Annual Reunion of Harvard Law School Association Comes to Budapest


For the first time in its history, the Harvard Law School Association of Europe held its annual reunion in Budapest.

Salvo Arena, president of the Harvard LawSchool Association of Europe (center) with U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires David Kostelancik (left) and Dr. Andrea Jádi Németh.

The program for this 54th reunion was an extraordinary success; it attracted over 150 high level Harvard alumni from around the globe, including Paraguay, India, China, Australia, Venezuela, the United States and most European countries. Hungary has never hosted so many outstanding scholars, successful businessmen and legal practitioner graduates of Harvard University.

Justice István Stumpf and the Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of the United States, David Kostelancik welcomed the guests at the opening reception in the headquarters of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The large Harvard delegation then left Budapest behind to set off on a half-day trip to the Danube Bend and spent lunch with Dénes Kemény, former coach of the Hungarian water polo team that won multiple god medals at Olympics, World and European Championships. Kemény’s speech on leadership and team building got the Harvard alumni on their feet and received standing ovation.  

In the evening, the guests celebrated their profession at the Museum of Fine Arts with László Trócsányi, Hungary’s Minister of Justice, who spoke about the moral values and high ethical standards of legal practice and shared his robust vision of Europe for the 21st century.

The dinner was full of artistic highlights. The guests were amazed by the performance of the Virtuosos star prodigy cellist, the 15-year-old Aleksander Simic, who will soon debut in Carnegie Hall, New York. Thereafter, world-famous soprano Andrea Rost sang some of the most beautiful opera arias she is renowned for and was greeted with a stirring round of applause.

Academic Sessions

The Harvard annual reunions are always organized around high-level academic sessions that took place this year in the Parliament with László Palkovics, Minister for Innovation and Technology, and Harvard law professor Christopher Bavitz sharing the floor. Their presentations centered around the most topical issues of innovation, digitalization, AI, algorithm bias, state policies and educational challenges.

In another first, Harvard University, together with the Budapest Bar Association and with the support of five leading law firms, opened its academic program for more than 30 young Hungarian attorneys.

The long weekend was closed with a gala dinner featuring the 100 Members Gypsy Orchestra and the celebrity guest of honor, actress and producer Andrea Osvárt.

The annual reunion was an exceptional occasion for local and international members of the Harvard community to connect, to share experiences, to build bridges for stronger ties and to discover our beautiful capital in a truly memorable way.

Dr. Andrea Jádi Németh, LL.M is managing partner of law firm bpv Jádi Németh and president of the Hungarian Harvard Club. The Harvard reunion was organized and co-chaired by Jádi Németh and Salvo Arena, president of HLSAE; both are members of the board of the global Harvard Law School Association.

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