Search Results for: Sean Hamidi

Opinion  /  March 4, 2013  / 

Harvard Law Should Teach Hacking

Change is not something that comes easily to legal education. We still employ the casebook and Socratic methods adopted by Christopher Columbus Langdell in the 1870s. So the prospect of something new—a “Problem-Solving Workshop” (PSW)—sounded like an innovative, practical departure from the norm. After all, I came to law school for the same reason as many of my classmates: to learn how to use the law to solve particular social and economic problems. I began to identify those problems when, after college, I moved to New York to set up mentoring programs in public high schools around the city. I loved working with kids, and I saw the difference that a meaningful relationship with a mentor could make in helping a student graduate high school. But as much as the program helped individual high schoolers, it did little to change the underlying problems affecting students and their communities. If anything, … Continue reading

From the Print Edition / Opinion  /  September 21, 2013  / 

1L: The Year of Magical Thinking

We used to play Risk a lot—at least before we banned it from our group of friends. Huddled around a cartoonish map of the world, the playful pretenses of diplomacy inevitably gave way to thunderous orations, boisterous claims about moral obligations, and the priggish suggestion that one’s conduct in Risk is emblematic of one’s “true” character. Backstabbing me to steal Kamchatka? So Theo. Pardon the obvious assertion, but Risk—a game of dice, probabilities, pretend countries, and post-it treaties—bears little resemblance to war. One crosses borders, sacrifices brigades, and launches cannons with the alacrity of a child breezing past Lord Licorice in Candyland. The 1L curriculum—with its abstract, irrelevant puzzles and deliberate obscurantism—is as close to describing the legal reality of American life as Risk is to describing the horrors of war. It’s a world of make-believe and fantasy, a world where contracts are based on consent, where the only criminals … Continue reading