective Courses (by section availability)

In addition to the international/comparative law course, 1L students take one upper-level elective course for 2-4 law school classroom credits in the spring term.  Most of the upper-level electives are open to 1L students.  (A few courses are not available to 1Ls because of 2L and 3L enrollments, prerequisites, or faculty preferences.)  1L students are not permitted to cross-register during their spring term.

NOTE:  If you have been accepted to Negotiation Workshop or any other by-permission course, you do not need to register for another spring elective.  The Registrar’s Office will receive the official rosters for these courses and we will enroll you accordingly.

Registration for spring elective courses begins Monday, November 11 at 9am and continues until Wednesday, November 13 at noon. You must select a minimum of 5 courses and may select up to a maximum of 10 courses from the group of electives available to your section.  We recommend that you select at least 8 courses including a few courses with a substantial number of seats available to 1L students. You will then rank those courses according to your preferences. 

Timing of Submissions

Please note that there is no advantage to early submission of preferences because no course assignments will be made until after the registration periods close. You may select your preferences at any time during the registration periods, and may change them as often as you like.  Once the registration period is closed, you will receive an email you your final preferences submitted.  The system will enroll you in a course based upon the last set of preferences submitted.  Results from the international/comparative law registration will available in Helios on Friday, November 8 and for the spring elective registration on Friday, November 15.

Waitlists for International/Comparative and Spring Elective Courses

You will be placed on a waitlist for any courses higher on your priority list than the course you were enrolled in.  The waitlist processing periods for international/comparative and spring elective courses will run from November 18 through November 26.  There will be no waitlist processing during the exam period.  Waitlisting will resume on Thursday, January 2, 2014 and run through the end of spring add / drop on Friday, January 31.  During these periods, Helios will send you an email if a seat becomes available in one of your waitlisted courses.  Waitlists are processed 24 hours a day, and you will have 24 hours to decide whether to claim the seat once the offer is generated.  Check Helios for the correct offer time.  The email message may have a delay of a few minutes. If you have not added the course during this 24-hour period, your offer will expire and your space will be offered to the next student on the waitlist.  If you have any questions or concerns during the waitlist process, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 617-495-4612.

As a Harvard Law student you have been assigned an official HLS Gmail account.  The expectation is that you will look at this account including the spam folder on a regular basis.  If you choose to forward this account to another personal account, it is your responsibility to ensure the email is forwarding correctly.  All communications coming from Harvard Law School, including waitlist offers, will use the official HLS account.  Missing an email due to issues resulting in mail forwarding is not an excuse.  We have taken the necessary measures to ensure the delivery of Harvard initiated emails to your official HLS account.  It is your responsibility to manage your email accounts which includes regularly checking spam folders.  

Drop/Add for International/Comparative and Spring Elective Courses

In addition to the possibility of adding yourself to a waitlisted course during the waitlist processing periods, you will have the opportunity to add yourself to open courses or waitlists during the add/drop period which is scheduled for November 18 through the end of spring term add / drop on January 31, 2014.

By Permission Courses

Spring elective courses requiring permission of the faculty member to enroll are listed separately. You will find instructions for requesting permission on the course description page for each course.  By permission courses will not be available via online registration, add/drop, or waitlisting.

The Negotiation Workshop is by permission for 1L students.  Information on the Workshop and application instructions can be found here

Programs of Study

As you select law school courses for the first time, you may find it useful to review the Programs of Study, an initiative joining faculty and students in areas of shared interests. Six Programs of Study are now launched and help identify courses at the Law School and the rest of the university, clinics and practice opportunities, research opportunities, and career paths in these areas:

  1. Law and Government
  2. Law and Business
  3. International and Comparative Law
  4. Law, Science, and Technology
  5. Law and Social Change
  6. Criminal Justice

We encourage students to review the Programs of Study web site associated with each of these areas to see suggestions about germane courses (some may not seem so obvious!) and activities and to find other students and faculty with shared interests.

Don’t hesitate to be in touch with any of us in the Registrar’s Office if you have questions!

Last modified: November 12, 2013

© 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.