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 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.

Continue reading “Some Unsolicited Advice, Part III”

Gordon Arkin is 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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Professor Emeritus Presents Photos as Addenda to Scholarship

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Lining the halls of the Law School are portraits of tenured professors, former deans, donors, and Supreme Court justices. Their apparent purpose is equal parts inspirational and aspirational: study hard enough and you’ll climb to the top of the profession. Yet strewn among these portraits are some very different images: a gaggle of Vietnamese children laughing uproariously, a group of solemn Bhutanese śrāmaṇeras clad in crimson robes, a Greek woman peering from the door of her home while her dark clothing blends into the shadows of her doorway.
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Jimmy Chalk is a 2L.

#SaveNelly

Despite the fact that Nelly was one of the best-selling artists of the 2000s, he apparently owes the IRS a $2.4 million tax bill and may be having trouble paying it off. Based on the figures for royalties per stream, some websites have estimated that Nelly needs somewhere between 287 to 400 million streams to pay off his debts. However, as any tax student knows, Nelly will owe more taxes on these royalties, so he’d actually need as many as 660 million streams in order to pay off his debts. Anyway, if you’re in the mood to help Nelly out, here are the ten best Nelly songs to stream.

10. Pimp Juice – The music video for this song begins with a shot of a man driving a woman in labor to presumably a hospital. It is unclear what this scene has to do with the eponymous “pimp juice.” Could “pimp juice” refer to the amniotic fluid that leaks out of a woman whose water has broken? Perhaps. But it is unlikely.
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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.

Some Unsolicited Advice, Part II

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 experience, I decided to share some of them with you in this three-part series. Part one of this series can be found here.

Manage Your Legal Career

You need to manage your own legal career. At the New York City firm where I started practicing law, there was a senior associate who I thought was a terrific lawyer. He was single, so he was willing to work even longer hours than the long hours worked by the rest of us. This allowed him to retain a significant amount of work that he had started doing as a younger associate, even though he was also doing lots of much more sophisticated partner level work. He was passed over for partnership because the partners felt that his total mix of work wasn’t sophisticated enough, even though no one had suggested that he give up the less sophisticated work, and he was the hardest working associate in the department. To me this proved the truth of the old adage that “no good deed goes unpunished”.
Continue reading “Some Unsolicited Advice, Part II”

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

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