Friday, April 06, 2007

HL Central assumes management of the Lincoln’s Inn Society and plans renovations for 44 Follen Street.

HL Central, Inc., the student-run corporation founded in 2000, has assumed the management of the Lincoln’s Inn Society and the property located at 44 Follen Street, known to the law school student body as Lincoln’s Inn.

The Lincoln’s Inn Society was founded in 1907 and has called the property at 44 Follen Street its home since 1947. In recent years the Lincoln’s Inn Society has had limited membership and the student-run Board of Governors has been challenged with maintaining the property, which dates to the 1860’s. The Inn closed its doors for the 2006-2007 school year while the Governors evaluated the future of the Lincoln’s Inn Society.

“Our priority was keeping the Inn alive, and ensuring that it remains a functional student activities space for Harvard Law School students. As the other major student-run independent corporation at Harvard Law, HL Central is perfectly situated to take over management of the Inn,” said Brandon Douglass, the outgoing president of the Lincoln’s Inn Society. “We are confident that under HL Central’s corporate structure and management team the Inn will remain a student fixture for the next hundred years.”

“The Lincoln’s Inn is one of oldest and most well-known student-run institutions at Harvard Law School and we are thrilled that HL Central is going to be able to keep its memory and traditions alive” said T.J. Duane ’02, HL Central’s Founder and President.

HL Central plans to begin substantial renovations of 44 Follen Street this summer, with a goal of re-opening the new space during the next school year. Duane suggested major improvements are in the works: “We plan to modernize the Inn and provide meeting and activity space for all students and student organizations.”

In addition, the Inn will provide a permanent home for HL Central. “HL Central has grown substantially in the last seven years and with a 23 member executive board and over 50 active student members, it is important that the organization has a permanent home near the Harvard Law School," noted incoming HL Central Executive Director Elizabeth Russo. "We are pleased that we will be able to utilize the new space for this purpose.”

For more information please contact Elizabeth Russo at

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Traffic Light Party

The Lincoln's Inn traffic light party on Friday, September 29 was great -- or, what we can remember of it was great! Here are some pictures of our green and red dressed members. Curiously, not many people showed up in yellow -- guess everybody has well-defined relationship status! Good for them. Whether or not the multitude of green helped some of the singles find love remains to be seen, but we at the Inn are hopeful.

Stay tuned for the next party!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

80's Party Is a Hit

Last Friday night Lincoln's Inn turned back the clock and celebrated in true 80's style. Leg warmers, side ponytails, track jackets, headbands, and old school neckties all made appearances while party-goers listened to Duran Duran, Bon Jovi, A-Ha, and Wang Chung, to name a few. The costume contest proved very competitive; but in the end, Venice Monagan edged out Kees Vandenberg. Venice arrived decked out in full Michael Jackson gear, complete with sequined glove, and became a crowd favorite in the contest. Kees's retro boombox and fingerless gloves were good, but not quite good enough to be a winner. As a result of the contest, Venice is being awarded with a Lincoln's Inn membership at half price. Who knew pretending to be Michael Jackson could pay off so well!

The next Lincoln's Inn party is this Friday, September 29 at 9:00 PM, and it is our annual "Traffic Light Party." This is a night when everyone wears their heart on their sleeve and publicizes their relationship status via their clothing choice. Red means in a relationship ("stop"), green means single and looking ("go"), and yellow means something in between ("proceed with caution!"). We at the Inn hope to see a lot of green on Friday!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Membership Drive In Full Swing!

It's recruitment season here at Lincoln's Inn, which means parties every weekend! The first party of the season was a huge success with over 100 attendees. 1Ls got to see the Inn for the first time and upperclass members dropped by to see the improved house (proving that a fresh coat of paint, changed lightbulbs, and professional cleaning go a long way!) The second party was a pre-party to the HL Central Bar Review and was another rousing affair, with many first-timers present. The third party this last weekend drew those who still had the energy for a Saturday night event and attendees enjoyed themselves.

Up next at the Inn is its annual 80s costume party! This event features a costume contest in which the winner receives an Inn membership for half price (that's worth $175!) The party will also include a playlist of 80s hits, free drinks, and a fun atmosphere. Make sure to check it out, especially if you like wearing sunglasses at night or walking like an Egyptian.

The Inn is currently taking membership applications, which can be found in the front hall of the house. We accept checks, cash, and credit cards via the PayPal website. The membership fee is $350 for a limited time only; until October 1, 2006. After this date, the fee jumps to $400. Don't wait to join!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Alumni Weekend: Old Memories, New Friends

This weekend was an exciting time at the Inn. Supported by the Governors and our newest Interns, the Inn was prepared to meet and greet our alumni members. Reminded that the Inn remains their space beyond graduation, alumni enjoyed a wine and cheese event Friday and popped in intermittently throughout the weekend.

