Bluebook Origin Myth Hides Newly Found, Controversial Past

Everything you know is wrong.

At least that’s what a forthcoming article by Harvard Law School graduate and current Yale Law librarian Fred Shapiro ‘80 and co-author Julie Graves Krishnaswami claims about the Bluebook.

The received origins of the Bluebook, bane of lawyers and lawyers-to-be everywhere, goes a little something like this:

Once upon a time, there was a Harvard Law Review citation pamphlet, compiled by no less a figure than Griswold Hall’s namesake and Dean of Harvard Law School, Erwin Griswold.

Through sheer force of will, Griswold and the Harvard Law Review grew his little pamphlet into the 582-page monstrosity we have today. This story is itself printed in publications no less illustrious than the Harvard Law Review and the Wikipedia article for the Bluebook.

However, if you were to think that the Harvard Law Review is not only responsible for the annual disappointment of 1Ls who failed to write on, but also responsible for the wretched citation manual that has an italicization error in its own explanation on how to italicize introductory signals in its most recent 20thedition, well, you’d be wrong, or at least, partly wrong.

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Harvard Law Record Straw Poll Results

The Harvard Law Record has conducted a poll of members of the HLS community, finding strong support for Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Though HLS students strongly preferred Rubio and Sanders for their respective parties’ nominations, however, students selected Cruz and Clinton as the most likely eventual candidates.

The Record polled approximately 7% of the student body, asking questions regarding both nominations preferences and predictions, as well as preferences in various likely presidential matchups. Among Harvard Law Students, Sen. Rubio significantly outperformed both Sen. Cruz and Donald Trump in matchups against both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Continue reading

Professor Lawrence Lessig Discusses Presidential Bid, The Future of Campaign Finance, And Return To Harvard Law School

HLS Professor Lawrence Lessig brought campaign finance reform to the center of national attention with his run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Lessig also authored Republic Lost: The Corruption of Equality and the Steps to End It and founded Rootstrikers and the Mayday Super PAC. Though Lessig withdrew his bid earlier this month, he was happy with the support he received from the HLS community throughout the campaign.

On November 23, Lessig sat down with HLS Professor Jonathan Zittrain to discuss what he learned running for president. Lessig said that his presidential run was animated by his belief that “we are at a point in the history of our democracy, maybe on the way down, when we have got to recognize that a fundamental flaw has emerged.” Members of Congress currently spend the majority of their time soliciting campaign money from the tiniest fraction of the top 1 percent of the American population—and as a result, Lessig contends, congressional politics are driven by the concerns of a small number of ultra-wealthy donors, not the concerns of the populace at large. Add this to the problem of gerrymandered districts, which ensure that only 90 out of 435 Congressional seats are competitive in any given election, and the result is that Congress “is an institution that no longer recognizes the people.” Continue reading

Portraits of Black Harvard Law Professors Vandalized, Covered in Black Tape

Editor’s Note: This is a developing story and will be updated as more information comes in.

Sometime during the early hours of Thursday morning, portraits of black Harvard Law professors hanging in the faculty gallery in Wasserstein Hall were defaced by an unknown individual. Black strips of tape were placed across the faces of the portraits. The vandalism was discovered by students arriving for morning classes. “This is a hate crime,” one student said. “I’m calling the police.”

The pieces of tape were removed shortly after the police completed their examination of the scene.

This incident comes one day after a number of Harvard students held walk-outs and protests in solidarity with student movements at Yale, the University of Missouri, and other universities, calling for policies that foster greater racial inclusivity and awareness on college campuses.

Members of Harvard Law School’s “Royall Must Fall” movement also recently staged an “educational art action” to promote their campaign to change the Harvard Law School crest, which bears the family insignia of 18th-century slave trader Isaac Royall. This protest consisted of placing black tape in an X formation over the Royall insignia on several images of the crest on the law school campus. Members of Royall Must Fall have stated that they are “saddened and disgusted by this violent act against black professors,” and they believe tape used in the educational art action was subsequently used to deface the portraits.
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Harvard Law Professors & Scholars: State Governors Have No Legal Authority To Block Refugees

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, more than half the nation’s states are vowing to bar Syrian refugees. But do they have the legal authority to do so? Harvard Law professors say the answer is clear: No.

“States do not have the legal authority to deny refugees entry,” said Phil Torrey, a Lecturer on Law with the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program and the Supervising Attorney for the Harvard Immigration Project. “Immigration laws are the sole purview of the federal government.”

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Hamilton Takes Harvard

Ever wonder what Harvard professors sing in the shower? These days, there’s a good chance it’s a song from the musical Hamilton.

“I’m a huge fan of the music,” says Glenn Cohen, law professor and director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy. “I often sing it in the shower. As a Canadian, much of the American history I’ve learned is what’s directly relevant to constitutional law, so I really appreciate learning more about the personalities involved.” Continue reading

19 Harvard Law Professors Defend Law Student Brandon Winston, Denouncing His Portrayal in “The Hunting Ground”

19 Harvard Law professors recently defended current law student Brandon Winston in a press release. You may read a response to the professors’ press release here.


Re: The Hunting Ground (Nov. 11, 2015)

From: Elizabeth Bartholet, Scott Brewer, Charles Donahue, Jr., Nancy Gertner, Janet Halley, Bruce L. Hay, Philip B. Heymann, David W. Kennedy, Duncan M. Kennedy, Randall L. Kennedy, Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Richard D. Parker, J. Mark Ramseyer, David Rosenberg, Lewis D. Sargentich, David L. Shapiro, Henry J. Steiner, Jeannie C. Suk, Laurence H. Tribe

This purported documentary provides a seriously false picture both of the general sexual
assault phenomenon at universities and of our student Brandon Winston. For an investigative journalist’s in-depth story demonstrating the biased, one-sided nature of the film and its unfair portrayal of Mr. Winston, see Emily Yoffe, “How The Hunting Ground Blurs the Truth.”

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Swastika Drawn on Harvard Law Classroom Desk

Last Thursday, November 5, a first-year Harvard Law student noticed a swastika penned in a desk in Wasserstein room 2004 during class. After another student submitted a picture of the swastika to the Dean of Students Office, cleaning staff was sent to remove the mark from the desk.

The person who drew the mark has not yet been identified. Rooms in Wasserstein are generally open during business hours, and it is quite possible that a non-HLS affiliated person made the mark. Several HLS classes were scheduled to meet in WCC 2004 during the days leading up to the discovery, along with a few events hosted by student organizations. HLS events are open to the public and frequently attended by people who do not work at or attend the Law School.

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“Slave-Owning, Slave-Trading Murderers”: Students Call on Harvard Law School to Address Historical Ties to Slavery

You won’t go far at Harvard Law School without running into the Royalls.

In the Treasure Room of Langdell Library hangs a large portrait of the family of Isaac Royall, Jr. Each year, first-year Harvard Law School students sit together beneath this painting as they enjoy a welcome meal with the Dean. Isaac Royall is a figure intimately associated with the origins of Harvard Law School: in 1779, he donated lands to Harvard College whose sale endowed its first professorship of law. The Royall Professorship of Law is still held by a HLS faculty member, and the Royall family crest, bearing three sheaves of wheat, is currently part of the Harvard Law School crest. But the wealth that created Harvard Law School has a disturbing origin. The Royall family fortune was acquired through slavery: their sugar plantation was worked by slave labor, and they augmented their profits by shipping and selling human beings between Boston and Antigua.

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