Jean (Jee Eun) Lee
J.D.’19, Harvard Law School

Professor Alford is a wonderful teacher and a caring, generous mentor to so many, including myself. I first met Professor Alford as an undergraduate student, when he came to speak at a policy seminar session focused on U.S.-China relations at Princeton. I still vividly remember how inspiring it was to hear about his initiatives on disability rights and insights on public interest law issues in China, and to discuss further with him after the seminar. Through short, but memorable interactions with him, I quickly learned how much impact one can make as a legal scholar. Thereafter, I participated in various events in New York and Cambridge, where Professor Alford spoke on various issues of comparative law relating to China. Professor Alford, the wonderful East Asian Legal Studies Program, and the rich international and comparative law opportunities at Harvard Law under his leadership were undoubtedly the main reasons I decided to join Harvard Law School.

While Professor Alford’s tremendous achievements in legal education and legal exchange are truly inspiring, Professor Alford’s dedication to mentoring and cultivating the next generation is just as special. As a teacher, Professor Alford provides thought-provoking comments on each student’s seminar paper, and he would be genuinely interested in discussing ideas after class and even suggestions to further improve the class. He was a caring advisor and mentor for the Harvard International Law Journal (HILJ) when I was the Lead Executive Editor. During my time as the HILJ Co-Conference Chair, Professor Alford helped us invite the keynote speaker of our choice, Song Sang Hyun, former President of the ICC, who fondly remembered Professor Alford and gladly accepted. Whenever I had to make important decisions in my career or academic life, I would reach out to Professor Alford for his advice, and he was always happy to share his thoughts. Not only did he offer me very helpful practical advice, but he also pushed me to think about my deep interests and desires in the long run. These are just a few examples of Professor Alford’s willingness to listen to students’ experiences and his dedication to enriching student academic life, as well as co-curricular activities on campus.

I am indebted to Professor Alford for his generosity, mentorship, and support in many ways, and it brings me much joy and gratitude to know that I’m only one of so many stories of Professor Alford having a wonderful impact on his students’ lives.