College Football Previews, Week 12

LSU at Tennessee, Saturday, 7 p.m., ESPN

This week, the 7-3 Tigers travel to Knoxville to take on the 4-6 Volunteers. Tennessee has yet to secure a single SEC win and head coach Butch Jones was fired last Sunday after a 50-17 loss to Missouri – a team with four SEC losses of its own. Defensive line coach Brady Hoke has been named as interim head coach. Although he is in his first year at Tennessee, Hoke has prior head coaching experience – most notably at Michigan, where he lead the Wolverines to their first bowl game in five years during his inaugural season. Hoke has a solid track record of turning teams around, but it’s not clear how much he’ll be able to do in a single week.

This should be an easy win for LSU. The Tigers have collected four conference wins and looked strong since their September loss to Troy. However, SEC fans are acutely aware of the unpredictability of college football. We’ll have to tune in Saturday night to see if the Tigers bring home the victory.

– Megan Fitzgerald, 3L

At the Harvard Law Forum: R.L. Stephens

R.L. Stephens is an elected member of the National Political Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America and the former A. Philip Randolph Fellow at Jacobin Magazine. His writing on race, class and social movements has appeared in The Guardian, Gawker, and Jacobin. He was a campaign strategist at labor union Unite Here in Chicago and previously participated in a campaign to end unfair scheduling practices in the retail sector while working at Gap. He graduated from George Washington Law in 2014.

On November 16, 2017, he came to the Harvard Law Forum to share his thoughts on class, race, and the future of solidarity. The video is below:

The HLS 300 Project: Vocational Goals

Last year, in advance of the bicentennial, we invited students, staff and faculty to reflect on who we are and what we believe in as a school community.  With a focus on vocation-building, we asked three questions: (1) As we look to the past, who should we admire? (2) As we look to the future, what challenges are important? (3) As we look at the present, what are we being called to do?

We received dozens of submissions of: first, Harvard Law alumni, living and historic, with important legal vocations; second, important public challenges that merit the attention of our generation of lawyers; and third, exciting vocational goals of current Harvard Law students. To spur our collective reflection on who we are and where we want to go as a vocational community, below are submissions in response to the third question, “what are your vocational goals?”:

Vocational Goal #1: Apply advances in information technology and data science to make healthcare more efficient

(Submitted by Hugh McSwain ’18)

Modern healthcare in the US intersects medicine, business and law. I came to HLS to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities available for students who want to pursue entrepreneurship and non-traditional legal careers.

My experiences at HLS—including the Health Law and Policy Clinic, the Entrepreneurship Project, and course work—have expanded my knowledge base and skillset by allowing me to participate in advising local start ups, to advocate for changes within the healthcare system, and to learn from venture capital attorneys and investors.

I am proud to say I am an HLS student, and I fully believe HLS provides me with skills and resources to succeed in health IT/digital health entrepreneurship.

Vocational Goal #2: Protecting at least one child — and hopefully many more.

(Submitted by Ha Ryong Jung ’18)

Recognizing that children have specific rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, I aspire to understand the variety of frameworks used around the world to protect children and to find the most effective combination of these systems to deliver the much-needed protection for this overlooked population.

Child-sensitive measures should exist whenever children come into contact with the justice system, and core principles of the child’s best interest and non-discrimination should be upheld. I hope to contribute to these efforts in working for and with children. Continue reading “The HLS 300 Project: Vocational Goals”

The HLS 300 Project: Legal Challenges

Last year, in advance of the bicentennial, we invited students, staff and faculty to reflect on who we are and what we believe in as a school community.  With a focus on vocation-building, we asked three questions: (1) As we look to the past, who should we admire? (2) As we look to the future, what challenges are important? (3) As we look at the present, what are we being called to do?

We received dozens of submissions of: first, Harvard Law alumni, living and historic, with important legal vocations; second, important public challenges that merit the attention of our generation of lawyers; and third, exciting vocational goals of current Harvard Law students. To spur our collective reflection on who we are and where we want to go as a vocational community, below are submissions in response to the second question, “which challenges should we be tackling?”:

Legal Challenge #1: How can we promote economic development without displacement?

(Submitted by Dan Traficonte ’17)

Across the US and the rest of the world, economic growth demands space for new infrastructure, housing, and businesses. But new development often comes at the cost of displacing people—sometimes even entire communities.

Development without displacement is possible. e terms of economic development projects, most of them hashed out in contracts and in local land-use provisions, can be structured to minimize the displacement of communities and maximize the locally shared benefits of each new project.

Lawyers should work to create development for people, not just profit.

