An Apology to the Dean, and to Our Readers

On September 30, the editors-in-chief of The Record conducted a brief interview with Dean Minow to discuss topics of interest to the Harvard Law School community. We had hoped to make these Q&A’s a regular feature of The Record, with the intention of fostering frank, substantive dialogue between the HLS administration and the student body. Ahead of the interview, we provided the administration with a general overview of the kinds of topics we hoped to cover. HLS’s public relations director, Michelle Deakin, agreed to the interview on the condition that the Dean would be allowed to review the article ahead of publication, and approve or reject the wording of individual quotations.

Upon receiving our initial draft, however, the administration indicated that they would not allow us to publish the interview at all. To quote from the e-mail Ms. Deakin sent us:

When I spoke of the interview being “off the record” and that any quotes would need to be reviewed by Dean Minow in advance of publication, that was with the understanding that this was an informational interview and that you might develop a story idea or two from the conversation.   You have no permission to use any quotations.  Neither the Dean nor I were aware that you were hoping to present these answers as a q and a, and the Dean will not be granting permission for her quotes to be condensed and presented in this manner.

Continue reading “An Apology to the Dean, and to Our Readers”

Statement of Support for Striking HUDS Workers

The editorial board of the Harvard Law Record has voted (3 in favor, 1 opposed, 1 abstention) to stand in support of Harvard’s dining service workers and their decision to strike. Local 26, the labor union representing the workers, and Harvard Corporation have been negotiating since May over details of the workers’ contracts, yet the administration remains unpersuaded by workers’ grievances, and provisions regarding health benefits and wages remain unchanged. As a result, on September 29, workers voted to authorize a strike. When Harvard fulfilled none of their demands, workers began to strike this past Wednesday.

While HUDS workers’ hourly earnings are competitive, their yearly salary is far from it. Typically Harvard does not provide the workers with work during the summer and winter holidays. Local 26 claims workers’ salaries are around $31,000, while the University’s representatives state figures closer to $35,000. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, even $34,000 is not enough to sustain a household consisting of more than one individual in the greater Boston area. Local 26 is asking that Harvard provide year-round work and guarantee a minimum salary of $35,000. The university has responded by offering a stipend of $150-$250 a week, depending on tenure of employment, for those available to work during the summer months.

The union is also requesting fairer healthcare coverage, as currently Harvard’s proposed health care plan for workers substantially increases co-pays. Such increases inevitably translate to sacrifices that these workers should not have to make: whether that means not taking their kids to the doctor’s office, or not being able to afford car insurance.

The fact that Harvard Corporation recently raised its capital campaign by more than $7 billion should evoke outcry when considering the workers’ current financial situation. As a newspaper comprised of students, the Harvard Law Record is indebted to HUDS employees. They support us every day. We are grateful for their services and believe that it is their deserved right to strike for a livable wage and a reasonable standard of living.


Editor’s note: The vote was among the editors-in-chief, opinion, and web editors. The result of the vote was three in favor, one opposed, and one abstention.

Support the Strike

The strike is on! After more than three months of frustrating negotiations with the university, Harvard University Dining Services workers announced that they will be going on strike starting Wednesday, October 5, 2016.

Following a rally in Harvard Yard last Friday afternoon, HUDS workers and students marched into Belinda Hall, where three workers spoke to an audience of supporters about their experiences as Harvard employees. Better than any statistic, these workers’ stories highlight Harvard’s inability or unwillingness to live up to its progressive values. Harvard would rather cut corners on labor costs than ensure stable livelihoods for its lowest-paid workers, whose services are essential for students’ well-being. As Willie Moore, the Hark’s “buffalo chicken wrap guy” succinctly put it, “Harvard is just as it is in the streets.” While Harvard may appear classy to the rest of the world, those on the inside know the crass truth.

Continue reading “Support the Strike”

The ABA’s Control Over What Lawyers Say Around the Water Cooler

The elites in America are falling all over themselves to become politically correct. Universities are banning “trigger warnings” that might offend someone. College administrators at schools like Cornell and Yale agreed to rip up copies of the U.S. Constitution after a person posing as a student described the document as “triggering” and “oppressive.” Go to YouTube and you can see and hear Carol Lasser, Professor of History and Director of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at Oberlin College, tell us, “The Constitution is an oppressive document.” The Chair of Comparative Studies at Oberlin adds, “The Constitution in everyday life causes people pain.” The pain it causes also protects her right to attack the Constitution, which she forgot to mention.

