Richmond ’18 is a 1L at Harvard Law School
By Catherine Elvy, Staff Writer
A Harvard College and Christian Union alumna plans to integrate her passions for faith and justice by pursuing a career in law. In August, Molly Richmond ’18 entered Harvard Law School with a sense of a calling to become a public interest lawyer.
But first, Richmond paused to share her heart for justice by serving as a keynote speaker for the Christian youth conference she co-founded in 2013. In June, Richmond explained a biblical view of justice during The Micah Conference, an annual, student-led event affiliated with her high school, Boston Trinity Academy.
“We all long for a world where things are as they ought to be,” said Richmond. Such longings for wholeness and rightness “point to God’s justice.”
During the summer, Richmond also reflected on the training she received while serving as co-president of Harvard College Faith and Action (HCFA), a student organization focused on Christian leadership development which is resourced by Christian Union.
“I appreciated the rigors of their Bible studies as an undergrad,” said Richmond, who also benefited from the organization’s mentoring and solid Christian community.
In turn, Christian Union intern Tyler Parker ’17 described Richmond as a dynamic leader for the ministry. “Her passion for Christ and for the spiritual gifts has been nothing short of inspiring,” he said.
As an undergraduate, Richmond headed an executive team to recruit freshmen, craft communications, and maintain relationships with university administration and alumni. The history and literature major also planned a disaster relief trip to Puerto Rico in March 2018 and represented the ministry on a collegewide spiritual, religious, and ethical council. In the spring of 2018, Richmond and Scott Ely, who served as student co-presidents for HCFA, courageously led the student organization through an intense year that included being placed on probation by Harvard. The college imposed the unheard of step in response to HCFA applying a student leadership standard that reflected biblical values regarding sexuality.
Ministry Fellow Anne Kerhoulas said Richmond led Christian Union’s ministry to Harvard with extraordinary grace and faithfulness. “Molly entered Harvard as one of those already very spiritually mature students, but it was amazing to watch her be stretched to grow by difficult circumstances and challenges in leading HCFA,” said Kerhoulas. “I have admired her boldness, her prayerfulness, and her steadfast focus on the Gospel.”
Richmond readied herself for legal studies during a post-graduation internship in Waltham, Massachusetts. Her internship focused upon communications for Antioch Community Church, where her father serves as lead pastor. She also served as a research assistant for the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University on the Negotiation Task Force and as a senior application consultant for CollegeVine.
After contemplating options to serve as a health practitioner, Richmond realized she was more motivated by issues surrounding justice, poverty, and violence. “My skill set is more suited toward law,” she said.
Richmond especially is excited about the opportunities associated with legal studies at Harvard. “Harvard Law School is a place that produces people who go on to influence,” said Richmond.
Likewise, Richmond earnestly wants to incorporate her Christian worldview and deep-rooted faith into labors on behalf of the needy and oppressed. “It is really important to have people anchored in their faith as they lead,” she said.
As for the Micah Conference, Richmond entitled her presentation Ancient Ache: A Hunger for Justice & God’s Story of Restoration. The Massachusetts native’s talk masterfully incorporated concepts on issues of justice and suffering from theologian N.T. Wright’s writings, plus a selection of poignant Scriptures.
In Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, Wright explained how God deeply cares about present conditions in the world, and the Creator frequently speaks to “our inner ear.”
Richmond was thrilled to return to Boston Trinity Academy, where she was part of the class of 2013. The Micah Conference focuses on empowering youth to create social change in their communities. Social justice is “restorative, transformative, and based in Christian theology,” according to the organization. The Micah Conference focuses on community service projects plus discussions of “what social justice really is and how we can create long-lasting transformation.”
Richmond and schoolmates launched the conference to help convey the meaningful lessons they were receiving at Boston Trinity Academy on leadership and social justice to high school students across the country, including those from Christian schools.
Much of Richmond’s talk at the Micah Conference focused upon restorative justice.
After all, 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 explains that any person in Christ is a new creature. “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
With that, Richmond set out to encourage youthful believers to serve as Christ’s ambassadors for reconciliation.
As she looks ahead to life beyond Harvard, Richmond desires to make an everlasting difference and help usher the kingdom of God to earth. “Heaven is where everything is whole and just,” she said. As such, Richmond’s Christian Union mentors said they look forward to watching the longtime believer flourish in law as a vocation.
Ministry Director Don Weiss readily agreed. Richmond’s “earnest pursuit of God has channeled her drive and enlarged her heart.”
“She carries the peace of the Lord everywhere she goes and is always encouraging and kind to those she meets,” said Ministry Fellow Renee Ghobrial.