Ex Post: Fables by a Federal District Judge, Part IV

Editor’s note: This is Part 4 of an ongoing series of fables that were originally published in Green Bag. This set was published in 2015 to 2017.

The Unknown Unpredictability of the Visiting Condor

At one point, Owl’s caseload became so heavy that her docket fell seriously into arrears and she had to seek assistance from away. As a result, Condor, a well-regarded but tough arbiter from a distant jurisdiction, was brought in to preside at trials. Strikingly, the Forest Glen advocates resolved an unusually high percentage of their disputes by agreement just on the eve of trial before Condor, unlike their experience before Owl, where far more cases refused to settle.

Moral: Because advocates value predictability in their professional pursuits, they prefer a known arbiter, whatever her weaknesses, to an unknown arbiter, no matter how brilliant, and therefore do what they can to avoid the unknown arbiter.

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Ex Post: Fables by a Federal District Judge, Part III

Editor’s note: This is Part 3 of an ongoing series of fables that were originally published in Green Bag. This set was published in 2015.

The Beneficial Ritual

When a Forest Glen creature wanted to plead guilty to a criminal charge rather than go to trial before Owl, Owl required answers to a lengthy list of questions to ensure that the creature was acting voluntarily and intelligently, understood the rights the creature was giving up by pleading guilty, and had in fact committed the offense. Indeed, the Three Vultures insisted that Owl be assiduous in asking these questions. Since the advocates knew all the questions in advance and coached their clients on the correct responses, the process became ritualistic and predictable. Nevertheless, in preparing their clients on how to answer, the advocates were compelled to educate them on all their rights and risks, and the danger of an uninformed plea was reduced to near zero.

Moral: Ritual has a purpose when preparing for the ritual compels a defendant to consider carefully the choices to be made.

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First Annual HLS Critical Race Theory Conference: Reclaiming Our History of Scholar-Activism

Conference art by Sydnee Robinson ’20

In these perilous times, we must do no less than they [our ancestors] did: fashion a philosophy that both matches the unique dangers we face, and enables us to recognize in those dangers opportunities for committed living and humane service.

– Derrick Bell, Faces at the Bottom of the Well (1992), 195

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Princess Daisy Akita ’20 and Daniel Egel-Weiss ’20: Candidates for Student Government Co-President

Record: Your opponents keep saying you haven’t made any concrete changes. Have you?

Daniel Egel-Weiss: Absolutely. As Vice President of the Harvard Graduate Council this year, I founded the External Affairs Committee, which is the first advocacy subcommittee in the history of the Harvard Graduate Council. I would bring that expertise in how to advocate for Harvard students generally into the law school. Additionally, this year’s Student Government created the Hark Box, which provides a community space for all law students. We reformed the Student Funding Board, and the first weekend of orientation is now filled with community building exercises like Boda Borg and HLS Talks. So we would continue having Student Government be effective, but make it more known.

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Jake Weiner ’21 and Parisa Sadeghi ’21: Candidates for Student Government Co-President

Record: Why did you decide to run as Co-Presidents?

Jake Weiner: We want to make sure the different groups on campus will not be left out to dry, fighting for their initiatives on their own. Individually, we each have a limited platform, but as one unit we can really make change. Many of these initiatives being pushed by specific groups not only affect those groups, they benefit all of us. When my friend tells me that our affinity group coalition conducted a multi-year study and recommended an Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which is thereafter shut down, that’s when I want Student Government to speak up. Since I’ve been here, I haven’t felt like Student Government is involved in our lives. The roles are about more than expending whatever resources the administration allocates to them. We want to continue providing free massages and bringing in dogs for us to pet, but we have to go beyond just spending money. We have to make lasting change.

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Sarah Rutherford ’21, David Shea ’20, and William “Billy” Wright ’21: Candidates for Director of Student Organizations and Journals

Sarah Rutherford ’21

Record: Why are you running for DoSO?

Sarah Rutherford: I never saw myself at HLS. Both my parents were immigrants who came to this country from Caribbean islands, and so I’m a first-generation college student. I’ll be the first person in my family to graduate from law school, so as soon as I got to Harvard, I said “I’m gonna be a part of everything that I can possibly be a part of. I’m so thankful that I’ve been in community in BLSA, I’m a student attorney for the Tenant Advocacy Project, and I’m also active in First Class, which supports first generation and low-income students. It’s been so nice to have group that are so focused on inclusion and diversity, and I really want to help to lift up the work that those organizations are doing. I’m so impressed at the student orgs’ ability to create community at this campus.