The Alumni weekend also gave our current members (and our newest Interns) a chance to meet some of our past greats, share stories, learn about our history and get tips for making the Inn even better next year.

Importantly, this weekend also served as a springboard event for our Capital Campaign. Past members inspected the premises and discovered first-hand some of the physical issues detailed in our latest alumni mailing. Alumni members took note and are now armed to share the Capital Campaign's message with their friends and associates.

But the weekend wasn’t all business and stories. There was fun to be had as well. Friday night found Inn governors about the town with alumni looking to assess the Inn’s tradition of camaraderie and diversion amongst the current membership. Though some details of the evening have been lost, it is certain a good time was had by all.

Clean-up at the Inn!

In anticipation of alumni reunion weekend, a few governors took their weekend to clean up the Inn. This much needed "spring cleaning" removed 1.5 TONS of unneeded material and junk around the house, filling up an entire truck designed exclusively for this purpose. Clean-up efforts included the removal of dilapidated, unusable furniture and rusting, obsolete fitness and office equipment. A priority of the governors was to return the upstairs office to a usable state; this was accomplished with unanticipated benefits.

Office clean-up revealed historic artifacts of Inn life and the variety of personalities that has composed the membership over the years. Additionally, critical financial documents were identified and earmarked for fiscal research and planning. Dated alumni reports helped the governors gain a better sense of the “dismal science” [accounting] behind the Inn – facts not recorded on our Holiday posters but critical nonetheless.

The governors worked hard, but the payoff of these efforts have already been observed by residents and will serve the Inn well in the coming months. Removal of years of refuse clears up valuable space for the members and makes the house more productive. Removal of trash outside the house has also made the space more attractive and opens up the possibility for additional member parking. More to come…..


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Welcome to the Lincoln's Inn Blog

Lincoln’s Inn is not a house. Lincoln’s Inn is a society. It’s a group of students. It has alumni. It has parties. Big parties. But it’s also a mess.

One would have to question whether three sitting Supreme Court Justices, Stephen Breyer ‘64, Anthony Kennedy ’61, and David Souter ‘66, and countless leaders in the legal, business, and academic arenas would still join Lincoln’s Inn today.

Few students realize the important place Lincoln’s Inn holds in the history of Harvard Law School. But ask resident Harvard Law historian, Professor Dan Coquillette ‘71, he was a member. Maybe he will tell you Lincoln’s Inn is approaching its 100th anniversary. He will probably add that the house at 44 Follen St., held by the Inn for 60 years is 140 years old and is included on the national register of historic landmarks.

To commemorate the society’s anniversary, Lincoln’s Inn is engaging in a revitalizing Centennial Capital Campaign, aimed at bringing both the organization and the house to new heights, yet unseen by its members, past or present. The Governors are taking ambitious steps towards modernizing the Inn and rejuvenating the organization, with an emphasis on tradition, fellowship, and, of course, refreshment.

The Governors seek to raise at least $300,000 to revive the house structurally and aesthetically, and reconnect with alumni. Why such a large figure? A brief tour of the historic building demonstrates worn carpets, stained walls, and a heating system that has received inquiries from the Smithsonian. Though many members take pride in the Inn’s gritty image, for the institution to maintain its place as Harvard’s premier social club, it must keep law school students excited about its celebrated space. The Campaign includes plans to update the ailing heating system, repair the leaking roof and replace the ancient, inefficient windows. The Governors also need to restore the basement and its infamous bar to its traditional role: serving the membership, alumni, and their guests.

Impressively, the current membership has operated the Inn without benefit of the traditional alumni board, but the Governors recognize the critical role its past members will play in restoring the Inn to its days of glory. For the first time in years, numerous alumni have reached out to the leadership. Several alumni have offered to join the recently-restored alumni board. The alumni board is critical to preserving institutional memory, providing managerial oversight and steering the direction of the organization. The Governors have also begun actively engaging alumni in the Capital Campaign and have been rewarded with a number of generous donations.

But all this is big talk from a group of leaders that made the excruciating decision to cancel this year’s Winter Dinner due to financial constraints. Rumor has it that the Inn has struggled to deal with the rising obligations of maintaining a house in Cambridge in a manner representative of the Inn’s rich history. Word is that there’s a group of 1L’s looking for answers. However, many understand that they will see the benefits of this fiscal responsibility next year.

Though the immediate news is bleak, alumni and member support have created the promise of a new dawn for the organization. Alumni from the across the country are rallying to support the institution where they found friends and respite from the sting of the Socratic method and the tempestuous atmosphere of Harvard Law School. With hard work, alumni support and a little luck, Lincoln’s Inn will again raise a clamor heard far beyond the reaches of Follen Street.