Law Students

Harvard Law School Using New Sexual Assault Procedure
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Summary: Sexual assault accusations will be handled differently at Harvard Law with students being awarded an attorney by the school if they wish and a board unrelated to the school determining what violations to the policy has been made.

Harvard Law School is implementing a new policy to take on sexual harassment. Students will be taking on new housing situations, new classes, and now a new process for the investigation and hearings on these claims.


Other Harvard schools have a significantly different process compared to the new one at Harvard Law that took months of debate between faculty members. The school was concerned about the due process rights of the accused person.

The new policy will provide the students involved with an attorney if they wish. An adjudicatory panel of professionals unaffiliated with the school will decide if there are any violations of the Harvard University’s sexual harassment policy. This may occur after a hearing.

Many of the students still do not fully understand what the policy entails or how it applies to them but they do hope that it will help with the sexual assault problem on campus. One third year law student, Leland S. Shelton noted, “I still haven’t really formed an opinion on those rules. What I do hope is that the new sexual assault policy will curb the sexual assaults that happen on Harvard’s campus, including the Law School’s.”

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If the policy is too complicated, it may have the opposite effect and cause victims to be less likely to come forward or end up protecting those that are the attackers.




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