The Case for Coffee


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Dear Dean Kagan,

I am one of your biggest fans. I love the coffee in Pound and the ice-skating rink…although I haven’t gotten to use it yet. I’m even more in love with the newly renovated gym. Props (that’s Southern California slang for “good job”) to you and whoever else came up with these ideas. Your coffee helps me stay awake through Contracts, and the gym will undoubtedly keep me from gaining too much weight from all the free food that I’ve been eating here. (As of last night, the author of this article is 10 pounds heavier than when he started at HLS.) I’m sure the ice-skating rink will prove equally beneficial when it finally gets cold enough to skate-it’s one of the few consolations I have for giving up perpetual sunshine in LA. Thank you for all of that. You really are a good Dean, and we all think quite highly of you.

I would, however, like to turn your attention to a serious issue concerning the school’s facilities and student well-being that I strongly believe needs to be addressed. This issue impacts me and several other students on a deeply personal level. Its import cannot be ignored.

The issue that I’m talking about is the lack of free nighttime coffee and hot cocoa. The coffee in Pound is usually gone by about 11am, which compels sleep-deprived students to slog through their afternoon classes minus a free caffeinated pick-me-up. I don’t mind this. I figure that if I’m not quick enough to grab some free coffee in the morning, then I don’t deserve it. However, nighttime is a completely different matter.

At night, many students tend to study in the library. It’s rough when the closest coffee is in the tunnels under Lewis. It’s even worse when that coffee comes out of a mass production vending machine. Drinkable? Yes, but I try not to think about what goes into that stuff. I swear that coffee machine is evil. It makes strange noises when it dispenses coffee. Last week, it ate my dollar bill. I think that the thing has even tried to bite me. It really is scary.

Sure a student can always pack up their books and head to the Hark for a late night beverage, but doesn’t that throw off their study routine? I know it makes things harder for me. It’s hard enough for me to make myself head over to Langdell once in a day. If I leave, there’s no way that I’m coming back.

I propose a novel solution, a solution that should produce a lot of student satisfaction at a nominal cost. My solution: Put free coffee and hot cocoa in the Lehmann lounge at night. We can already eat and drink in the lounge, so there shouldn’t be any logistical issue on that front. More importantly, it will save students the trouble of trekking away from the library and keep them from potentially catching a strange disease from that vending machine in the tunnels. I don’t trust that thing.

I have a dream that one day all Harvard law students will be able to enjoy free late night caffeinated refreshment-or decaf, if caffeine ain’t your thing. I know they say you can’t buy happiness, but I’ve always thought that was a lie. If you put coffee and hot cocoa in the Lehmann lounge, you would be making me, and many students like me, very, very happy. Dean Kagan, it’s within your power to make my dream come true.

I don’t mean to badger you. This letter is just a suggestion. I’ll think you’re awesome even if you don’t listen to me. Just remember that if the vending machine in the tunnels ever eats me, you had a chance to do something about it.

Sincerely,Your biggest fan

Arvin Abraham is a 1L from Fresno, California.

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