Frequently asked questions

If your question is not addressed below, feel free to contact us. For technical questions please contact amicus@law.harvard.edu and for questions about your alumni information please contact alumrec@law.harvard.edu for further assistance.

View an instructional video of how to use HLS Amicus:


If you'd like to skip to a specific section of the video you can find the following topics at the listed times:


Overview


What is HLS Amicus?
HLS Amicus is an online platform to help connect the Harvard Law School community and is secured with HarvardKey. It has been designed to improve communication and develop deeper connections within the HLS community.

For alumni, HLS Amicus currently offers the alumni directory, AlumniConnect, and is kicking-off mentorship and advising opportunities in the fall of 2019 with Alumni Advising. Alumni Advising will offer one-to-one mentoring opportunities between alumni and students as well as a Student Advising Network where alumni can provide answers to quick questions students may have.

What are future phases of HLS Amicus?
Future features will be developed with the input of the HLS community. If you have ideas, about how Amicus can better serve HLS alumni, we want to hear from you! Contact us at amicus@law.harvard.edu.


How to register and sign in


How do I login to HLS Amicus for first time?
Before you can begin using HLS Amicus, you must claim your HarvardKey. If you have yet to claim your HarvardKey, contact the HLS HarvardKey support line at 617-495-5631 or HLS Alumni Records at alumrec@law.harvard.edu.

You will also need to read and accept the HLS Amicus terms and conditions to learn about proper use of the system. You will be asked to agree to the terms set forth in the policy to complete your registration process.

Once you have your HarvardKey, just click on the button to the left that says “Sign In with your HarvardKey” and use the same information to login to AlumniConnect.

What is HarvardKey?
HarvardKey is a "single identity for life" spanning the Harvard Community and enables access to the applications and services Harvard offers for students and alumni. Once you claim your HarvardKey, you will have access to:

  • A self-service portal where you can reset your password, set or change recovery email addresses (no more security questions to remember!), and update preferences at any time
  • Optional two-step verification to boosts your security by backing up your login name and password using an easy-to-use smartphone app (or text/phone verification)

How do I log in to HLS Amicus after I have claimed my HarvardKey?
Within this site, click on the “Sign In” button in the top right corner.

screenshot of where to log in to Amicus

AlumniConnect, the alumni directory


What is AlumniConnect?
AlumniConnect is the Harvard Law School online alumni directory within HLS Amicus. As a member of the community, you can log in at any time to update your personal information or search for the contact information of other alumni. The Alumni Center will receive your updated information to ensure you are invited to events, receive mailings, etc.

What is my profile?
Your profile in AlumniConnect is your personal contact information page and a way to share information with your classmates about yourself. You can customize your profile to be as general or specific as you would like. The more information you put in the better we can connect you to other HLS alumni with shared interests to form a greater community. You can include current and previous work experience, areas of interest and expertise, as well as hobbies.

You will have data populated in your directory profile when you log in for the first time coming from the HLS Alumni Center records, if you had a listing in the former alumni directory (HLS Connect), and/or if you completed a Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) profile.

If I had created a profile in the previous HLS alumni directory, HLS Connect, what happened to that information?
If you created a profile in HLS Connect, that information was brought directly into HLS Amicus. Please check your HLS Amicus profile to ensure the information is still accurate.

If I had a profile in another Harvard University online directory platform, what happened to that information?
If you created a profile in another Harvard University directory, that information was brought directly into HLS Amicus. We recognize that Alumni have different privacy fields for different groups of people, for example, you may choose to display something to the HLS Alumni community that you do not wish to share to the Harvard Alumni community. Because of this we did not bring any privacy settings from your Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) profile into your HLS Amicus profile. Please login to Amicus to change your settings. Please note that not all of the fields in the HAA directory are law specific and may not be an exact match with fields in Amicus. Please check your Amicus profile to ensure the information is still accurate.

What types of searches can I perform?
You can search for fellow alumni using a variety of criteria including: name, keyword, class year, section, HLS degree, city, state, country, bar admissions, HLS student organizations, HLS journals, issue area, job title, legal academia area of interest, legal practice setting, non-legal industry, seeking employment, work type, and degree.

