1L plus one

BY TREVOR GARDNER

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Kenitra Fewell doesn’t have time to sit around the Hark pool table and whine about the burdens of 1L year. During such rituals Kenitra is likely either caring for her son, Hughie, or completing tasks that will allow her more time to care for him.

“Most people meet each other in the Hark at lunch,” she said. “I go home for lunch. I think my mentality is a little different. I can’t say, ‘Oh I’m going to go chill in the Hark for three or four hours.’ I have to cook for my child, or get a lead test for my child.”

Hughie Fewell III, nicknamed “Tre,” was born on June 25, 1998. As a four-year old, Tre appears happy in Cambridge, and not the least bit timid in his new environment. For him, the recent move from Atlanta to Cambridge hasn’t required a transition period. Kenitra said that her son speaks to everyone he encounters on the street, clinging to his brief upbringing in a culture of Southern hospitality.

“He is a charmer, and the epitome of a Southerner,” she said. “Every time we walk to school, I’m accustomed to not speaking. Down South, you speak when you make eye contact. Tre speaks to everyone. I guess people don’t want to be mean to little kids, so they talk back.”

To ensure that Tre kept his disarming smile and made a seamless transition to the area, Kenitra began researching local day-care centers well in advance of the move to Cambridge. Instead of looking for an apartment close to campus, her first priority was to find a place close to a reputable day-care center.

“Even though you like a day-care center, it doesn’t mean your child will. And vice versa. In Atlanta I went through three or four day care centers until I found one that fit.”

None of the HLS students Kentira initially contacted knew of day-care centers near HLS. But eventually, she found the phone number to the Harvard Office of Working Families, which offered her five centers affiliated with the University. Kenitra then went to determine each center’s location relative to the Law School. Then she had to apply.

“I didn’t even know you had to ‘apply’ to get childcare, but you do,” she said.

Kenitra applied to three day-care centers: Botanic Gardens, Harvard Yard and Radcliffe. After landing a spot for Tre at the Botanic Gardens, Kenitra found out that the day-care selection process is fairly competitive.

“[Here,] he likes his teachers, and that’s important. He likes one teacher in particular. If he includes you in his prayers, he likes you,” she said.

Kenitra said she believes Tre’s relationship with his teachers is critical to his learning experience.

“Every day he asks, ‘Am I going to school today?’ I say, ‘No, it’s the weekend.’ He likes it.”

After signing a one-year contract with the day-care center, Kenitra then made the Botanic Gardens apartment complex her first choice in the affiliated housing lottery. She received her first choice. But Kenitra may have to move next fall when Tre begins pre-school to get him into a school she favors. Such a move carries an element of uncertainty, since Cambridge practices an aggressive busing system which Kenitra suspects is based on either race or economics.

“At the day care, Tre is the only African-American child in his class…. I would have to research the school my child would be attending if I got another apartment,” she said.

Such child-care responsibilities are especially time intensive, which makes Kendra’s ability to juggle multiple roles during the notoriously busy 1L year all the more remarkable.

“I’m still searching for time management [techniques],” she said. “Children do require a lot of attention. If I’m reading, he wants to know what I’m reading, and why I’m reading it. Right now I think I need to manage my time better and get my reading done while Tre is at day-care.”

However, Kenitra doesn’t view caring for Tre as a burden. “A lot of people said, ‘Don’t you think it’s going to be hard having a kid and going to law school?’ But I’ve had a kid for the past four years. I’ve had Tre since undergrad.”

Kenitra graduated from Tuskeegee University in Alabama in 1999, with a B.A. in math, and a B.S. in computer science. After leaving Tuskeegee she worked as an independent software developer, contracting with a number of large companies.

She said that students in her section are very supportive, and insist that she bring Tre to class. But she often warns them to be careful of what they wish for.

“Everybody says, ‘Just bring your kid to class.’ A: He’s not going to have fun in class. B: He’s going to bother other people. I can tune him out. Other people can’t do that. People ask me to bring him to section brunch. I don’t want my child to be left out, but I don’t think people without kids can appreciate the circumstances. I don’t want to put him in situations that have no benefit to him.”

