Ten professors to take

BY

Arthur Miller
Civil Procedure: Advanced
Copyright

This charismatic legend is entertaining, to say the least. Although most of the entertainment stems from his self-important air, Miller makes a very complicated subject matter somewhat comprehensible. If you missed him 1L year, get a taste of him before you leave. And if you’re too scared of doing more Civ Pro, well, there’s always the much less intimidating world of Copyright.

Virginia Wise
Legal Research: Advanced
Legal Research: International, Foreign
and Comparative

Undaunted by the mistreatment of practical lawyering classes at the Law School, Wise treats legal research seriously. While those looking for an easy A are likely to be disappointed, Wise makes sure that her 2L and 3L students actually learn something. Yes, you will be treated to ribbing about studying for quizzes and doing homework, but when you put what you’ve learned from the course to the test, it will all make sense.

Scott Brewer
Evidence
Much maligned for his logic-strewn take on the law, Brewer’s appearance on this list may shock those who have had him for Contracts. But Brewer’s bread and butter is jurisprudence, and that’s where his use of “lush green” formalism will challenge students to reconsider the bedrock of judges’ assumptions. If you are interested in acquiring unique knowledge, you’ll appreciate Brewer’s analysis. Don’t worry if he’s mean to you — it’s just his self-proclaimed “pedagogical genius.”

Richard Parker
Constitutional Law
Constitutional Law Advanced: Majority Rule
Exploring the Idea(l) of Honor Reading Group
Law and Literature

Parker is the rarest of HLS specimens: a small “d” democrat in the land of the big “D” variety. Equal parts Holmesian cynic and McGovernite idealist, Parker dissects Constitutional jurisprudence, forcing students on both sides of the political aisle to confront their core assumptions regarding the interplay of America’s barristers and ballot boxes. A proud nemesis of leftist conventional wisdom, this Bobby Kennedy acolyte rarely allows a student’s blanket assertion of “is” or “should” go unchallenged. Partisan students eager to study the intersection of law and politics — and be told what they already think — tend to flock first to Parker’s peers, Tribe and Fried. Take advantage of their oversight.

Lloyd Weinreb
Copyright and Other Intellectual Property
Weinreb is a no-frills kind of guy. If you want to be bludgeoned with histrionics, intimidated by strict Socratic dialogue and forced to mull for hours over essentially simple concepts, don’t bother with Weinreb. The fact that his classes tend to be a little more laid back is not indication that he doesn’t care, or isn’t interesting, however. What it does mean is a little more room to learn the law in a practical, comprehensible manner without posturing and unnecessary vagueness.
What students will find in Weinreb is a model of competence, a master of clarity, and someone who knows exactly where to put the spotlight on the issues. His mild-mannered approach also masks considerable dry wit that makes his classes enjoyable even in the earlier hours.

Elizabeth Warren
Secured Transactions
Bankruptcy

Most students complain about the use of the Socratic method, and rightly so: Most professors can’t teach with it. Not so for Elizabeth Warren, who manages not only to elevate the Socratic method to an art form, but to make even the most elusive concepts of Article 9 and bankruptcy accessible. Warren’s boundless energy overcomes the fatigue brought on by reading obscure UCC provisions at 8:30 in the morning, and the high demands she places on her students — don’t even think about being late or unprepared — are sure to reform even the stubbornest of slackers. Warren breaks down students with gentle ribbing and humor, but there’s a method to her madness — she also elicits improbable answers to impossible questions. There’s no crying in law school, and Warren is living proof.

David Rosenberg
Complex Litigation
Federal Litigation

Drafted to HLS by Prof. Charles Nesson, who considered him among the greatest litigators, Rosenberg offers not merely a different take on the law, but a different language for talking about it. Although rightly criticized for a confounding lack of organization, Rosenberg’s world view — an intriguing blend of functionalism, Chicago-style economics and anti-communism, manages to surface by the end of the semester. Masked in a crusty coat of cynicism, Rosenberg’s shameless enthusiasm for his subject matter makes him almost endearing to boot. Although he didn’t represent himself very well (at least ostensibly) in last year’s race controversy, those who know and love Rosenberg are quick to rise to his defense. Speaking his mind and making controversial statements are par for the course for Rosenberg — and he doesn’t apologize for it, even when maybe he ought to.

Lewis Sargentich
Jurisprudence: Legal Ideals
Theories About Law

As the legal academy focuses increasingly on the intersection of law and politics, economics, race, literature, psychology and the Internet, Sargentich stands tall as a steadfast expositor of the philosophical roots of law. Known to much of the HLS student body as the professor first introducing them to the Tort jurisprudence of Holmes, Brandeis, Fried, Hand and more than a few Englishmen, Sargentich’s upper-level courses extend his passion into the works of the larger body of the legal-philosophical canon. For students seeking to stoke their liberal arts passions one last time before the bar exam, Sargentich should not be missed.

Laurence Tribe
Constitutional Law
One needs to look no further than Grendel’s Den in Harvard Square to realize that this man has made a permanent impression on the U.S. Constitution. Tribe is quite possibly the nicest man at Harvard Law (at least to his students — who else provides apples at break time?). Unfortunately, his astounding brilliance too often transcends his ability to comprehend. Still, it’s worth the effort.

Frank Michelman
Comparative Constitutional Law
Comparative Constitutionalism: South Africa and the U.S.

If he had been born during the Mesozoic Era, Michelman would be “thesaurus.” He leads a great class discussion, without coddling, to bring a wealth of knowledge (theoretical and doctrinal), to his students. An unrepentant idealist who once shared a Law Review desk with Justice Antonin Scalia, Michelman inspires students to consider the big picture even as he imparts minutiae like the Rule Against Perpetuities.

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