Continue reading “Sarah Rutherford ’21, David Shea ’20, and William “Billy” Wright ’21: Candidates for Director of Student Organizations and Journals”

Hannah Dawson ’20 and Nicholas James Pellow ’20: Candidates for 3L Representative

Hannah Dawson

Record: Has anything changed in the past year for you as far as how you would approach student government?

Hannah Dawson: I don’t think my general approach has changed. One of the things that I have learned from my experience as a 2L Rep is just how important it is to get out there and reach out to the constituencies that are going to be affected. Law school is incredibly busy, so as much as people may care about a particular issue, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have time in their schedule to make it out to a Wednesday night Student Government meeting. One of my goals is to figure out how to be as accessible as possible to people and to meet them where they are.

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Micah Burbanks-Ivey ’21, Noelle Graham ’21, Josh Martin ’21, and Daniel Sieradzki ’21: Candidates for 2L Representative

Micah Burbanks-Ivey

Record: Why did you decide to run for 2L Rep?

Micah Burbanks-Ivey: I was the 1L Representative for Section 1, so I was able to see how Student Government worked. As a 1L, I didn’t do too much. One of the things I’m working on right now for Student Government is Prison Divestment, but what I really saw is a need for diversity on Student Government. Having more diverse voices on Student Government could bring some issues that I find important to the forefront to make sure that those don’t get overlooked when we talk about the important things that Student Government does.

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Ex Post: Fables by a Federal District Judge, Part II

Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of an ongoing series of fables that were originally published in Green Bag. This set was published between 2014 and 2015.

The Magpies’ Conviction

Owl tried conscientiously to render fair decisions for the Pine Forest denizens. She consciously considered her biases in favor of winged creatures and strove to overcome them. She also consciously recognized that, unlike her, some creatures preferred light to darkness and she tried to set that prejudice aside. Nevertheless, the Magpies who wrote the Forest Glen Gazette and hosted its webpage were convinced that Owl was always affected by her own heritage and her customs, and that no one in public life could set aside such predilections. As a result, every story the Magpies wrote about Owl’s decisions started with: “Owl, who is a bird of the night, decided [as follows].” The premise helped to sell newspapers and advertising, because many denizens of the Pine Forest were ready to assume that all judicial decisions were pre-ordained by prejudice.

Moral: Those who live their lives based on prejudice assume that others must do so as well.

Continue reading “Ex Post: Fables by a Federal District Judge, Part II”

Annual Analysis of Glass Ceilings at HLS

  1. Introduction

There is a long history of discrimination against women in the legal profession. In the 19th century, courts denied law licenses to women on baseless reasons such as women’s delicate health, the inability of females to engage in analytical thought, and the risk of a jury being unduly swayed by feminine appeal. While the first women finally gained admission to the bar in the late 1800s, female law school graduates still found it virtually impossible to obtain jobs as late as the 1970s. Even the indomitable Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was famously rejected from every single law firm that she applied to despite being first in her class at Columbia Law.

Even today, women constitute only 35% of the the legal profession and face significant disadvantages within the industry. According to the American Bar Association, women represent only 25% of managing partners at the 200 largest law firms, and female lawyers make only 77.6% of their male counterparts’ salaries on average. Women are also underrepresented in academia (comprising only 32.4% of law school deans) and in the judiciary (comprising only 27.1% of federal and state judges).

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Gene Russianoff: Atticus Finch for NYC Transit Riders

When Gene Russianoff graduated from Harvard Law School in 1978, he chose a different path from most of his classmates. “Just about everybody — and I mean everybody — went into some form of corporate law,” Russianoff recalls. “Except, of course, those who planned to take a year ‘off’ to clerk for a judge. I had planned a graduate degree in public health the following fall. Then I saw a poster about jobs working with college students on social changes projects. And…” … and the rest is a bit of New York City history. Housed in the New York Public Library Archives and Manuscripts Division is a collection of 59 boxes of records from the New York Public Interest Group (NYPIRG) Straphangers Campaign, including 35-1/2 boxes labelled “Series V. Gene Russianoff Files.” In the description of the collection, the library states, “The New York Public Interest Research Group Straphangers Campaign was founded in 1979 to lobby for the repair and improvement of New York City’s subway and bus services. It has played a vital role in the rehabilitation of public transportation in New York City.”