Whenever Kenitra does bring Tre to campus students seem to enjoy his company. A few students have even offered to babysit. So far, Tre has spent some time in Wyeth with Keia Sears, a 2L.

“Tre likes other law school students,” she said. “He really likes Keia. He said he wants to stay in the dorm.”

[Photos by Ezra Rosser/RECORD.]

Being a business man

BY BILLY GONZALEZ

Rather than take a law job, this summer I accepted a position in the mergers and acquisitions group at Merrill Lynch’s Investment Banking Division. I share below a few brief thoughts on the summer for those who may be entertaining the idea of a summer at an I-Bank:

1. The work is interesting and varied. As a summer associate, you are called on to do everything from financial modeling to document production to client services. At its best, the work is dynamic and exciting. In M&A, you are very often working with the highest tier of management on a day to day basis, dealing with information that has yet to be disclosed to the public that you will eventually read about on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. You are learning how companies can create value for shareholders in a variety of industries through acquisitions or divestitures, and you are learning the role that creative financing plays in companies’ strategies and in our economy.

At its worst, you are a powerpoint monkey, making sure that margins are correct, that there are no extra spaces anywhere in a document, and that all of the footnotes and numbers are formatted correctly. Reality is somewhere in the middle. I did my share of powerpoint iteration, but at the same time I gained a number of important skills, learned a variety of ways to look at a company to determine its value and fair market price and was privy to fascinating private discussions which went to the heart of the strategy of some of corporate America’s largest players.

2. The hours are hell. Even though this was the worst summer for M&A dealflow in over a decade, this did not translate into less work. Unlike on the legal side, where a firm only becomes involved when a deal goes live or is in later stages, bankers are busy pitching companies a barrage of new ideas in an effort to drum up work during “slow” times. This “pitch-work,” although creative, is often fruitless, and can demand as much time as a deal would – sometimes more.

My day started, on average, at about 9:30 a.m. when I would arrive at the office, and ended at around 1:00 a.m. when I would fall asleep in the company car provided for me on the way back to my apartment. I pulled four all-nighters, and only had a day off two times during my 10 weeks (one was a Saturday, the other was a Sunday). One upside to working long hours is that I spent very little on meals over the summer, since most of them were eaten in the office and paid for by the firm.

3. Making plans will frustrate you. Probably the most frustrating thing about banking is the complete inability to plan in advance, whether it be to meet friends or get a haircut. It was the norm that mornings would be relatively slow, with my superiors reviewing what I had prepared the evening before. As the day progressed, things would get busier, and just when I thought you had the day’s workload under control, a mountain of work would get piled on my desk at 6:30 p.m. The expectation was that it would be ready for review the next morning – there went my evening. A variation on that theme was often played by the staffing coordinator, who would wait until 6:00 p.m. on Friday to staff me on a few new assignments – there went my weekend.

Overall, I am happy with my summer experience. I feel like I received two summers’ worth of learning in one internship and gained valuable skills that will serve me well. For those interested in working at a bank over the summer, it is important to realize that you are not signing up to be wined and dined, but to get a fairly accurate picture of what it is like to work there full time – a good thing for people considering this demanding but rewarding career track.

Listen: Local talent and local venues

BY JEFF LEVEN

Who to see. . . .

