Professor Nesson Urges Civic Engagement on Question 4

If you ask a Harvard Law Student who Charles Nesson is, they might say “one of the founders of the Berkman Center.” They are far more likely, however, to respond, “he’s that one professor who smokes a lot of weed, right?”

Charles Nesson is known for his eccentricities and eclectic tastes. Having the fortune of interviewing him this past week, I received confirmation of this perception. Dressed in an outfit that I would label “minimalist-urban-chill,” Professor Nesson entered his office accompanied by his tiny, eight-year-old Yorkshire terrier, Sweet Pea. His face exuded wisdom and calm. And while I wanted to ask him about everything from his favorite film to where he gets his marijuana from, I reminded myself that the purpose of the interview was to understand the context of Massachusetts’s ballot measure: Question 4. The measure, which was recently endorsed by The Boston Globe, would legalize commercial and recreational use of marijuana by adults over the age of 21 and would create a commission to regulate its use. Individuals would each be able to grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes. The measure is predicted to pass in tomorrow’s election, although insiders warn that it will be a tighter vote than expected.[1]

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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.

Striking Workers Optimistic for Win on Vacation Work, Benefits

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For the second day, Harvard University Dining Workers were on strike, clamoring for higher pay, vacation work, and better health insurance benefits.

Negotiators for Local 26, the union that represents HUDS employees, met with two non-Harvard mediators on Thursday, and representatives for Local 26 expressed optimism that they would see their demands met.

“We’re winning,” Local 26 negotiator Michael Kramer said to a crowd of striking workers and supporters in a rally this afternoon. “They have been knocked back on their heels.”

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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.

Come to the Love Your Library Fest

Do YOU love your library?

Come to Love Your Library Fest next Friday, September 23 from 2-5pm to learn some of the reasons why the answer should be YES!

Love Your Library Fest is all about YOU, our HLS students. Whether you’re a 1L just getting started, a 2L or 3L who knows the ropes, or an LLM or SJD with a major paper to tackle, you are guaranteed to learn something new about the Library and what our staff can do for you at Love Your Library Fest 2016.

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Record Retrospective: 2L Tim Kaine Speaks Out Against the Death Penalty

This article by Joyce Tichy, originally titled “Students Lobby Against the Death Penalty,” was published in the Record on March 19, 1982.

“If we’re trying to teach that killing is wrong, the death penalty isn’t the way to accomplish that goal.” So says Tim Kaine, 2L, who with Leto Copeley, 2L, is organizing HLS students to lobby against re-institution of the death penalty in Massachusetts.

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Photo by Adam Eisgrau

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Mercy For Animals General Counsel Vandhana Bala Describes Animal Welfare and the Power of Undercover Investigations

Vandhana Bala’s talk at HLS on April 6 provided a first hand perspective of some of the Animal Welfare Movement’s biggest hurdles and greatest successes, particularly as they relate to farmed animals. As stated on its website, Mercy For Animals “is an international non profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassion food choices and policies…”

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Dean Minow Encourages Students to Create a “Community of Respect”

The following letter was emailed to students by Dean Minow on May 3, 2016:

Dear students,

As the term ends, I write to express my best wishes for a productive and successful finish after a year of many accomplishments, challenges, and important discussions — and for all that is yet to come.

The idealism and concern demonstrated by so many this year point toward ways to build stronger communities here and elsewhere. I commend the creative and generous efforts by so many in clinics, journals, and student organizations, and the compassion and care that you have shown for each other during some difficult moments. These gifts of personal generosity and community are vitally important, especially when constructive dialogue has sometimes been overshadowed by expressions of prejudice, misguided fears and other emotions. Continue reading “Dean Minow Encourages Students to Create a “Community of Respect””

Notes Posted on Professor Portraits in Wasserstein Hall

At 5:15 p.m. today, a person posted red and yellow notes on several professors’ portraits located on the first floor of Wasserstein. Yellow tags were placed on male professors’ pictures, reading “Right to Impregnate” or “No Right to be Pregnant.” Red tags were placed on female professors’ pictures and said “Right to be Pregnant.” Justice Elena Kagan’s portrait had a second tag that read, “No right to impregnate.” The notes were removed around 6:40 p.m.

It is unclear whether the individual who posted the notes is affiliated with HLS.

