Harvard Law School’s (HLS) alumni reunion this past weekend reconnected friends from near and far in the School’s newest addition, the 250,000-square-foot Wasserstein Hall, Caspersen Student Center, Clinical Wing Building on the campus’ northwest corner.
During an official dedication ceremony on Friday, donors, alumni, HLS professors past and present, representatives from the city of Cambridge, and members of the architectural firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects gathered in the building’s Milstein Conference Center.
Speakers included Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow, Harvard President Drew Faust, and Elena Kagan, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and former HLS dean.
“Welcome to the Law School’s living room, welcome to the new shape of legal education,” said Minow, who saw the project to its completion.
The complex, created to improve the overall student experience at HLS, includes classrooms and learning spaces of varying sizes equipped with the latest technology, meeting spaces, a sizable lounge, and offices for the School’s student-led organizations, journals, and clinical programs.
“The physical spaces of this building allow Harvard Law School to support an educational experience for its students that is both pathbreaking and unparalleled,” said Faust. “I’m proud that during this 375th year of Harvard’s existence, Harvard Law School is, as in the days of Christopher Langdell, setting the standard for innovation and excellence in legal education.”
Kagan, who took over the project from her predecessor as dean, and Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and Austin Wakeman Scott Professor of Law Robert Clark praised all those who helped bring the complex to fruition.
“My sense,” said Kagan, “is that it has succeeded beyond anyone’s dreams.”
Near the end of the ceremony, Law School student W. Reese Fogle answered the question hinted at in jest by some observers: Are students really using the new space when visitors aren’t around?
“We are filling every nook and cranny of this building,” Fogle said.