Simply put, once you look past Aerosmith (and, I guess, Boston the band), Boston’s musical output is sly, subtle and cutting edge. Perhaps it is fitting that the same city that hosted the Tea Party and was a hotbed of radical activity in the Revolutionary era has also played host to some of alternative and indie rock’s smarter musical guerrillas. In the early ‘60s, Boston was home to one of the era’s most visionary psychedelic garage bands, the Remains (ironically, though, their contemporaries the Standells, who penned the city’s would-be theme song “Dirty Water,” were from Los Angeles). In the ‘70s, this musical mantle was passed to the Lyres, a band combining the trash rock of the psychedelic era with organ-based bluesy grooves. Later on, Boston became home to the Pixies and the vastly underrated Mission of Burma, two of the true prime exponents of the type of alternative rock excellence that could be found in the forgotten corners of 80s college radio. Further out in left field, Boston was also the home of G.G. Allin, punk rock’s most notorious gross-out act (one of the few concerts where most bystanders were at serious risk of getting a staph infection). Meanwhile, local bands like the Cars, the Smithereens, the Lemonheads and the J. Geils Band crept into the limelight in more conventional ways, but without losing a certain local charm. Perhaps this is all par for the world’s biggest college town, but even bookish Harvard has spawned a mix of pop (Weezer), hard rock (Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Bullet LaVolta), and acoustica (most famously, Paul Simon). Today the scene is little different — a mix of quiet geniuses, resolute punks and promising pop bands with a certain edge that makes them distinctly Boston. Here, then, is a quick overview of some of Boston’s current bands of note:

The Sheila Divine — Perhaps Boston’s most promising emerging talent, the Sheila Divine gesture towards U2 and Radiohead while maintaining a certain Afghan Whigs-esque darkness. With one full-length album under their belt, Aaron Perrino and company sit just on the verge of breaking into the big-time (if their major-label packed performance at Brownies in New York this summer was any indication). Those interested in getting in on the ground floor should consider catching them at the Avalon on September 21.

Guster — If you went to college on the East Coast, chances are you already have hazy memories of these bongo-toting acoustic pranksters crashing through some boozy frat-house show with all the requisite Lionel Richie covers. While their Steve Lillywhite-produced major label debut didn’t rattle the charts quite as much as fellow college stand-bye Vertical Horizon’s last disc, their current tour with John Mayer promises to increase their profile.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club — BMRC is Boston’s entry in the current “retro” craze, taking their place alongside the likes of the Vines, the Hives, the White Stripes and the Strokes. Thankfully, BMRC has more than just fashion on their side and is, in fact, perhaps one of the best Britpop bands America has produced in quite some time.

Consonant — Lead by Mission of Burma alum Clint Conley and also featuring one of Boston’s most versatile and prolific musical talents Chris Brokaw (who has played with Come and Codeine, among others), Consonant stands with Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth as some of the best “smart noise” available. Dense, mature arch-pop for dank clubs everywhere.

Jonathan Richman — While his work with the Modern Lovers has already secured Jonathan Richman a place in the pantheon of cult legends, Richman’s reinvigorated solo career continues to demonstrate his capacity for songwriting that is both sincere and moving without being campy. Except, of course, when he wants to — it is a little-known fact that it was none other than Jonathan Richman who wrote the theme music in There’s Something About Mary. And, yes, it turns out that he was the guy in the tree!

The Push Stars — Also featured by the Farrelly Brothers on the Something About Mary soundtrack, the Push Stars released their first major label album on Capitol Records in 2001. Poppy, fun, and propulsive, they have continued to grow musically with each release.

The Kickovers — Featuring Nate Albert (from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones) and Mikey Welsh (from Weezer), the Kickovers are driving rock with a pop-punk edge. Good, fun, and loud, their first release, Osaka, came out last year.

The Pernice Brothers — A favorite among rock critics everywhere, the Pernice Brothers sound like what would happen if the Byrds had a moody, brooding sense of humor and a darker guitar aesthetic. Simultaneously intense and buoyant, they remain more a treat for the musical cognoscenti than fodder for the radio-loving masses.

Juliana Hatfield — Back on the road touring on the strength of a career retrospective, Boston’s enigmatic siren remains, like her frequent musical collaborator Evan Dando, one of modern music’s underrated and at times reluctant talents. Regardless, one suspects that time and critical distance will make her catalogue all the more noteworthy.

