What HLS Students Should Know About the Law Firms Recruiting Them…and What the Law Firms Won’t Disclose

In the movie The Firm, there’s a moment when Tom Cruise realizes the job he accepted fresh out of Harvard Law School (“HLS”), with the apparently staid tax law firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke, has one major drawback: the Morolto crime family is the firm’s biggest client, and most of its lawyers are heavily involved in money laundering and tax fraud. This raises a question. Could that really happen? John Grisham thrillers are best enjoyed when such doubts are set aside, of course, but the question is a serious one nonetheless, because the plot of The Firm springs from the very real imbalance of power that exists between law students and the law firms that hire them. When law students graduate, they are in the position of apprentices, with little or no experience in the actual practice of their profession. At the same time, the average “apprentice” now starts a career in the law with more than $100,000 in student debt.[1] This combination of inexperience and financial need creates a powerful incentive for law students to seek employment with large corporate law firms, which may pay double or triple the starting salary of a job in government or the non-profit sector. Suppose, then, that such a firm violates the law or rules of professional conduct. Would it be required to disclose that fact as a condition of its participation in the On-Campus Interview (“OCI”) program at HLS? And if not, what safeguards are in place to ensure that students don’t wind up like Tom Cruise, inadvertently agreeing to work for a firm that engages in unethical or even criminal conduct?

Continue reading “What HLS Students Should Know About the Law Firms Recruiting Them…and What the Law Firms Won’t Disclose”

An Afternoon With Madeleine Albright

Every semester, the Future of Diplomacy Project and the Program on Negotiation brings former U.S. Secretaries of States to Harvard University. Its mission is to connect students and faculty with the Secretaries’ philosophies and to discuss the most vital of negotiations that they conducted while they were in office. Last semester, Harvard hosted former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Harvard Law School. This semester former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright was invited.

Continue reading “An Afternoon With Madeleine Albright”

Letter to the Editor: Further in Defense of Dershowitz

To the Harvard Law Record:

I see that the controversy swirling around HLS Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz, and the sensational allegations made in legal papers filed in federal court in Miami, continue unabated, nationally and in the pages and the on-line site of the Harvard Law Record. I had hoped that my comments (published in your print edition of March 12th) would be the last that I would have to say on the matter, but I feel compelled now to make two additional points which must be borne in mind by those who are demanding that Dershowitz disclose the documentary evidence that he has said he possesses that would put the lie to the allegations of his involvement in abuse of an underage girl (now a 31-year old adult).

Continue reading “Letter to the Editor: Further in Defense of Dershowitz”