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Breaking: Recording Device Allegedly Found in the Lounge

Reclaim Harvard Law School occupiers have found a recording device that they suspect of surveilling their ongoing occupation.

The voice-activated Sony machine was uncovered in the lounge, which Reclaimers call Belinda Hall, early Tuesday. It was adhered by Velcro under one of the tables. Reclaimers worry that it was used to spy on students for multiple days.

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Federal Housing Agency Head Shouted Down By Protestors

Last Monday afternoon, protestors shouted down Melvin Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, from an event hosted at Harvard Law School.

As Watt began to speak, the protestors stood up and began to complain loudly of malfeasance from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which the FHFA oversees. With chants of “Mel Watt you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side,” the protestors drove Watt and Professor Hal Scott, who introduced Watt, from the room. The protestors were affiliated with City Life/Vida Urbana, a non-profit that HLS supports through the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau and Project No One Leaves.

While protestors filled much of the room, there were only a few students at the event, which was sponsored by the Program on International Financial Systems and Fidelity Investments.

However, some of the students who were there were impressed by what they saw.

“I thought it was really cool,” said 2L Joshua Friedmann. “We don’t get the chance to see really organic community organizing. We’re pretty used to our walls being closed off.”

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

Dean Martha Minow Reaffirms Harvard Law’s Commitment to Free Expression in a Letter to the Community

On April 1, Dean Martha Minow sent the email below to the entire law school community, reaffirming Harvard’s commitment to free expression and freedom of conscience. Earlier this week, students from Reclaim Harvard Law repeatedly removed critical signs posted in “Belinda Hall.”


Dear members of the Law School community:

As our community has focused on questions of race and inclusion, which we regard as issues of pressing importance to the nation and our community, the Law School has respected the extraordinary use of the WCC lounge as a space for protest and discussion. When a shared space is made open for such a purpose, even temporarily, the values of free exchange that define an academic community require that every member of the community has the right to use that shared space to express views, to express differences, to engage in debate. That freedom to disagree makes us stronger and better. It is essential to the integrity and success of an academic communityand especially to members and future members of the legal communitythat we operate on the bedrock foundations of openness and free debate. Continue reading “Dean Martha Minow Reaffirms Harvard Law’s Commitment to Free Expression in a Letter to the Community”

Give Your Harvard Degree A Smoochy, Says Gucci Scaramucci

If I invited you to meet a Harvard Law alumnus who founded and co-manages a global investment firm with $12.6 billion in assets, a man who formerly held executive positions with Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers, the host of Fox Business’s Wall Street Week and a regular contributor on Fox News and CNBC, a man who received a cameo in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and a nickname from President George W. Bush, you would probably expect to get a certain sort of advice.

And you would be dead wrong.

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Harvard Law Campus Erupts in Spontaneous Expressions of Love & Understanding

Reports incoming that HLS students of all political ideologies are coming together in kindness and love today, really trying to empathize with one another and to understand different points of view. FedSoc members have admitted that “maybe that Obama guy isn’t so bad after all,” while Bill Barlow ’16 was spotted in Belinda Hall giving hugs of kind understanding to all. HLS Dems, embroiled in a brutal civil war over whether to support Bernie or Hillary, have called a temporary ceasefire. Keep your eye on the Record for developments to this heartwarming story.

Reclaim Harvard Law Removes Critical Posters, Stirring Debate Over Academic Freedom

3L Bill Barlow puts up posters accusing Reclaim HLS of denying speech to students. Reclaim HLS later took down the posters.

For the last several weeks, the walls of the protestor-occupied “Belinda Hall” have been covered with messages from Reclaim HLS, a coalition of students seeking institutional change at the Law School. But on Monday, there was a new message—one equating the movement with Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, claiming that both Trump and Reclaim are anti-free speech.

The signs were posted by third-year student Bill Barlow, who has been a vocal opponent of perceived censorship by Reclaim HLS. Barlow believes some of the protestors’ demands impinge on academic freedom and stifle dissent—a conviction this incident reaffirmed for him.

Shortly after Barlow taped up his signs, he sat down to discuss his message with protestors—a conversation he referred to as “tense but civil.” Later that afternoon, members from Reclaim HLS removed Barlow’s critical posters. And shortly thereafter, Barlow received an email from the Dean of Students Office requesting an informational meeting with Dean of Students Marcia Sells.

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