You are able to use multiple search criteria as well as dictate the importance of each criterion.

Why am I getting 0 Search Results?
If your search produces 0 results, it does not necessarily mean that there is no one that fits your search criteria. It could mean that the HLS community members have hidden information or not yet updated their profiles. As this is a new system, members are still cultivating their profiles. As more people log in and update their profiles, more search results will generate.

Can I decide what information I want displayed displayed?
Harvard Law School has made every effort to give you the flexibility to share as much or as little information as you wish. The information you provide forms part of the school’s records and is not accessible to anyone except users of HLS Amicus. HLS Amicus offers the ability to hide information on a field-by-field basis, except for name, HLS degree, degree year, and any applicable section or honor details. Simply adjust the “visible / private” settings for each entry. If an alumnus searches for your record, any information that you have chosen to be private will not be provided. If you make a mistake or change your mind about removing any information from view, just adjust the visibility box. The changes you make are effective immediately.

Can I change my home, business address or other information?
Yes. You can update all contact information online in your “edit my profile page” instantaneously except for a few noted fields. Fields that are pre-populated by HLS (including your legal name) and colored gray, must be updated by contacting the HLS Alumni office at alumrec@law.harvard.edu or (617) 495-5631.

Can I send a Direct Message to another Alumni in AlumniConnect?
Yes, to send a direct message you can either do a search of the person you want to contact or browse for contacts. In each person’s search results there is a “send message button” click that button and you can draft a message to that person. When the message is sent a new “connections” option will appear in the left hand navigation menu on your home page. If you receive a message, that will appear in the messages tab on your left hand navigation menu.

*If you would like to opt out of direct messaging in AlumniConnect, go to the top right of your screen where your name is highlighted. Click on the drop down menu and select “my account settings” Select the “Participation” tab. In the section marked “Contact Limits” select the number 0 from the drop down menu under the header named “Max inbound contacts” then click the save button on the bottom right hand of your screen.You have now opted out of messaging in the AlumniConnect system.

screenshot of Amicus site

Can I save contacts in AlumniConnect?
Yes, to save a contact, click on the “view full profile” drop down button to the right of the contacts name and information. Select the “Save to my contacts” option. The contact will now be saved under the “Saved Contacts” button on your right hand navigation menu.

Who can see my profile, and what can they see?

  1. All HLS alumni can see name, degree and year, honors, section (as applicable) by default. They can also see any additional information your added to your profile and marked as visible.
  2. You have the ability to mark fields as private or visible, if set to private no one will be able to see that information.
  3. Portions of your profile will be visible to students if you answer “yes” to the question about sharing your directory information with current students in the “Connect” section of your profile.
  4. If you wish to opt-out entirely from AlumniConnect, please contact the Alumni Center at alumrec@law.harvard.edu to have your profile removed.

AlumniAdvising


What is AlumniAdvising?
AlumniAdvising is a program offered through HLS Amicus in which alumni can connect with students for advising and mentoring opportunities. This program contains two parts: 1) the Student Advising Network and 2) Mentoring. Alumni can choose to participate in one or both parts of this program.

What is the Student Advising Network?
The Student Advising Network is an online directory in where Alumni can opt in to share information about their careers, education, professional experiences and HLS affiliations with current HLS students. Students will be able to search this directory and contact alumni via the HLS Amicus messaging system to ask quick questions.

What kind of time commitment is involved in being in the Student Advising Network?
The time commitment for being in the Student Advising Network is very small. Students will search your profile in the network and email you quick questions through the HLS Amicus system based on questions they may have about careers options, transition points, navigating law school, etc.

What is the difference between The Student Advising Network and Mentoring?
The Student Advising Network is an online directory where students can view alumni profiles and message alumni within the HLS Amicus system to ask quick questions. Mentoring is an individual match between an alum and a student, based on shared interests and backgrounds. Mentor pairs have sustained interactions throughout the academic year.

