At The Harvard Law Forum: Lori Wallach on Advancing Justice in Global Trade

Lori Wallach (Harvard Law Class of 1990) is the founder of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. She is a 25-year veteran of congressional trade battles, from the 1990s NAFTA fight to the TPP fight this past year. Named a “Politico 50” thinker, doer and visionary, she is one of the nation’s leading advocates for the public interest within the global trade regime.

On February 20, 2018, Wallach came to Harvard Law to share with students how they can advance justice and the public interest within the all-too-corporatized global trade system.

The video is below:

At The Harvard Law Forum: Sr. Helen Prejean

On February 13, 2018, Sr. Helen Prejean came to Harvard Law School to share her experience and wisdom from a life of fighting to abolish the death penalty.

Sr. Helen Prejean is the nation’s leading death penalty abolitionist. She is the author of the bestselling book Dead Man Walking, which was made into an Oscar-winning movie with Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.

The video of her Forum talk is below:

At the Harvard Law Forum: A roundtable discussion on Our Bicentennial Crisis

On February 7, The Harvard Law Forum hosted a roundtable on The Record‘s recent book, Our Bicentennial Crisis: A Call to Action for Harvard Law School’s Public Interest Mission.

Professors Randall Kennedy, Duncan Kennedy, Carol Steiker and Todd Rakoff joined the author, Pete Davis ’18, in a roundtable discussion.

A video of Pete’s opening remarks are here:

And the full event video is here:

The full text of the Our Bicentennial Crisis report is here.

Rebranding as Campaign for Political Equality, Harvard Rootstrikers Expand Mission

Money in politics in the United States is a defining issue of our time. The richest .01% of the population contributes at least 40% of the money in politics.[1] With many members of Congress spending over half of their working hours raising funds, and with the average successful Senate race costing more than $10 million,[2] the highly disproportionate spending power of the rich exacerbates the already undue influence that the wealthiest have in controlling our nation.

Rookstrikers—an organization started by Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig and others—was formed to address the issue of money in politics by striking at the root of many of the problems in our democracy: corrupt campaign finance law. Campaign finance remains a vital issue for reformers, but what the 2016 election and its aftermath has reinforced is that there are other urgent structural issues that also need to be addressed in order to reestablish the United States as a true, flourishing democracy.

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Dear HLS, Racism Lives Here Too

We ask everyone to donate and support local grassroots organizations working for racial justice in the greater Boston area.

In late 2017, a notable white supremacist group posted recruitment fliers around Stanford Law School (SLS). Last quarter, racist anti-immigrant hate mail was stuffed in a student’s mailbox at SLS. In response, a group of women of color at SLS hung a banner in the law school that read “Racism Lives Here Too.” Racist acts are not surprising or unique to SLS, or even to HLS. The reality is that as law students of color, we know that racism and other -isms live here, too.

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An Open Letter to Harvard Law Students

Alumni can make an important contribution to students presently enrolled in their alma mater by calling attention to frames of reference often unmentioned or little discussed at Harvard Law School as the curriculum focuses on developing analytic legal skills and discerning legal concepts. Some alumni wish that they were accorded these larger perspectives when they attended Harvard Law School. A brief mention of a few advisories that might enhance your grasp of the meaning of legal education in addition to legal training:

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The Six Credit Shift: Why We Should Lower the Number of Required Upper-level “Law Classroom Credits”

During the HLS admissions process, prospective students are often wooed by information about opportunities like clinics, independent studies with professors, and the ability to cross-register for courses throughout Harvard University. HLS delivers on all counts. However, the current reality is that many students are not able to pursue as many of these opportunities as they would benefit from and be willing to prioritize due to one of HLS’s stricter degree requirements: the upper-level law classroom requirement. This article is about that requirement, why it is problematic, and how it could easily be fixed.

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Why Fighting for Justice Means Fighting for Professor Mark Wu’s Tenure

There is no doubt in my mind that anybody reading these words is keenly aware that Harvard Law School can be an alienating place. We need look no further than to popular culture to remember that this institution has been plagued by a history of promoting and fostering a toxic environment of cutthroat competition and destructive impulses. Recent events in national news should prompt each one of us to reflect more deeply on the just exercise of power and how to wrest it from those who abuse it.

I’ve observed Professor Mark Wu quite closely during my time as a student. Professor Wu embodies the qualities needed to elevate the standard for leadership necessary to effect positive change at this institution. HLS desperately needs faculty and administrators like Professor Wu—people who work to normalize a model of compassionate leadership to shape future leaders who will graduate from this institution and exert their influence in their respective sectors—as jurists, practitioners, and adherents to the rule of law.

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The Massachusetts Legislature Should Pass Automatic Voter Registration Now

Imagine that registering to vote were actually easy. Imagine that you did not have to navigate an antiquated signup process, remember to update your registration every time you moved, or navigate arbitrary registration deadlines just to exercise a constitutional right. Imagine that you could just show up to your polling place on Election Day and vote.

You might not have to imagine much longer: the Massachusetts legislature could make simpler voting a reality by passing the Automatic Voter Registration (“AVR”) bills currently before both chambers. The state legislature should do so before the committee reporting deadline on February 7th. AVR would not only reduce the headache of registering to vote – it would also add 700,000 people to the voter rolls in Massachusetts alone, and increase voter turnout and the diversity of the electorate in the process.

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Student Government President Adrian Perkins Resigns to Focus on Home

Student Government President Adrian Perkins resigned on February 1, 2018. His resignation letter is below. Effective today, Amanda Lee is the Student Government President and Amanda Chan is the Student Government Vice President.


I am resigning as Student Government President to prepare to run for local office in my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. I never expected to write those words, and it is disappointing to acknowledge that I’ll fall three months shy of my obligation to the students that voted for me. Luckily, the Student Government is in great hands; I am confident the incoming President Amanda Lee will build on the progress we’ve made since last April. The future in Shreveport is not so promising, which has spurred me to answer to another commitment that I made: to do all that I can for the community that raised me.

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APALSA to Hold Trial Reenactment February 3rd

Who counts as real Americans? What does it mean to be patriotic? This weekend, as part of its annual law and policy conference, the Harvard Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) invites you to reflect upon these questions through the perspective of Americans of Japanese descent in 1944. Drafted to serve in the Second World War even though their families continued to be imprisoned in the harsh, unforgiving concentration camps of the inland West, should these Americans prove their loyalty to the United States by agreeing to join the Armed Forces, or should they resist the draft and challenge the constitutionality of the government’s actions?

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Walking Out on the Mooch

I’ve had the good fortune of taking the Trial Advocacy Workshop (TAW)  over Jterm. Workshop activities occur in the afternoon. After that, we have dinner with visiting faculty (judges and trial lawyers from around the country). We end the day with an evening trial demonstration put on by visiting faculty.

On Wednesday evening of the final week of class, I trudged through the tunnels from Wasserstein (where we have dinner) to the Ames Courtroom (where evening demonstrations occur). I noticed a man at the front of the room in the “jury” seating whom I hadn’t seen before. He looked out of place because he clearly wasn’t a student, but he was dressed very casually. (The TAW faculty wear business attire.)

Professor Sullivan began the evening’s proceedings, as he had on some other occasions, by talking about various opportunities the workshop can lead to and the varied career paths that TAW graduates go on to have. He made a joke about this including a very brief stint as White House Communications Director. I was confused for a few seconds and then put things together. That out of place man was Anthony Scaramucci. And Anthony Scaramucci was a graduate of TAW.

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