The Series Finale of All Rise!

The series finale of All Rise!, Brady Bender and Pete Davis’ longform legal interview podcast, is live:

 

It has been a joy interviewing folks over the past two years: from tech law expert Jonathan Zittrain to Demos President Heather McGhee to death penalty abolitionist Carol Steiker.

The good news is that the podcast isn’t going away — SJD Evelyn Douek and 3L Hannah Solomon-Strauss are taking over the Record’s podcast mics to launch ‘Leading Questions.’

Many thanks to all who listened! Stay tuned in the feed next week for Evelyn and Hannah’s first episode.

At the Harvard Law Forum: R.L. Stephens

R.L. Stephens is an elected member of the National Political Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America and the former A. Philip Randolph Fellow at Jacobin Magazine. His writing on race, class and social movements has appeared in The Guardian, Gawker, and Jacobin. He was a campaign strategist at labor union Unite Here in Chicago and previously participated in a campaign to end unfair scheduling practices in the retail sector while working at Gap. He graduated from George Washington Law in 2014.

On November 16, 2017, he came to the Harvard Law Forum to share his thoughts on class, race, and the future of solidarity. The video is below:

At the Harvard Law Forum: Ralph Nader

On November 8, 2017, Ralph Nader — consumer advocate, public citizen, Harvard Law alumnus, and one of The Atlantic’s 100 most influential figures in American history — came to Harvard Law to inspire students to deploy their education for justice, democracy and the public interest. The video is below:

At the Harvard Law Forum: Jacqui Patterson on racism and climate change

Jacqueline Patterson is the Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. She has worked as a researcher, advocate and activist for women‘s rights, violence against women prevention, HIV & AIDS treatment, racial justice, economic justice, and climate justice.

On October 30, 2017, Patterson came to Harvard Law to discuss the intersection of racism and climate change— to show the Harvard community how to “put racial justice at the center of systemic transformation.”

At the Harvard Law Forum: Matt Stoller on Lawyers and Monopoly Power

Matt Stoller is a fellow at the Open Markets program, where he researches the history of the relationship between concentrated financial power and the Democratic Party in the 20th century. Prior to joining the Open Markets program, he was senior policy advisory to the Senate Budget Committee on trade, competition policy, and financial services. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The New Republic and The Nation.

On October 19, 2017, he came to Harvard Law School to share insights on the relationship between the legal profession and monopoly capitalism… and let students and faculty know what they can do to protect open markets from the distortions of monopoly power. The video is below:

Our Bicentennial Crisis: A Call to Action for Harvard Law School’s Public Interest Mission

This week, Harvard Law School has invited alumni back to campus to celebrate the 200th anniversary of our school’s founding.

But a bicentennial is not just a time for celebration of the past — it is also a time to confront the present and plan the future.  As we celebrate, many students are concerned: about our school being overtaken by corporate interests and losing relevance to the average American; about a watchdog of the law being largely asleep as the institutions of the rule of law and equal justice under law are under siege; and of a school community that has lost track of its declared mission to “educate leaders who contribute to the advancement of justice and the well-being of society.”  

To surface these concerns, I have compiled a report on Harvard Law School’s public interest mission — Our Bicentennial Crisis: A Call to Action for Harvard Law School’s Public Interest Mission — that is being released today to coincide with our school’s bicentennial celebration.  The report aims to document: first, the crisis of mass exclusion from legal power for the average American (in the criminal justice, civil justice and political systems); second, Harvard Law’s failure to address this crisis, and the inaccurate excuses our community tends to give for not addressing it; third, what accounts for this civic deficit; and fourth, twelve reform proposals that aim to help us better live up to our mission.  An electronic copy of the report can be downloaded here. To request a hard copy, email PeDavis@jd18.law.harvard.edu.

Between the 1970s and 1990s, a flurry of critical works — including Duncan Kennedy’s “Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy,” Joel Seligman’s The High Citadel: The Influence of Harvard Law School, Richard Kahlenberg’s Broken Contract, Scott Turow’s famed One L, and Lani Guinier’s writings on legal education and profession — helped set Harvard Law School on a course from the hidebound, lily-white, cutthroat school of The Paper Chase to the more diverse, pluralist and genial school it is today.

I hope for this report to have a similar motivating impact, inspiring the community to transition from a school community where four out of five graduates deploy their legal educations to advance the legal interests of a wealthy and powerful few to one where a majority of students use their education to serve the interests of the vast, underserved public.

Continue reading “Our Bicentennial Crisis: A Call to Action for Harvard Law School’s Public Interest Mission”

Resist the Cult of Smart, Embrace the Call of Citizenship

Dear 1Ls:

In 1967, at the 150th anniversary of Harvard Law School, Dean Erwin Griswold reflected:

“For some years now I have been concerned about the effect of our legal education on the idealism of our students. I have great faith in our students… they bring to the school a large measure of idealism. Do they leave with less? And if they do, is that something we can view with indifference?”

In the half century since then, Griswold’s concern has, with the exception of a few tireless reformers, been “viewed with indifference” by our community. The result is disturbing: for every Harvard Law graduate who enters into employment with organizations designed to advance the legal interests of the poor or public at large, four Harvard Law graduates enter into employment with organizations designed to advance the legal interests of the most wealthy and powerful corporations and individuals. If a significant change is not made in the coming years, this means that you can expect 64 of your 79 sectionmates to pursue corporate interest employment following their graduation and judicial clerkships.

