BY AARON HAAS
The Law School’s recent hiring of two assistant professors signaled only the first step in HLS’ plan vastly to increase the size of its faculty.
Guhan Subramanian, a specialist in corporate law and negotiations who graduated from both Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, and Ryan Goodman, an expert on public international law and human rights who holds both a J.D. and Ph.D. from Yale, will begin working at HLS in July.
Their appointments illustrate the changing nature of HLS and its continued expansion into areas not traditionally part of a legal education, such as dispute resolution and human rights.
Subramanian, who is currently an assistant professor at the Business School, said he expects about half of his course load to consist of negot-iation/dispute resolution classes, one of the fastest growing subject areas in legal education. In the winter, he said, he plans to teach the Negotiation Workshop, one of the most popular classes at HLS.
As a more long-term goal, Subram-anian said he hopes to forge closer ties between HLS and HBS.
“On the research front, there seems to be a real opportunity for cross-fertilization in several areas; on the teaching front, there should be more courses that are offered jointly at the two schools,” he said. “The students and the faculty at the two places could learn a lot from each other.”
Goodman, who has done human rights work around the world, said his interests lie in human rights law, a field that barely existed a few decades ago. This interest led him to study the laws of war, the topic of a class he teaches the University of Chicago Law School, at where he is a Bigelow Fellow. In light of the ongoing war on terrorism, the laws of war have become an issue of increasing concern.
“I’m working on a couple projects related to state practice and human rights treaties,” Goodman said. “Beyond those issues, I’m interested in addressing debates about the laws of war with special attention to events on and after September 11th.”
Professor William Stuntz, chair of the Hiring Committee, said Goodman and Subramanian were hired because they are “clearly the two most talented people we interviewed this year.” He said that they will both fill areas of growing importance for the Law School.
“Subramanian will teach and write about negotiation (in addition to corporations), and that’s a large curricular need, and Goodman will teach and write about a range of international law subjects, which is another need,” Stuntz said.
Alan Ray, associate dean for academic affairs, also said these two hires will fulfill the expanding curricular appetite of HLS.
“Our entry-level hires are informed primarily by the excellence of the candidates, but also by how their research and teaching interests will add to and enrich those of our existing faculty,” he said. “Guhan Subramanian, for example, has expertise in corporate law but also in negotiation/dispute resolution. Ryan Go-odman is a specialist in public international law, but also has rese-arch interests in comparative law, foreign affairs law, and sexual orientation and the law.”
He continued: “The appoinment of these two faculty members will deepen our course offerings in corporate law, negotiations and international and comparative law, wh-ile bringing new emphasis to areas where, in the past, we relied on visiting faculty to staff the curriculum.”
The Law School’s broader vision of its educational mission is exemplified by the rapidly increasing size of its faculty. While 12 years ago there were 66 permanent faculty members, these two most recent hires push that total to 82, the largest size in the school’s history. The Master Plan calls for the addition of 13 more faculty members over the next decade. All together, HLS now offers 268 different courses and seminars, more than at any other time in the school’s history.
Dean Robert Clark notes that these two hires further the Master Plan’s vision of a larger and more diverse academic curriculum.
In a statement issued by the Office of Communications, he stated: “Ryan and Guhan are both terrific teachers who will bring new perspectives and expertise to many Harvard Law classrooms. By adding them to our permanent faculty, we have taken another crucial step toward implementing the goals outlined in our strategic plan.”
Both future Harvard Law professors, who will join the faculty as assistant professors in July and begin teaching in the fall of next year, said they are excited about the pros-pects of joining the faculty.
Subramanian, who is crossing the Charles Riv-er to rejoin the HLS community, said he could not pass up the opportunity to join the “Chic-ago Bulls of law school faculties” and was thrilled to be going back to “probably the best place in the world to do the kind of research in negotiations and corporate law that I want to do.”
As a 2L, Subramanian received a Hewlett Fellowship to study negotiations and dispute resolution. Under the direction of Professor Robert Mnookin, he wrote a paper on the evolution of bargaining among shareholders, managers and the external marketplace by interviewing some of the leading practitioners of the day in mergers and acquisitions. The resulting paper was published in the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law. Subramanian also worked on a paper with Professor John Coates on lockups in M&A transactions.
One of the most “transformative” experiences of his HLS years, Subramanian said, was the Law and Economics Workshop he participated in as an Olin Fellow.
“I think it’s fair to say that sitting seat-to-seat with Louis Kaplow, Steve Shavell and Lucien Bebchuk and participating in the exchange myself was what made me want to become an academic,” he said.
Subramanian said he hopes to help current students get as much out of HLS as he did. “HLS has always been a special place for me because of all the faculty members who have helped me grow intellectually,” he said. “My hope is that I can similarly help some members of the next generation of HLS students achieve what they want out of their law school experience.”
Goodman is joining the HLS community for the first time after studying at Yale but said he is equally excited about the opportunity.
“I’m thrilled to be a new member of the Harvard community,” Goodman said. “It’s impossible to work in international law, as a scholar or practitioner, without developing a deep respect for Harvard’s accomplishments in the field. The law school faculty, the student body and the institution as a whole are simply first-rate.”
Goodman was born in South Africa and moved with his family to the United States in 1979. In addition to his academic accomplishments, he has extensive experience in human rights work. He has worked for both the U.S. Department of State and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Goodman said his human rights work has taken him to Bangkok, Geneva, Jakarta, Johannesburg and New Delhi.
But he expressed excitement about his most recent destination.
“Harvard’s reputation around the world is unparalleled, and for good cause,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine a better institution for my interests in international law and human rights.”
Both appointments were supported by the faculty by large margins.
Professor Stuntz said he was thrilled with both of the appointments.
He added: “Both Goodman and Subramanian show a kind of intellectual development that, for someone starting out in law teaching, is extraordinary. They have the kind of broad and deep understanding that I would expect to see in successful professors who’ve been teaching for five to ten years. And it seems to me they’re still growing, still developing.”
He continued: “I should add that they’re also both lovely human beings — warm, decent, engaging, delightful to be around. I really look forward to having them as colleagues.”