Open Letter From Alumni to Dean Manning: Respond to Our Bicentennial Crisis

On April 23, 2018, seven prominent alumni sent an open letter to Dean Manning requesting a public response to and public hearing on Our Bicentennial Crisis, the Record report on Harvard Law’s public interest mission. The letter is copied below:

Dear Dean Manning,

Last October, during the two hundredth anniversary of Harvard Law School, Pete Davis (3L) and his colleagues issued a report titled, Our Bicentennial Crisis: A Call to Action for Harvard Law School’s Public Interest Mission. Its contents were of considerable interest to more than a few students, faculty, and deans from other law schools. As you know, on February 7, 2018, four faculty members met with a sizable number of students for an evening discussion. In addition, The Harvard Law Record has devoted considerable space to the report and the reactions to its recommendations and analyses.

About six months have passed and your office has neither delivered a considered written response to its cogent points nor arranged for a lecture hall meeting between you and the students for a wide-ranging public discussion about the report. Whatever you may think of the report, it deals with significant matters, which reach throughout the legal profession and the delivery of justice in the coming years.

Do you intend to present a detailed response to this rare student report and do you intend to have a general meeting with the students for a public discussion?

We look forward to your response.


Ralph Nader, HLS ‘58

Jason Adkins, HLS ‘91

Lynne Bernabei, HLS ‘77

Robert Fellmeth, HLS ‘70

Mark Green, HLS ‘70

Alan Morrison, HLS, ‘66

Robert Weissman, HLS, ‘95

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