Continue reading “The ABA’s Control Over What Lawyers Say Around the Water Cooler”

Come to the Love Your Library Fest

Do YOU love your library?

Come to Love Your Library Fest next Friday, September 23 from 2-5pm to learn some of the reasons why the answer should be YES!

Love Your Library Fest is all about YOU, our HLS students. Whether you’re a 1L just getting started, a 2L or 3L who knows the ropes, or an LLM or SJD with a major paper to tackle, you are guaranteed to learn something new about the Library and what our staff can do for you at Love Your Library Fest 2016.

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The Ride Wit Me Stream-a-Thon: One Student’s Journey to Pay Off Nelly’s Debts

Considering the strong commitment to public service at HLS, I’m certain that most of you are already doing your part to help Nelly pay the reported $2.6 million[1] he owes to the IRS and the state of Missouri. After all, we are indebted to him.

His music gave us all something cool to play when our friends came over to play on our Dreamcast.

His music allowed us to jokingly ask others to take off their clothes in a way that was slightly less creepy than if his song never existed.

His music redeemed an entire city which unfortunately is home to the most obnoxious baseball team in history.

Because of the paltry sums artists receive from streaming services, we will need to stream his songs as many as 426,956,666 times on Spotify in order to pay off his debts.[2] Some of you — most of you — all of you — are much busier than I am and do productive and impressive things with your time. I do none of that, so I decided to help Nelly the best way I can — playing “Ride Wit Me” repeatedly with every free minute I have. It’s playing right now as I type this actually. If you’re one of the many who do not have millions of hours to spare, don’t worry. I’ve done my best to recount my experience so far.

1st Listen: This. Is. A. Great. Song. I feel like my mom is driving me and my friends to laser tag. I feel like I’m awkwardly walking around the dance floor in 7th grade, trying to avoid eye contact with every girl in the gym. It feels like just yesterday. It feels like today. I feel immortal.

Continue reading “The Ride Wit Me Stream-a-Thon: One Student’s Journey to Pay Off Nelly’s Debts”

Today May Mark the Largest Prison Strike in U.S. History

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Harvard National Lawyers Guild and the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project stand in solidarity with prisoners

SEPTEMBER 9, 2016— Today, thousands of inmates in as many as twenty-four states plan to engage in a coordinated strike and protest in an attempt to bring national attention to the inhumane conditions in which many prisoners live and work. The date marks the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising, when one thousand inmates at the New York correctional facility rose up to demand certain rights and better living conditions. They were met with brutal retaliation that left twenty-nine inmates and ten hostages dead.[1] Continue reading “Today May Mark the Largest Prison Strike in U.S. History”

Class of 2019, Welcome to HLS!

Dear 1Ls,

Welcome to Harvard Law School! You are about to begin an exciting year and your legal career.

1L year can be many things: inspiring, demanding, happy, sad,  lonely, busy, and much more. You’ll engage with challenging texts, meet wonderful professors, and make lifelong friends. Of course, 1L year can also be difficult in many ways, whether socially, academically, or spiritually.

Below are links to pieces from students, faculty, and staff to help you navigate those difficulties and make the most of your 1L year. There are a variety of viewpoints from a variety of people. Some of the advice may be even be contradictory.

Nevertheless, we hope and think that these pieces will inform and comfort you, if for no other reason than to reassure you that others have gone through what you are about to go through and lived to tell the tale.

Again, welcome to HLS and welcome to Cambridge. We are so excited to see each of you join our readership and the HLS community.

Sincerely,
Jim An and Brianna Rennix, editors-in-chief

P.S. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @hlrecord to keep up with our latest stories and HLS news.

