Harvard Law School (also known as Harvard Law or HLS) is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1817, it is the oldest continually-operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. The law school is generally considered one of the most prestigious in the world.
HLS is large for a law school – each class in the three-year J.D. program has approximately 560 students, the largest of the top 150 ranked law schools in the United States. The first-year (1L) class is broken into seven sections of approximately 80 students who take most first-year classes together. Harvard's large class size and its prestige have led the law school to graduate a great many distinguished alumni in the judiciary, government, and the business world.
According to Harvard Law's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 86.9% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation. Harvard Law School graduates have accounted for 568 judicial clerkships in the past three years,[when?] including one-quarter of all Supreme Court clerkships.
Harvard Law was founded by the estate of wealthy slaveholder Isaac Royal. Royal's coat-of-arms, with its three stacked wheat sheaves, remains the school's crest to this day. The current Dean of Harvard Law School is Martha Minow, who assumed the role on July 1, 2009. The law school has 234 faculty members.