1963 - Present
In 1963 Willem Stevens (LL.M. ’63) of Amsterdam and Heinz Bongart (LL.M. ’63) of Cologne returned from Cambridge with the idea of bringing HLS alumni in Europe together by organizing a Harvard Law School Association of Europe.
After approval from the Law School, they started to upgrade the Law School address records for all HLS alumni residing in Europe. In those days this was a bit more time-consuming than today (letters and telex instead of email, LinkedIn, etc.). Nevertheless, they were able to establish a potential European membership base.
The next step was to form a Board for the new Association. In order to establish some standing and renown, they approached two senior alumni, Jean Pierre LePaulle (LL.M. ’22), a senior member of the Paris bar, and Kenneth LaVoy Jr. (LL.B. ’50), resident partner of Dewey Ballantine in Brussels, with the request to join the Board. They agreed to do so, and thus the first Board was formed consisting of Jean Pierre LePaulle, president; Kenneth LaVoy Jr., member; Willem Stevens, secretary; and Heinz Bongart, treasurer.
The Harvard Law School Association of Europe was officially founded in Paris on October 16, 1965. The first Annual Meeting was held in Paris on May 7-9, 1966 with Prof. Roger Fisher (LL.M. ’48) as keynote speaker. The meeting was a great success, with over 100 participants in the beautiful Cercle de l’Union interalliée.
The rest is history!