Dropkick Murphys — Named for the denizens of a Southie rehab clinic, the Dropkicks are a hard-drinking maelstrom of blue collar Boston Irish solidarity. Shout choruses, bagpipes and a fiercely loyal local ethic make them a distinctive phenomenon even amongst supposedly community-focused punk rockers.

While there are many other Boston groups worthy of mention (Dispatch, Piebald, Gravel Pit, and Mary Lou Lord come to mind immediately), the bands above at least demonstrate the breadth and variety of acts that make this city their stomping grounds. So, next time you’re in Newbury Comics or up for a show, consider sampling some of the local flavor and giving one of these groups an audition.

. . . . and Where

One-Ls looking for the Boston “scene” might find themselves at a momentary loss. Unlike so many other towns that boast about half as many colleges, Boston hides its hotspots in unassuming corners — there is no East Village or Sunset Strip. While there is admittedly a total dearth of hip hop and a relatively thin calling for electronica, Boston’s music scene has a distinctive character that many will find appealing.

Like so many other things in Boston, there is a refreshing if initially off-putting “localness” to many of Boston’s best rock clubs. Tap a longtime Bostonian for stories and she’ll reel out story after story of transcendent performances playe\d for the knowing few: a Modern Lovers gig at the Middle East, Mission of Burma at the Orpheum, or the first time the Dropkick Murphys incited a riot on Landsdowne Street. Part of this, of course, is simply a product of Boston’s fiercely loyal indie rock scene, a quirky calling card for a city just outside the flight pattern of the MTV mainstream. But beyond that, Boston has always had a special relationship with the wealth of musical talent lying just across the Pond- for instance, it was Boston radio that first played U2. The
Police played one of their first revelatory American shows at the Orpheum, and many relatively unknown Irish and Welsh bands such as JJ72 and the Saw Doctors continue to have their strongest American followings right here in Boston. So, anyway, get out and explore it if you can- it’s a close-knit and galvanizing corner of the American musical landscape. Here are a few places to get you started:

The Middle East (280 Massachusetts Ave.) — Not one but two indie rock clubs, the Middle East in Central Square is one of Boston’s oldest and most-revered music spots. Originally a Middle Eastern restaurant, over time the owners began to experiment with hosting live music. Before they knew it, they were a hotspot. “Downstairs” at the Middle East is one of the city’s larger spaces — a loud concrete box of a room where a variety of mid-sized bands make their appearances. “Upstairs” you’ll find a smaller stage, walls painted with murals from a twisted kindergarden classroom, and a variety of local bands and smaller regional touring acts. To round out the package, the restaurant itself sometimes has live music on a small stage in the main dining room.

T.T. the Bear’s (10 Brookline Street) — Next door to the Middle East is T.T. the Bear’s, one of the oddest names and true gems in the Boston music scene. Featuring a tiny stage (which has the misfortune of being located directly on top of the Middle East downstairs — expect the floors to rumble), T.T.’s has a habit of booking excellent bands that are way too big to belong there, like the recently renamed Trail of Dead. Moreover, T.T.’s has a delicious habit of bringing in indie legends to play intimate solo shows — Evan Dando, Bob Mould, Grant Hart and J. Mascis come to mind, for example. Plan on showing up somewhere in the middle of the program — while the opener that immediately precedes the headliner is usually great, sometimes the local groups earlier on the bill tend to attract audiences that are largely comprised of parents and friends — and for good reason.

The Paradise Rock Club (967 Commonwealth Ave.) — The Paradise’s strange, wide shape and generous balcony mean that almost every spot in the house provides great stage views, and their aggressive bookings mean that the calendar is always stocked with treasures ranging like Jack Johnson, the Super Furry Animals and Cornershop. Located on the slow part of the Green Line, the Paradise does require some extra effort to get to, but after one show you’ll realize it’s well worth your while.

The Avalon Ballroom (15 Landsdowne Street) — Located just across from the entrance to the bleachers at Fenway, the Avalon is one of Boston’s big showcase clubs with a size and repertoire comparable to New York’s Irving Plaza or the 9:30 Club in DC. Once owned by Aerosmith (when it was called the Mama Kin Music Hall), the Avalon is a bit schizophrenic, scheduling shows early so it can host a black-pants and barely-out-of-high-school coed house music scene after hours.

