Stephen L. Ball, who is from Detroit, has been chosen to be Harvard Law School’s Dean of Students, making history as the first Black male to hold the position in the institution’s 205-year history.
According to reports, Ball is the first Black man to serve in the role at the school since its inception in 1817. He was the second Black person to serve in the role overall since the first one had been a Black woman.
Ball earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. He was the first to ever graduate college in his family. He then attended Harvard Law School where he earned his Juris Doctor in 2010.
While studying, he interned at numerous prominent political and nonprofit offices. After graduating, he practised law for 6 years at a major national law firm based in New York City. He also briefly worked for an insurance company and at Airbnb. His most recent role was as a senior vice president and strategy lead at Wells Fargo.
Ball, who is 36-years old, said he credits his various experiences in helping him grow and allowing him to take on an entirely new challenge as he returns to his alma mater.
In his new role, he will focus on the students’ welfare, supporting them throughout their entire time at law school. He will be responsible for organizing and overseeing programs for students including events, networking, as well as mentorship through the Bar process.
“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 told C and G News. “I understand that things probably have not changed too much for today’s students, so I want to do all that I can to enrich their experience by ensuring they are able to leverage HLS’s abundance of resources, help them feel more connected to the HLS community, support them in navigating mental health challenges, and come away thinking fondly of their time in Cambridge.