On September 4, an email by Dean of Students Ellen Cosgrove detailed the reduction in perks students would begin to notice at HLS, where, under the tenure of former Dean (and now Solicitor General) Elena Kagan ’86, free food for events and even some classes had become common, free coffee abounded from morning until noon, and a logo-emblazoned skating rink animated Jarvis Field during the cold winter months.
The lifestyle changes students face are not stark: the free coffee has not been completely cut, as was rumored, but will be served in fewer locations, and is expected to last only until 10:15. A survey later sent to the student body by Cosgrove asked whether students would share in cost-cutting efforts by providing their own mugs rather than relying on the paper cups the school now buys. Likewise, free food will be rarer at events, and the hours of the dining facilities at Harkness Commons will be reduced depending on demand.
Everybody needs to tighten their belts during the recession. And this new “only limited free coffee” policy should better prepare Harvard Law grads for the rough and tumble employment environment that they’ll face after graduation.
Conference cutbacks are on the way too.
Sponsorship for student events could also be reduced:
More problematic may be reductions in financial support for events and conferences, many of which were sponsored by now-struggling law firms. Cosgrove wrote that less support for events may ensure that the remainder are “robustly attended,” but several journals are now concerned about their ability to win competitive funding for traditional activities, such as their symposia. Also impacting intellectual life may be shortened library hours.
The financial problems at Harvard University as a whole has been well documented. Shouldn’t law students be willing to share the pain? They seemed to be at graduation.
Budget crunch details emerge [Harvard Law Record]
Law Schools Cutting Back in Down Economy [Legal Blog Watch]
Downturn Hits Harvard Law School, Forcing Coffee Cuts and Clinic Moves [ABA Journal]
Earlier: Sorry About Your Little Crimson Diploma, Bro’
Nationwide Layoff Watch: Harvard Law School (Or: Welcome to the End Times)