What is mentoring?
Signing up to be a mentor in HLS Amicus means that you will be individually matched with a student to share guidance, expertise and advice over the course of the academic year.

How am I matched with a mentee?
HLS Amicus uses technology to match you with a student with similar career and personal interests based on both of your Amicus profiles. The more information in your profile, the stronger the matches!

Can I be a mentor if I don't live near HLS or in the Cambridge area?
Yes! Most of your interactions with your mentee will be virtual. Most of our alumni are outside of the Cambridge area and we do not expect you to meet with your mentee in person.

How much of a time commitment is involved?
Every mentorship relationship will vary based on the participants. We would encourage mentors to reach out to students at least a few times a year at critical times (before exams, around course selections,before starting a summer internship, etc.) and students may reach out to you as they have questions throughout the year as needed.

What is the duration of the mentoring relationship?
We would like the mentoring relationship to last for an academic year, from when you are matched through May. However, if you would like to continue the relationship beyond the academic year, that option is available to you.

Will I have more than one mentee?
Amicus gives you the option to pick how many mentees you would like to mentor. You can choose to have from one to five mentees.

HLS Amicus security

How secure is my information?
Harvard Law School has taken every effort to ensure that individual privacy is protected. The site is technologically secure and password-protected through HarvardKey, and it is intended strictly for the purpose of personal interaction between alumni and the School. The system will automatically time out after 2 hours, so please remember to save all of the changes you have made to your profile.

Will alumni who abuse HLS Amicus be penalized?
Yes. Abusers of the system will be removed from HLS Amicus permanently. Information that is available in HLS Amicus, and other Harvard Law School (HLS) electronic resources, is intended for personal use only and may not be shared or redistributed in any form outside of HLS without express written permission from HLS.

  • Amicus cannot be used to create mailing lists (print or digital) that promote products, charitable organizations, sales, or other business ventures. Using any information for these purposes is strictly forbidden.
  • Information contained within Amicus is not intended for reproduction, publication, or retransmission in any form.
  • Storing information in a retrieval system by any means, electronic or mechanical, is not allowed.

Search tips


  • In the left navigation, you have the option within “Find” to select either “Search” or “Browse All”. Search provides the opportunity to filter down the alumni list based on specific search criteria and browse all will return all alumni within the database.

  • To begin your search, click on “Find” on the left-hand menu of your home page. Select “Search” and you will begin a new search. Choose what field you would like to search on from the first dropdown menu (keyword, location, legal practice setting and many other options) and then enter a search term in the in the middle field. You can then select the importance of that search term from required to not very important; you can even select “excluded” to have it omit records with that search term. Search results will include anything with the search term as part of a word. If you search for Anna, it will return all Annas as well as Johanna and Hannah.

  • By hitting the “Add Criterion” button you can add additional search terms to refine your results.

  • To remove a search criterion, you can click on the “-” (minus sign) at the end of the row and that option will be removed.

  • The results screen will display an individual's photo, first and last name, degree, class year, section, any honors they received, and the results of your search. For additional profile information, click on the “View Full Profile” button on the right side of the screen.

  • If you’d like to keep track of specific individuals, you can select “Save to My Contacts” by clicking on the “View Full Profile” dropdown. You can then view all of your saved contacts by clicking on the “Saved Contacts” link in the left navigation.

  • If you’d like to contact an alumnus, click on the “Send Message” link within their profile in the search results. They will receive an email notifying them they have a message in Amicus and can come back to the dashboard and click on Messages in the left navigation to retrieve any new messages. If you do receive an email from another alumni through Amicus, you can also reply directly to the email and your contact will receive your message.

  • The system will not know nicknames that were not supplied or part of an individual’s name. For instance, if someone is entered at “Robert” the system will not find them as “Bob” unless they have included that as part of their profile.

  • Once you have the results, you can sort them by match %, first name, or last name and then select the to appear in ascending or descending order.

  • In general, the fewer search criteria you enter, the more results you will get; the more criteria you provide, the more you will narrow your results.