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February 18, 2005
To the Harvard Law School Community:
Following the Law School's announcement barring armed forces recruiters from participating in HLS-sponsored career services, Dean Elena Kagan asked the HLS Veterans Association to facilitate some measure of interested student access to military representatives. After vigorous debate, we have decided to accept a limited interim role to assist fellow classmates who desire to investigate career opportunities as Judge Advocates or in other military endeavors.
To this end, HLSVA has established a separate email account, firstname.lastname@example.org, where militarily-inclined HLS students can send confidential inquiries. Volunteer fellow students who have served in the different branches of the armed forces will be available to share personal experiences, explain what a military commitment entails, and informally assist in navigating the joining process. We will not, however, refer any names to recruiters without a classmate's express request.
In addition, to facilitate student-initiated contacts, the above email will accept notices from military recruiters visiting the area and post these for viewing by the HLS student community (for example, via the FlashMod announcement service). Interviewers will be strongly encouraged to arrange for an off-campus location to conduct interviews and to send such notices no later than three weeks in advance of any area visit.
We have declined interim options to establish formal liaison relationships, sponsor regular on-campus military recruiting fairs, coordinate interviews extensively, or perform other equivalent functions. Given our tiny membership, meager budget, and lack of any office space, we possess neither the time nor the resources to routinely schedule campus rooms or advertise extensively for outside organizations, as is the norm for most recruiting events. Moreover, such scopious involvement would dramatically constrict our ability to organize other, non-recruiting events.
The above email address falls short of duplicating the excellent assistance provided by the HLS Office of Career Services. We sincerely hope, however, that it satisfies some needs of our interested classmates and that they feel entirely comfortable in approaching us as peers.
Finally, we recognize that current policies have rendered military recruiting at the Law School uncommonly controversial. To encourage earnest discussion and friendship regardless of how one feels on the merits, HLSVA maintains organizational neutrality on most political issues. While some may be tempted to perceive in our decision some hidden motive, we disclaim any such intent. Our personal experience is that students join the military for a variety of reasons, and that should one of our classmates desire to do so, the least we can do is share what knowledge we possess when asked.
The HLS Veterans Association
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