This does not mean that new students do not arrive at Harvard Law with, as Griswold observed, a large measure of idealism. But the late Dean’s hunch was correct: students’ civic mindedness fades with each passing year of school. A 1992 study by Robert Granfield found that, among newly admitted students, 70% expressed a commitment to public interest careers and 55% wanted to work in something other than corporate interest law firms. However, by graduation, 71% of men and 65% of women in the Class of 1995 went on to work in corporate interest firms or business, meaning that 20-40% of students had shifted their preferences during their years in law school. Continue reading “Resist the Cult of Smart, Embrace the Call of Citizenship”

“All Rise!”, Episode 13: Heather McGhee

The Harvard Law Record’s podcast — All Rise! — has just released its thirteenth episode: an interview with Demos President Heather McGhee.

McGhee is a leading figure in a new generation of progressive changemakers, a fresh face on television and in the op-ed section, and the President of Demos, a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. She joined All Rise! this past Spring to discuss theater, American studies, the role of leaders in the progressive movement, the ability to make change over time, and hope for the democracy movement in the Trump era.

All Rise! is a longform interview podcast in which Harvard Law 3Ls Brady Bender and Pete Davis interview members of the Harvard community. You can subscribe to All Rise! on iTunes here and listen to this week’s episode below:

“All Rise!”, Episode 12: Bob Bordone

The Harvard Law Record’s podcast — All Rise! — has just released its twelfth episode: an interview with Harvard Law professor Bob Bordone.

Bordone is the Founding Director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program, an expert in dispute systems design, and the leader of perhaps the only class on campus that makes people cry out of emotional connection rather than academic anxiety. He joined All Rise! in the spring to discuss his love of Dan Rather, his surprising path to becoming a law professor, and the special skills required for negotiation and mediation. Plus: a negotiation lightning round!

All Rise! is a longform interview podcast in which Harvard Law 3Ls Brady Bender and Pete Davis interview members of the Harvard community. You can subscribe to All Rise! on iTunes here and listen to this week’s episode below:

“All Rise!”, Episode 11: Carol Steiker

The Harvard Law Record’s podcast — All Rise! — has just released its eleventh episode: an interview with Harvard Law professor Carol Steiker.

Carol Steiker is the leading national expert on the death penalty and one half of perhaps the most influential brother-sister team in the law today. She joined All Rise! in the spring to discuss growing up in a family of lawyers, beating Elena Kagan out to be president of the Harvard Law Review, clerking for Thurgood Marshall, and fighting for the abolition of the death penalty.

All Rise! is a longform interview podcast in which Harvard Law 2Ls Brady Bender and Pete Davis interview members of the Harvard community. You can subscribe to All Rise! on iTunes here and listen to this week’s episode below:

“All Rise!”, Episode 10: Khiara Bridges

The Harvard Law Record’s podcast — All Rise! — has just released its tenth episode: an interview with Harvard Law visiting professor Khiara Brdiges.

Bridges is a force in Critical Race Theory scholarship, a Professor of Law and Anthropology at Boston University, an accomplished ballerina, and, according to the Boston Globe, one of Boston’s most fashionable people. She joined All Rise! in the spring to talk about: growing up in Miami, the importance of Spelman college, finding out about 9/11 during a Columbia tax law course, the insights of legal anthropology, and how she hopes to build on the legacy of her critical race theory mentors.

All Rise! is a longform interview podcast in which Harvard Law 2Ls Brady Bender and Pete Davis interview members of the Harvard community. You can subscribe to All Rise! on iTunes here and listen to this week’s episode below:

“All Rise!”, Episode 9: Max Kenner & Vince Greco

The Harvard Law Record’s podcast — All Rise! — has just released its ninth episode (and fourth episode of its second season): an interview with prison reform advocates Max Kenner and Vince Greco.

Max Kenner is the founder and Executive Director of the Bard Prison Initiative, one of the leading programs providing college educations — and college degrees — to incarcerated Americans. He started the program while an undergraduate at Bard College and has overseen its growth over the past 16 years into a world-renowned program, copied at multiple colleges and featured in Bill Clinton’s book Giving.

Vince Greco is one of the leading formerly incarcerated prison reform advocates in Maryland. He is member of the Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform and Out for Justice. He is a beneficiary of prison education and during his three decade incarceration was a leader on the inside in expanding college programs to Maryland prisons.

Kenner and Greco joined All Rise! in March to discuss the first encounters with prison education, the philosophy behind their prison education work and their hopes for the future of prison education.

All Rise! is a longform interview podcast in which Harvard Law 2Ls Brady Bender and Pete Davis interview members of the Harvard community. You can subscribe to All Rise! on iTunes here and listen to this week’s episode below:

At the Harvard Law Forum: Heather McGhee on Moving Beyond Resistance

Demos President Heather McGhee is a national leader in the fight for working families. Demos is a public policy organization working for an America where “we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy.” McGhee’s opinions, writing and research have appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, The Hill, Meet the Press, among other publications. She is one of The Root’s 23 Black Political Pundits You Should Know and one of Grist’s 50 People You’ll Be Talking about in 2016.

On April 10, 2017, she came to the Harvard Law Forum to show how students can help progressive organizations earn and deserve the trust of the majority of Americans who reject Trumpism by moving beyond resistance and towards helping restore working families to power. The video is below: