I got sucked into debunking a fake news story. I spent two days tracking its spread and responding to the lies. Here’s the story of what happened and what I learned.
Last week an acquaintance on Facebook posted a screenshot of a headline which read “CA Democrats Introduce LGBTQ Bill that would Protect Pedophiles who Rape Children.” He captioned his post “truth or fiction? #horrifying if true.”
This social media move was a paradigmatic example of lazy yet insidious partisan pot-stirring. By posting a screenshot of the headline rather than a link to the article itself, the poster put the burden on the audience to figure out what the hell was going on. He also increased the likelihood that others would believe the headline by failing to provide the most convenient method for additional assessment (clicking on the article). And by writing a banal question and hypothetical “if” claim, the poster likely sought to distance himself for any flak if the headline turned out to be false or misleading. (Spoiler alert: the headline was false and misleading.)
Continue reading “Fighting Fake News: A Mini Law Student Memoir from Two Days in the Trenches”
During the HLS admissions process, prospective students are often wooed by information about opportunities like clinics, independent studies with professors, and the ability to cross-register for courses throughout Harvard University. HLS delivers on all counts. However, the current reality is that many students are not able to pursue as many of these opportunities as they would benefit from and be willing to prioritize due to one of HLS’s stricter degree requirements: the upper-level law classroom requirement. This article is about that requirement, why it is problematic, and how it could easily be fixed.
Continue reading “The Six Credit Shift: Why We Should Lower the Number of Required Upper-level “Law Classroom Credits””
I’ve had the good fortune of taking the Trial Advocacy Workshop (TAW) over Jterm. Workshop activities occur in the afternoon. After that, we have dinner with visiting faculty (judges and trial lawyers from around the country). We end the day with an evening trial demonstration put on by visiting faculty.
On Wednesday evening of the final week of class, I trudged through the tunnels from Wasserstein (where we have dinner) to the Ames Courtroom (where evening demonstrations occur). I noticed a man at the front of the room in the “jury” seating whom I hadn’t seen before. He looked out of place because he clearly wasn’t a student, but he was dressed very casually. (The TAW faculty wear business attire.)
Professor Sullivan began the evening’s proceedings, as he had on some other occasions, by talking about various opportunities the workshop can lead to and the varied career paths that TAW graduates go on to have. He made a joke about this including a very brief stint as White House Communications Director. I was confused for a few seconds and then put things together. That out of place man was Anthony Scaramucci. And Anthony Scaramucci was a graduate of TAW.
Continue reading “Walking Out on the Mooch”
Cocoa Beach, FL—What began as harmless dropping of the “H bomb” in casual conversation has turned into a friendship-destroying obsession for Edith Untermyer, a proud grandma of an HLS student who would rather not be named “because I’m already getting more free press than I want in the retirement community of Cocoa Beach; I don’t need to start making enemies at school too.”
Untermyer—whose previous great point of pride in life was the fact that her cat, Crumpet, had lived to be twenty-four before dying of a cheese overdoes and moving into a proud, taxidermic retirement on the mantle—was “over the moon” when her grandson decided to accept his offer to Harvard Law School.
“He did undergrad at Cornell, which was cool and all I guess, but a lot of my gal pals weren’t too impressed by that” said Untermyer, who was sporting a “Proud Harvard Law Grandma” shirt at the time of the interview. “But Harvard—now there’s a name that’ll get people talking during the commercial breaks on Wheel of Fortune!”
Reliable sources confirm that Untermyer began with more modest tactics, subtly throwing into conversation things like, “Well, my grandson is at a law school up in the Boston area. He loves it. From what I hear he’s just painting the town red, or should I say crimson.”
But when these tactics ceased to disrupt games of bridge or backgammon, Untermyer was forced to up her game. Her new measures included obtaining a custom made “Welcome to our Harvard Law Home” welcome mat from Etsy and stories about her grandson’s encounters at the law school with individuals such as Louise Slaughter, Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton, the Queen of England, Wesley Snipes, Chuck Norris, and Shakira.
(As of now, we have been unable to confirm that Untermyer’s grandson has had encounters with any of these persons at the law school.)
This is the story of two talented, hardworking Harvard Law School 1Ls: Amy and Kara. Both Amy and Kara are going to be working for ten weeks this summer at a large firm in New York City. Both will earn roughly $30,000. For Amy, all her summer post-tax earnings accrue to her as financial gain, while Kara will only keep about $9,000.
The reason for this disparity is because Amy’s parents pay for her tuition and she is not eligible for Harvard Law’s need-based financial aid grants. As such, all of her earnings go to her bank account, and none will be used to offset any financial aid.
However, Kara, who comes from a modest financial background, was eligible for about $30,000 in need-based aid her 1L year, and most of her earnings will be used to offset that financial aid in her 2L year. At first it may seem strange or even counter-intuitive that Amy’s family wealth and Kara’s relative need leads to that outcome.
Here’s how it happens:
Continue reading “HLS’s Student Summer Contribution Policy Disadvantages Poorer Law Students”