Ellen Zeng
J.D. ’10, Harvard Law School

Professor Bill Alford’s influence impacted my whole law school experience and enriched my life. I took his China comparative law class spring of my 1L year and it was the highlight of my first year. He made us question our basic assumptions and required that we never take anything as given. This questioning and at times interrogative stance helped me grow. I remember still how patient he was with what I sure felt like my millions of questions during office hours, always with that amused smile. I ended up taking another class of his, as well as doing an independent clinical that he supervised. On reflection, not sure if he thought that was a good idea or bad idea as I’m sure I exasperated him at times!

Professor Alford went out of his way to be supportive and encouraging of my interests. During winter 2009, he supervised an independent clinical where I had the opportunity to do international public interest work at International Bridges to Justice in China. It was very eye opening seeing firsthand some of the lessons from his classroom. While I’m glad that he’s able to have more time to pursue his interests, future HLS students will miss out on an amazing professor and his warmth.