Letters to the Editor, Part II


Dear Editor,

I admire and applaud your initiative and hope your ranking does something to reduce the hegemony of the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

Regarding your results, I find the shift over time to be interesting, as is the potential East-coast bias that you may have uncovered. To improve your survey, you should determine whether the differences between schools and the shift over time were statistically significant. Another thing you could do is survey students at other schools, which might allow you to make some interesting comparisons across schools. If you were to survey enough schools you might be able to generalize to a larger group than Harvard Law students. However, I would predict that the results of all student surveys together would track a ranking based on LSATs almost exactly. The 75th percentile LSATs are essentially a measure of the reputation of schools among students.

I wish you the best,

Jeff Stake

Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington

[and creator of the Ranking Game website]

To the Editor:

IM football for law students, what a great idea. We look terrible on the field and then argue endlessly about it. Short shorts, goofy headbands and dropped passes are all welcome, but like in baseball, there is no crying in football (especially IM). Arvin, we all feel sorry about your septum and crushed dreams, but please, get your story straight:

1) I did deviate your septum (I apologize)

2) It wasn’t an elbow – you caught my chin to the face because instead of trying to pull my flags you jumped in front of me to stop me from scoring.

3) I’m a 3L


Saul De La Guardia

To the Editor:

I’m writing in response to Pia Owens’ November 3rd column, ostensibly a refutation of my column of the previous week. The bulk of Ms. Owens piece is, in fact, attempting to refute points I never made. At no point did I question the qualifications of the instructors or the benefits of the pass/fail grading system. What I did say was these two things (that the class is not taught by professors and that it is not factored into one’s GPA) are, rightly or wrongly, an obstacle to students’ attention that the course must overcome. I suspect that we both agree these are surmountable obstacles.

Ms. Owens is more optimistic than I am about the utility of the Neumann textbook. I’m glad she found it useful. However, I fail to see why a textbook can’t be clear, useful, and pitched at an appropriate intellectual level. I understand the FYL programming is developing their own book to use next year, and I applaud their efforts.

Ms. Owens also suggests that my comments are specific to my section. In fact, although they were all anecdotal, very few of the examples I used were from my own section. Rather, I was attempting to address what I perceived to be general limitations of the curriculum and program as now designed. While they may not be universal, they were certainly not particular to or directed at any particular instructor.

Katie Mapes

Dear Editor,

I have 10 reasons to offer my thanks to the editors and writers at the Harvard Law Record:

1) Thanks for having editorial standards so low, that you are willing to often publish my opinions.

2) Thanks for being an independent voice at Harvard Law School; a place where open debate has so often been crushed by the leadership of the law school.

3) Thanks for using humor in your articles, which offer a respite from the dry world of legal writing.

4) Thanks for existing in the same world as Mad Magazine. If either of you stop publication, I will know that America will start a rapid decline.

5) Thanks for talking about subjects that really matter to the students and graduates of HLS, not the nonsense that the faculty forces down the throats of their poor victims.

6) Thanks for publishing your newspaper on the internet, so the poor of India and China can read about a place like HLS which has so much money, and yet which is so substandard in so many ways.

7) Thanks for allowing people to select whether or not to publish under their real name or a fake name; that kind of non-attribution is needed to have a free press. (My name is real.).

8) Thanks for printing ads by the same large law firms that will someday slowly kill the students that read the publication, that kind of irony is priceless.

9) Thanks for promoting the consumption of mind-altering substances; anyone who can survive HLS will need plenty.

10) Thanks for extending an open hand of friendship to so many, in a world that is often cold and challenging.


Fair Winds and Following Seas,

Charles Facktor, HLS ’90

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