A Harvard Law student faints in the middle of an argument and continues, igniting a debate over university stress.
The video of a Harvard Law student continuing to argue a case after fainting has gone viral, igniting a heated debate about the Ivy League school’s expectations and pressure on students.
Mikaela Gilbert-Lurie, a third-year Harvard Law student, won the annual Ames Moot Court Competition in 2019. Students argue a hypothetical case before a panel of justices, which is presided over by Merrick Garland, then-chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Gilbert-Lurie got noticeably nervous while answering a question before fainting and collapsing to the floor. The pupil was then offered a glass of water before returning to her work. “Would you mind repeating the question, your honor?” she requested, and the other students applauded.
Two years later, a motivating TikTok account shared the video, calling Harvard students “troopers.”
What wasn’t shown in the clip was that Gilbert-Lurie was asked if she wanted to continue with her argument, and she declined Garland’s offer of a “short respite,” according to Harvard’s report on the competition.
The video has received over three million views, and the student’s determination and decision to continue has been praised. “The fact that she kept going is incredible,” one person commented.
Harvard students are not human, according to @iletdKids. Dissenting users have claimed that continuing even after fainting should not be commended, suggesting that it is symbolic of a much broader problem.
One commenter added, “I don’t think promoting someone collapsing and still going is healthy for anyone, Harvard kids included.”
Julian Sarafian, a Harvard Law graduate and former corporate attorney, expressed his dissatisfaction with the film in the comments section, citing “immense pressure” on students. “This type of behavior should not be encouraged. End of story, “he penned
Sarafian, who promotes mental health awareness online and raises worries about the mental health of Harvard students, said in a reaction video that “there are so many things wrong with this that I’m not even surprised,” referring to the cheering from classmates.
Gilbert-was Lurie’s described by a former student. This is a condensed version of the information.