Stephen Ball makes history as first Black man to serve as dean of students at Harvard Law School

“I view the value of the role as helping students optimize their experience at HLS," he said.

Loading the player...

Detroit native Stephen Ball has made history as the first Black man to serve as the dean of students at Harvard Law School, C&G News reported.

Ball, 36, is only the second African American in the school’s 200+year history in that role. The first was a Black woman. As the new dean, he will support and mentor students from arrival to graduation as well as oversee enrichment programs that help prepare students for the bar exam.

Photo Credit: Erin Patrice O’Brien

“I view the value of the role as helping students optimize their experience at HLS while also positioning them to succeed in their life after law school,” Ball said in an email interview, C&G News reported. 

Ball said he wants to do all that he can “to enrich their experience by ensuring they are able to leverage HLS’s abundance of resources.”

Ball, who grew up in Southfield, Michigan, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Michigan and his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 2010.

“At HLS, I will serve and represent all students — nearly 2,000 total — and these are students from across the country and around the world, coming from all walks of life,” he told C&G News.

Ball’s role as dean of students at Harvard Law School began on March 7.

“I view the value of the role as helping students optimize their experience at HLS while also positioning them to succeed in their life after law school,” Ball said, noting that he will also help students “feel more connected to the HLS community, support them in navigating mental health challenges, and come away thinking fondly of their time in Cambridge.”

Jessica Soban, dean of student services at Harvard Law, said to Because of Them We Can, that Ball “brings tremendous experience and a genuine commitment to our students, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to Harvard Law School and to our student services team.”

“Our dean of students plays such an integral role in our community, helping shape the student experience and providing support and mentorship to our students, from orientation to commencement,” she said.

“I often tell students that their career arc is presumably long – somewhere from 30-40 years, perhaps even more. For that reason, they should embrace their curiosities and passions, provided other life responsibilities allow them to,” said Ball. 

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Please download theGrio mobile apps today!

Loading the player...