There is no doubt in my mind that anybody reading these words is keenly aware that Harvard Law School can be an alienating place. We need look no further than to popular culture to remember that this institution has been plagued by a history of promoting and fostering a toxic environment of cutthroat competition and destructive impulses. Recent events in national news should prompt each one of us to reflect more deeply on the just exercise of power and how to wrest it from those who abuse it.
I’ve observed Professor Mark Wu quite closely during my time as a student. Professor Wu embodies the qualities needed to elevate the standard for leadership necessary to effect positive change at this institution. HLS desperately needs faculty and administrators like Professor Wu—people who work to normalize a model of compassionate leadership to shape future leaders who will graduate from this institution and exert their influence in their respective sectors—as jurists, practitioners, and adherents to the rule of law.
Professor Wu combines his sharp intellect, legal acumen, and mastery of his field in the service of his deep sense of moral righteousness, empathy, and humanity. In a world seemingly bereft of fairness, the promotion and empowerment of individuals like Professor Wu is crucial. Of course, the entrenched power structure does not welcome its inversion. Despite tireless advocacy by colleagues and students whose lives are directly and beneficially impacted by Professor Wu’s guidance and mentorship, his path to tenure has been protracted and bitter.
As pro-social members of the HLS community, we have the responsibility to understand and remove the obstacles that prevent people like Professor Wu from ascending power. Justice lives in process. We must demand more from our institutions and those who control them. Never forget for whom these institutions serve. Be better, HLS. Do better. If you lose Professor Wu, you deliver a blow to the student body and the integrity of the system.