Law Students

No Handshakes during Harvard Law School Graduation
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Summary: The graduation ceremony at Harvard Law School went on this year with no handshakes allowed because of a mumps outbreak.

Harvard Law School’s graduation ceremony looked a little heartless this year. There was no congratulatory, farewell, or handshakes of any kind during the ceremony due to an outbreak of the mumps.


The graduation ceremony went as planned with the new J.D.’s receiving their diploma without a handshake. Dean Marcia Sells told graduates before the ceremony that they will get a “courteous nod” instead of the handshake. There were also plentiful amounts of hand sanitizer available for the graduates, families, and guests to use.

There have been over 50 confirmed cases of the mumps in the community. The number increased steadily during the last few weeks of the spring semester. The MMR vaccine is required by law but is easy to opt out of. The vaccine is only 88 percent effective with both doses and only 78 percent effective if just the one dose is taken. There have been no other cases reported in nearby areas such as Boston.

Read Harvard Law to Remove Shield.

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This is just the latest in a number of struggles the law school has faced this year. There were the issues over the treatment of sexual assault reports, the defacing of the pictures of black professors, the connection of the school to a black slave owner, and the anti-Semitic remarks of a student at a school forum.

Read Harvard Law Student Makes Anti-Semitic Remark.

Do you think Harvard Law made the right choice to hold graduation with a mumps outbreak? Tell us in the comments.

To learn more about the controversies at Harvard Law, read Harvard Law Students Demand an End to Tuition.



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