Legal Challenge #2: How can we restructure the family law system to reflect how families actually function

(Submitted by Gillian Schaps ’18)

Lawyers like rules—and we craft the law to function as a set of clear-cut, predictable rules. But if there is one thing that breaks this mold, it’s family.

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and thus far the law has been unable to keep up. Today outdated laws rip families apart when they don’t meet the two (cisgender, heterosexual) parent model.

We need to build flexibility and creativity into the laws that define and govern family life, rethinking parental rights and zero-sum frameworks. It’s time family law moves beyond white, normative views of the nuclear family to support the wide variety of loving, stable environments that enable people to grow and thrive. Continue reading “The HLS 300 Project: Legal Challenges”

The HLS 300 Project: Inspiring Careers

Last year, in advance of the bicentennial, we invited students, staff and faculty to reflect on who we are and what we believe in as a school community.  With a focus on vocation-building, we asked three questions: (1) As we look to the past, who should we admire? (2) As we look to the future, what challenges are important? (3) As we look at the present, what are we being called to do?

We received dozens of submissions of: first, Harvard Law alumni, living and historic, with important legal vocations; second, important public challenges that merit the attention of our generation of lawyers; and third, exciting vocational goals of current Harvard Law students. To spur our collective reflection on who we are and where we want to go as a vocational community, below are submissions in response to the first question, “Which alumni had inspiring careers?”:

Inspiring Career #1: Cornelius Hedges (Class of 1856) became the intellectual father of Yellowstone National Park

(submitted by Shaun Goho, Clinical Instructor, Environmental Law and Policy Clinic)

Hedges, a 1856 graduate of HLS, moved to the then-territory of Montana in 1864, where he would live until his death more than 40 years later. There, he held a variety of public offices, including U.S. District Attorney for Montana Territory; territorial superintendent of public schools; member of the 1884 Constitutional Convention; and State Senator from 1889-1893.

In 1870, Hedges was part of the Washburn Expedition that explored the Yellowstone region. Near the end of the journey, the participants sat around the campfire and discussed Yellowstone’s future. Many of them said that they planned to file land claims, intending to profit from the anticipated influx of tourists eager to see the region’s natural wonders. Hedges, however, suggested that Yellowstone “ought to be set apart as a great National Park.” In the following years, he actively campaigned for the creation of the park. In 1872, Congress enacted and President Grant signed into law the statute establishing Yellowstone National Park—the first of its kind in the world.

“Thoughtful, kind, charitable, ever ready to heed the call of the unfortunate, without selfishness or guile, no better man has ever lived in Montana, nor to any is there a higher mead of praise for what he did and gave to Montana.”

Inspiring Career #2: Lam Nguyen Ho (Class of 2008) is setting a standard for community activism lawyering in Chicago.

(Submitted by Tess Heligren ’18)

After graduating from HLS in 2008, Ho moved to Chicago where he set up free community-based legal clinics. In 2014, with support from HLS’s Public Service Venture Fund, Ho founded the Community Activism Law Alliance (CALA).Under Ho’s leadership, CALA sets an innovative example of community activism lawyering by working with local activists to help advance social justice for undocumented immigrants, sex workers, day laborers, and other underserved populations.

Under Ho’s leadership, CALA sets an innovative example of community activism lawyering by working with local activists to help advance social justice for undocumented immigrants, sex workers, day laborers, and other underserved populations.

“My background (immigrant, poverty, domestic violence, queerness) exposed me to the dehumanizing consequences when our justice system fails. It instilled a sense of responsibility to help others struggle against similar, and harder, challenges.” Continue reading “The HLS 300 Project: Inspiring Careers”

Preventing Death by Underride

On the one hand, installing comprehensive underride protection on every truck in this country will cost a lot of money. On the other hand, doing so will save a lot of lives and, furthermore, protect the trucking industry and taxpayers from the costly expense of underride tragedies.

I know this all too well after losing my two youngest daughters in a truck crash. On May 4, 2013, I started out in our Crown Vic with the youngest three of our nine children. Caleb (15) sat in the front seat with me, while AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13) were in the back seat.

We were headed from our home in North Carolina to Texas where four of their siblings were set to graduate from college and their oldest sister, Rebekah, was getting married. While on I-20 in Georgia, we came upon a back-up from an earlier crash. We slowed down. However, a truck driver did not and hit us, sending our car into a spin so that we went backward into the rear of another tractor-trailer.

