Record Review: The Bachelor Week 3

Welcome back to The Bachelor, where everything is made up and the points don’t matter. A quick refresher: instead of closing with the typical rose ceremony, Episode 2 cut off just after Nick had sent home Liz for running her mouth about their one-night stand months earlier. Voiceover of his concerns about the women abandoning him plays over footage of Nick wrinkling his brow.

Episode 3 opens at the pre-elimination cocktail party, where Nick drops the “bombshell” about Liz’s departure.  He expresses his concerns, but while we hear disembodied voices saying that “the girls are going crazy” and “it makes you question what Nick’s intentions are,” we don’t actually see anyone looking too bothered. Multiple women assure Nick that they don’t care, and one woman (who almost certainly has a name; I just don’t know it) even asked why what Liz did was any different from the maneuver Nick pulled when he rolled up to Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season. On the whole, it kind of seemed like it didn’t matter. So, in that case, what is the value-add of delaying the rose ceremony other than annoying the crap out of me?

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Laura Dismore is a 3L.

Record Review: The Bachelor Week 2

Oh boy. This week’s episode checks basically every box you could have on a Bachelor bingo card: a helicopter, wedding dresses, full-on boobs, “not here to make friends,” questioning motives, a slap across the face, a contestant getting booted early, and a to-be-continued instead of a rose ceremony.

The episode begins with a date card that says “Always a bridesmaid.” What a great way for the ladies to head into the date feeling insecure and inadequate! Naturally, the activity is a wedding photoshoot series with each of the twelve participants dressed up as a different kind of bride (or bridesmaid). There’s an 80s wedding, a Las Vegas wedding, a biker wedding, a shotgun wedding (our favorite aspiring dolphin trainer Alexis is tricked out with a fake pregnancy belly. “I had no idea what a shotgun wedding was!” she cheerfully announces, as she waves a literal shotgun), and, of course, an Adam and Eve wedding. The “dress?” Leaf-covered bikini bottoms and breast-length hair extensions. I think it says a lot about the personal journey I’ve been on with this program that I wasn’t fazed at all by that particular development. It now seems totally normal to be required to show sideboob on national television to win over a man ten years your senior.

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Laura Dismore is a 3L.

Record Review: The Bachelor Week 1

Each season’s premiere episode of The Bachelor tends to follow the same pattern: it documents the current Bachelor’s pre-show love journey (and affirms his commitment to finding The One) and then it introduces a parade of semi-interchangeable ladies. All you need to know at the beginning is that there are two treatments on the first night: a woman either has potential or is a punchline.

Before we can meet the women, however, we learn about Nick. Specifically, ABC has the task of convincing their viewers that Nick is taking the process seriously; if he isn’t there for the right reasons, the whole thing falls apart. And so we get to witness a conversation between Nick and some of the least qualified people in America to discuss finding love: previous Bachelors from this very franchise. Chris Soules, Sean Lowe, and Ben Higgins are ostensibly there to give Nick advice about the show, but they’re really there to pull the viewers into the alternate reality ABC has painstakingly crafted.

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Laura Dismore is a 3L.

Record Review: The Bachelor Season Preview

This season of The Bachelor just might be the most self-referential (and self-indulgent) yet, and I am READY.

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past ten years and are new to the franchise, here’s the basic premise: a dude who has been selected as The Bachelor lives in a mansion with 25-30 women who compete for his love (sometimes literally, such as in obstacle courses) as he eliminates “contestants” week by week.

After enough time passes and enough champagne is consumed, some lucky Ashley (or Ashlee, or Britney, or Lauren) gets to be engaged to him for like three months until they’ve amassed enough Instagram followers that Chris Harrison, who hosts the show, tells them they can break up. One of the other Amandas (or Kaylees, or Laurens — there were four Laurens last season!) who came in second or third or fourth is selected to be the next season’s Bachelorette, and the process continues, but with 25 whiskey-drinking dudes named Chad and Trent and Brad, and way more promos about people getting punched in the face. You get the idea.

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Laura Dismore is a 3L.

Record Review: Gilmore Girls Revival Surprises, Delights

gilmore-girls-netflix-winter-posterFor many reasons, 2007 was not a particularly good year for me. As I was a teenage boy then, most of these reasons involved teenage girls, one in particular. However, another reason that 2007 was lame was because that year marked the end of the original run of Gilmore Girls.

Thankfully, Netflix has brought back Lorelai, Rory, Emily, and all the rest of Gilmore Girls in the four-part mini-series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. In total, there’s six hours of fast-talkin’, pop-culture referencin’, Stars Hollowin’ goodness.

Look, if you’re reading this and you loved Gilmore Girls, you should absolutely watch A Year in the Life. In fact, you’ve probably watched it already. Write in with your thoughts.

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Jim An is the editor-in-chief of The Harvard Law Record and a member of the Harvard Law School Class of 2018.

Doing The Right Thing

I recently had lunch with a non-lawyer colleague whom I have long respected, and he asked me a very interesting question. He wanted to know if, during my 43-year legal career as a transactional lawyer, I had ever found it difficult to do the “right thing.” I understood the reason for his question.

During the Great Recession of 2008, I often asked myself what all of the attorneys had been doing when their clients were bringing so many toxic transactions to the public markets, causing so much damage to our economy, and resulting in their clients paying billions of dollars in fines and settlements to various regulatory agencies.

I had no trouble answering his question — I told him that I had never found it difficult to do what I thought was the “right thing.” I then told him some true stories about some of my experiences. He encouraged me to write them down so that I could share them with others, so here they are. Note that the names have been changed to protect both the guilty and the innocent.

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Gordon Arkin is a 1970 graduate of the Law School. He is a retired partner of Foley and Lardner LLP.