Now That You’re Here, Relax, But Stay Engaged by John Goldberg, Professor
Some Useful Things to Know by Brianna Rennix, Record editor-in-chief
Six Easy Steps to Fun and Profit in Law School and Life by Jim An, Record editor-in-chief
Dear 1Ls: Consider the Clock by Pete Davis, Record online editor
If I Did It All Over Again by Tyra Walker, Record contributor
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility by Kassi Yukevich, ACS president
Make the Most of Your Library by Meg Kribble, HLS librarian
Ignore These Lessons at Your Own Risk by Fenno, Perennial HLS student
Talk to Classmates, Professors, Mentors by Natalie Vernon, Paavani Garg, and Amanda Lee, WLA leaders
Don’t Forget to Smell the Roses by Jeremy Salinger and Jacqueline Wolpoe, JLSA co-presidents
More Than Classrooms by Kristin Turner, BLSA president
Speak Up by Stephanie Jimenez, La Alianza co-president
Thinking Like a Lawyer by Deborah Beth Medows, N.Y.S. Dept. of Health
You Don’t Have to Do It All by Jennifer Marr, RAP industry relations chair
HMP Members Offer Advice to New 1Ls by Lauren Godles, Victoria Hartmann, Alicia Daniels, and Benjamin Hecht, HMP board members

HMP Members Offer Advice to New 1Ls

  • If you’re confused, there is a very good chance others in the class are confused too. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions.
  • You will get faster at reading cases, so try not to panic.
  • Not all lawyers are court lawyers. The case method of teaching law biases us toward thinking litigation (specifically, appellate litigation) is what it means to be a lawyer. In fact, many lawyers end up doing something else and there are lots of opportunities at HLS to try your hand at policy work, academic research, business development, and alternative dispute resolution.

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Talk to Classmates, Professors, Mentors

Dear Class of 2019,

Welcome to Harvard Law School! As you embark on this new academic adventure, we wanted to share a few tidbits of advice. Take a deep breath and get excited for a challenging and rewarding year.

  1. Remember that you know yourself best.

Keep your own study habits and figure out what works best for you. Like study groups? Join one. Prefer to work in your house by yourself? Do it. Don’t let other people’s approach to the first year of law school affect you. There is no right or wrong way to read cases and digest material. What you’ve done to get here will likely serve you best. Continue reading “Talk to Classmates, Professors, Mentors”

Don’t Forget to Smell the Roses

Dear New Students,

Let us be the 613th people to welcome you to HLS. You are in the first steps of what will be an amazing journey. Drink for the word journey. #TheBachelorette #I’mWithLuke #TheBacheLuke.

As you begin your decorated legal careers, people will be asking you all sorts of challenging questions. Your professors will ask you for the facts and holding of Palsgraf, and your friends and families will be asking you for the definition of a tort. The former we can help you with, the latter … well … we are sure we could find someone to help you out. Continue reading “Don’t Forget to Smell the Roses”

Record Retrospective: 2L Tim Kaine Speaks Out Against the Death Penalty

This article by Joyce Tichy, originally titled “Students Lobby Against the Death Penalty,” was published in the Record on March 19, 1982.

“If we’re trying to teach that killing is wrong, the death penalty isn’t the way to accomplish that goal.” So says Tim Kaine, 2L, who with Leto Copeley, 2L, is organizing HLS students to lobby against re-institution of the death penalty in Massachusetts.

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Photo by Adam Eisgrau

Continue reading “Record Retrospective: 2L Tim Kaine Speaks Out Against the Death Penalty”

When Life Begins: A Reply to Dr. Matthew Borths

This article is a response to Josh Craddock’s opinion piece The Least Safe Space,” which ran on March 7, 2016, and Dr. Matthew Borths’s letter to the editor, A Response to ‘The Least Safe Space’,” which ran on March 8.


Dr. Borths’ response to Josh Craddock’s article appears to make two main points:

  1. Craddock’s credibility is questionable; and
  2. Craddock does not adequately support the proposition that human life begins at—that is, a human organism begins to exist at the moment of—conception. [1]

But the arguments Dr. Borths offers in support of these points are not only weak; they are also hypocritical.

Continue reading “When Life Begins: A Reply to Dr. Matthew Borths”

OCS Responds to Ralph Nader’s Concerns about Firm Violations

This letter is a response to Ralph Nader to Dean Minow: Inform Students About Firm Violations, which ran on April 25, 2016.

Dear Mr. Nader,

I am responding to your open letter to Dean Minow in the Harvard Law Record on April 26, 2016.

 We share your belief that students should have the best information about potential employers. We prepare students to take full responsibility for every aspect of their academic and professional lives, and to be educated consumers and their own best advocates. Our students are superbly equipped to find all relevant information and then make well-considered judgments on the basis of that information. And through this experience, they learn and develop a set of professional life skills that will serve them well throughout their careers as they change jobs and evaluate future employers. Continue reading “OCS Responds to Ralph Nader’s Concerns about Firm Violations”