Continue reading “Preventing Death by Underride”

At the Harvard Law Forum: Ralph Nader

On November 8, 2017, Ralph Nader — consumer advocate, public citizen, Harvard Law alumnus, and one of The Atlantic’s 100 most influential figures in American history — came to Harvard Law to inspire students to deploy their education for justice, democracy and the public interest. The video is below:

College Football Previews, Week 11

Arkansas at LSU, Saturday 12 p.m., ESPN

This week, LSU and Arkansas face off in the Battle for the Golden Boot: a four-foot tall, 175-pound trophy that has traveled between Baton Rouge and Fayetteville since 1996. The rivals have played intermittently since 1901 – LSU leads the series 38-22-2 and has typically been the higher-ranked team. This year is no exception: the #24 Tigers are 6-3 with three conference wins, while the unranked Razorbacks are 4-5 with one SEC victory.
Continue reading “College Football Previews, Week 11”

Dear Community: Condemn Intent Behind Stickers

Dear Community,

On the evening of October 31, stickers with the words, “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE,” were posted around the entrance of WCC. Similar stickers appeared around Cambridge and other parts of the United States and Canada. According to an online forum, the stickers were intended to convey a “harmless” message that would leave “the media & leftists frothing at the mouth” and turn public opinion against them.

Continue reading “Dear Community: Condemn Intent Behind Stickers”

Care About Justice? Don’t Use Barbri

After Trump was elected president, there was a sudden flurry of political interest: yesterday’s apathetic suddenly discovered the (tiny) activist within themselves and started wondering how they can contribute and fight back against Trump and what he stands for.

The answer, for many, was to go into corporate law and help enrich and empower the forces that created Trumpism in the first place.

Continue reading “Care About Justice? Don’t Use Barbri”

Solved! — A Tool for Today’s Experiential Legal Education?

(Bordwin ’55 recently published Solved!, a book about how a business lawyer can solve clients’ problems “strategically — with creativity and imagination.” Below are his reflections on the book)

This is the saga of a business lawyer who, after decades of practice, learned that he’d gained a reputation as a problem-solver and now, at age 86, has written a book of 40 Tales describing how he solved the most vexing problems clients threw at him over a 60-year career.  Early manuscript readers told me they enjoyed reading these stories, but the lawyers who read the MS all had the same reaction:  “This is a must for law students and young lawyers.”  And this from a U.S. Senator; a Federal Appeals Court Judge; law school professors; a law school dean; and a large-firm corporate lawyer.  I asked law professors for clarification.  They told me that these Tales of my experiences fit into today’s law schools’ movement toward “experiential legal education.”  I had to find out what that was all about.

Turns out that my annual judging Ames Competition cases and participating in the HLS Problem Solving Workshop Program were a small part of this experiential education movement; today’s curriculum at HLS (always a leader!) includes Dispute-Resolution; Drafting; Negotiation; Clinical Work and more; and this experiential education direction is now mandated by the ABA as a condition of a law school’s accreditation.  Since my lawyer readers were unanimous that SOLVED! is an educational tool that will help law students transition into practice, I had to understand the “why” and “how” of this relation, if any, between my Tales and legal education today.  More precisely, the questions are:  “What are law-teachers’ goals?  Can my experiences as related in the Tales help in achieving those goals?  And if so, how?” Continue reading Solved! — A Tool for Today’s Experiential Legal Education?”

College Football Previews, Week 10

LSU at Alabama, Saturday 8 p.m., CBS

After their Week 5 homecoming loss to Troy, everyone started looking up Coach O’s buyout and debating whether it would be more embarrassing to be sent to Shreveport or to not make a bowl at all (Shreveport. It’s definitely Shreveport). However, the following three weeks resulted in three SEC wins for the Tigers – including a victory over Auburn, whose only other loss is to Clemson. This win streak has reignited some of the optimism LSU had at the beginning of the season.

Meanwhile, Alabama has been rolling through their schedule in typical fashion, beating opponents by an average of over 30 points. Thus far, their SEC schedule has been mediocre at best. Their four SEC opponents have a combined SEC record of 4-16; three of those wins belong to Texas A&M, and the other was an Ole Miss victory over Vanderbilt (somebody had to win). Will LSU be the team to finally take Bama down a notch? Only the Football Gods can say, but they’ve got as good a chance as anyone and better than most.

– Megan Fitzgerald, 3L

Virginia Tech at Miami, Saturday 8 p.m, ABC

The matchup featuring the most closely matched teams is a battle for ACC Coastal dominance. Miami has gone undefeated so far, while Virginia Tech has only lost once, to Clemson. This year’s Miami team seems to only win close games; how much of that is luck or skill is unclear right now. However, with a stellar defense, they should be able to pull ahead. The winner of this match is all but certain to face Clemson in the ACC championship. The winner of that game is likely to make the playoffs.