Profile: Laurence Tribe

“Gosh, there is so much stuff,” Laurence Tribe says, as I begin our interview in the library of his home in Cambridge with his partner Elizabeth on a chair beside him. And we are off to the races.

Tribe, 74, is Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, and the United States’ preeminent constitutional law scholar. A.B., Mathematics, summa cum laude, Harvard College. J.D., magna cum laude, Harvard Law School. Carl M. Loeb University Professor, Harvard University. Lead counsel in 37 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. Author of 12 books and more than 85 scholarly articles – including the most cited legal text or treatise of the 20th century, American Constitutional Law. Nearly a dozen honorary degrees. Constitutional consultant to the Marshall Islands, Czechoslovakia, Russia, and South Africa. And avid Twitterer, on occasion tweeting more than 20 times a day. Check him out at @tribelaw.

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Honoring Diverse Voices in Legal Education

This past election season was wrought with division and attacks on the racial, religious, cultural, and gender identities that are integral to the lives of so many Americans. These attacks on our communities and core aspects of our identities are not new. Nearly one year ago, on November 19, the portraits of African-American tenured faculty in the halls of Wasserstein were defaced with black tape. Then and now, in the face of discriminatory acts, our student body has gathered to discuss the importance of awareness, to recognize that racism and oppressive actions are not condoned by our community, and to value diversity both in the legal profession and in legal education.
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Fear Not: I Have This All Under Control

I have observed in recent days that many people on this campus seem shellshocked by the election result. Not so me. As careful readers of my previous columns will note, I have always assumed that Donald Trump would be our 45th president. To the half-a-dozen of you who read my previous columns, and failed to heed my warnings, you have only yourselves to blame. How many times did I try to tell everyone—the Dean, my fellow-classmates, the professors in whose classes I am nominally enrolled—that this day was at hand? How many times did they say to me, “Oh no, Fenno, you’re crazy!” Oh, I’m crazy, am I? I’m crazy? Would a crazy person LAUGH LIKE THIS????!!!!!!

No. No one is laughing now. This is serious.

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Fenno has been a student at Harvard Law School since at least 1961. He has no current plans to graduate.

Profile: Randall Kennedy

Randall Kennedy Was born in South Carolina in 1954. He attended Princeton for his bachelor’s degree, Balliol College on a Rhodes scholarship, and Yale Law School, before doing two judicial clerkships, the second for US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. In 1984, he accepted a teaching post at Harvard Law School, where he has stayed ever since, penning magazine articles and books on race and the law. In other words, Kennedy is an academic – and a very good one. But he is also an advocate and an intellectual: He is not only engaged in the pursuit of truth (‘Veritas’ reads Harvard’s motto), but a fighter in the world of ideas, whose scholarship is intended to be part of, and shape, the public discourse.

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An Interview with Dean Minow

Two weeks ago, The Record interviewed Dean Martha Minow for her thoughts on the Law School, women in the profession, and the Cubs. We were initially informed by the communications office that they objected to our publication of the interview, and we met with them and Dean of Students Marcia Sells last week to discuss the issue. Following that meeting, the communications office withdrew their objections. We are pleased to present our interview with Dean Minow, condensed and edited for clarity.

The Record: This is the first year in Harvard Law School’s history in which the entering JD class was more than 50% women. How did that end up happening and what do you make of it?

Dean Minow: We’ve made a lot of outreach efforts, and I’m happy with the results. These things do change from year to year though: last year’s LLM class was majority women, but this year it’s majority men.

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An Exclusive Interview with Dean Minow

You may have read about the HLS administration’s refusal to allow the Record to publish its recent interview with Dean Minow. Our editors-in-chief, I regret to say, are staggeringly incompetent and weak-willed. Like all Harvard Law students, they are anatomical curiosities, who are at once both hidebound and spineless. You can depend upon them for nothing. And so, for the good of the paper, I considered it my duty to salvage the whole operation and interview the Dean myself.

How did I secure an on-the-record interview with the Dean, you ask, after she denied the same to my editorial overlords? Well, I’ve been around this school a long time, you see, and I know things. I know who has their fingers in the door. I know who has their foot in the pie. And oh yes, I know where the bodies are buried. They say they can’t tear down the Gropius Complex because it’s a historical landmark, but who really believes that? Oh, the terrible secrets that lurk in the bowels of that concrete monstrosity! How many nights have I lain awake on the sofa in the Record basement, listening to the faint finger-scrabbling of Harvard’s hapless enemies, entombed within the walls!

But I digress.

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Fenno has been a student at Harvard Law School since at least 1961. He has no current plans to graduate.

Some Unsolicited Advice, Part III

I retired from the practice of law in 2013. I spent 43 years as a transactional attorney, mostly as a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP. Neither of my children decided to become lawyers, so I never thought to share much with them about the lessons I learned during my years of practice that helped me succeed as a partner in a large law firm. Since I believe there is some “wisdom” to be gained from my experiences, I decided to share some of them with you in this three part series. Parts I and II can be found here and here.

Try To Become Indispensable 

If you want to become a partner, try to become indispensable to the partners you are working for. Ask what you can do on a transaction to ease their burden. As you become more experienced, go to them and suggest a course of action that you believe will advance the transaction and allow the partner to do something else with his or her time. Don’t be too pushy. Just make it clear that you are interested in taking on more responsibility if the partner thinks you are ready to do so. When senior associates or senior counsel are considered for partnership, the ones that have made things easier for the partners they work for are likely to have the easiest time.

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Gordon Arkin is a 1970 graduate of the Law School. He is a retired partner of Foley and Lardner LLP.

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.

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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.

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