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A Royal Disaster: A Record Review of A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding

When does a bad movie become “so bad, it’s good?” A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding does not give a definitive answer to that question, and frankly, it does not even attempt to give an answer. Royal Wedding is a plainly bad movie.

Royal Wedding, of course, is the sequel to A Christmas Prince, one of Netflix’s forays into the made-for-television streaming Christmas movie genre that this newspaper reviewed last year.

Yet despite hitting a lot of the same tropes as its predecessor, both substantive (e.g., disabled child, sartorial subplot, stilted dialogue) and superficial (stupid establishing shots, excessive backlighting, cheap sound effects, distracting scene transitions), Royal Wedding manages to be, in fact, a much worse movie.

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Ten Student Organizations Call for Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

We, the undersigned organizations, are a coalition of affinity groups at Harvard Law School representing hundreds of students, millions of dollars, and countless hours of physical, intellectual, and emotional labor. While our specific organizations vary in membership, programming, and mission, we share a unified purpose: to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity. This purpose mandates we take action to change the status quo.

We call on Dean Manning to establish a Harvard Law School Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (“Committee”) charged with designing an Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (“Office”); tracking implementation and progress on the Office; and monitoring the wellbeing of students until one year after the operation of the Office.

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Ex Post: Fables by a Federal District Judge, Part I

Editor’s note: these fables and illustrations were originally published in Green Bag between 2013 and 2014.

The Fox’s Foundation

Fox was representing Hedgehog in a dispute over whether contractor Mole had properly supervised the workers repairing Hedgehog’s den. Fox called Hare as a witness and asked Hare whether Mole had supervised the workers properly. Opposing counsel Snake objected, claiming “Lack of foundation.” Judge Owl said to Fox, “You need to lay a foundation before I will permit that question.” Fox then proceeded as follows:

Continue reading “Ex Post: Fables by a Federal District Judge, Part I”

Class of 2021, Welcome to HLS!

Dear 1Ls,

Welcome to Harvard Law School! It couldn’t be a more exciting time for you to start your legal career.

Your life from here on out will be different, and you will make a difference, whether you choose to do so through private practice, government, public interest advocacy, or anything else. This place will open doors for you, and once you get inside, you’ll have the opportunity to make an impact.

This issue of The Record is especially for you. It contains a variety of viewpoints from a variety of people on how to take advantage of your time here. Of course, some of the advice contradicts itself. Use the judgment that led you here.

The staff of The Record hopes that you will gain something from what we’ve put together: hope, inspiration, or even a sense of calm. We encourage you to honor your voice and your moral compass during your time here, because what you say and what you do matters to the legal world.

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

Kate Thoreson, editor-in-chief

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

An Open Letter to the Class of 2021: On Mental Health by Viviana Hanley ’20, Student Mental Health Association Advocacy Committee member
Take Advantage of Opportunities to Learn at HLS by Larry Tribe ’66, professor
An Interview with I. Glenn Cohen ’03 by Kate Thoreson ’19, Record editor-in-chief
Being Queer at HLS Means Standing Up by Laura Older ’20 & Heather Pickerell ’20, Lamba co-presidents
Seek Affinity and Challenge Community by Ariel Ashtamker ’19, Josh Mathew ’19, Laya Maheshwari ’20, Radhe Patel ’20, Rajiv Narayan ’20, and Sabrina Singh ’20, SALSA members
Now That I’ve Got Your Attention, Here’s a Listicle! by Kate Thoreson ’19, Record editor-in-chief
Grab the Opportunity to Build a Better HLS by Leilani Doktor ’19, HLS Student Government co-president
The Quest for Worldliness by Daniel B. Rodriguez ’87, visiting professor
You Belong at HLS by Lauren Williams ’19, BLSA president
Remember Who You Are… and Where You Are by Zach Sosa ’19, HLAB communications director
Find Your Passions at HLS by Chloe Hawker ’19, BSA member
Make the Most of Your Time by Jessica Zhang ’19, Harvard Law Review member
Support Each Other at HLS and Beyond by Isabel Finley ’19 and Regina Powers ’19, WLA president and committee chair
Be Kind to Yourself and Others by Pantea Faed ’20 and Taha Wiheba ’20, MELSA co-presidents
Remember How to Be a Good Friend by Laurel Fresquez ’19 and Chloe Hawker ’19, Parody producer and writer
Challenge Yourself in Healthy Ways at HLS by Douglas Colby ’20, FedSoc vice president
Enjoy Yourself at HLS by Radhe Patel ’20, ACS vice president