The Orpheum (1 Hamilton Place) — Located near the Suffolk Law building, the Orpheum is Boston’s other big showcase club and has a rich and noteworthy history (it once served as the home for the New England Conservatory). Chosen by the Stones for their Boston club date, the Orpheum is one of those places that commands a certain nostalgia among not only Boston music buffs, but rock historians nationwide.

Johnny D’s (17 Holland Street) — Tucked unassumingly in Davis Square, Johnny D’s is a great spot to catch a variety of rockabilly, alt.country and roots acts that manage to make it this far north. Set up like a supper club, Johnny D’s can be a mixed blessing logistically — those wishing to take in a show will find that they get the best seats if they make a dinner reservation on top of paying the cover. The good news is that their stylized Southern cooking is quite good (easily on par with the House of Blues), and the whole excursion can make for a great night out.

Harper’s Ferry (158 Brighton Ave.) — Smack in the middle of Allston’s thriving BU party axis, Harper’s Ferry is the place to catch a variety of funk, R&B, and blues acts. Greats like Maceo Parker, Taj Mahal and others of like mind make this their Boston home, and it also serves as a natural outlet for Boston’s vibrant jamband scene.

Axis (13 Landsdowne Street) — Next door to the Avalon, the Axis is the Avalon’s surly little brother, hosting a more stripped down after-hours dance scene and an unabashedly punk concert calendar. Although it only hosts a handful of shows a year, preferring instead to delve into hip-hop and house club nights most of the time, the Axis is tight, sweaty and loud — all you’d ever want in a nouveau punk hangout.

House of Blues (96 Winthrop Street) — Those coming from New Orleans, Vegas or L.A. will be disappointed to find that Harvard Square’s House of Blues location is their smallest in the country and perhaps more suited for law firm receptions than concerts. That being said, they make up for their limited facilities with the occasional truly smart concert booking in the deep blues genre. Past catches have included Corey Harris and Peter Green.

Huge shows tend to usually come to the Fleet Center, Gillette Field and occasionally places like the Tweeter Center in Mansfield. Those seeking acoustic music and open mic nights should check out Club Passim in Harvard Square, the Lizard Lounge (under Cambridge Common), the Cantab Lounge near MIT or the Burren in Davis Square. Also in Cambridge, Toad’s is a delightfully tiny rock club, while the Hong Kong has on occasion been known to host dreadful punk cover bands (I refer, of course, to my own humble outfit, Dr. Teeth). Keep checking back for more concert calendars!

The legendary Boston band Mission of Burma. Hey, some of us age more gracefully than others.

Artificial selection: LSAT bias affects us all

BY AARON SALAYMEH

It’s easy for students here to believe they are the product of a Darwinian selection process that culminates in their anointment as the best and brightest, as future leaders of America. The Law School reifies its choices by praising its incoming 1Ls, who “deserve” to be here. In analyzing this claim, we would like to unpack the most critical (and, in some cases, sole) admissions criterion: the LSAT.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that the LSAT is a biased exam that disadvantages women and minorities, yet law schools continue to rely on the LSAT score to differentiate between applicants. While some may argue that affirmative action balances the LSAT bias, this is contradicted by the facts. As researcher William C. Kidder has noted, “Even when diversity is a factor in admission decisions, the negative impact of the LSAT is so severe that among applicants with approximately the same GPAs, whites consistently have the greatest chance of being accepted into ABA law schools.”

Further, the differences in LSAT scores along racial and gender lines cannot be explained as matters of qualitative “deficiency” because, according to at least one study, racial and ethnic gaps on the LSAT are found to be larger than differences in undergraduate grades, law school grades or measures of subsequent success in the legal profession.

If qualitative differences do not account for differentiation in LSAT scores along race and gender lines, then, how can we explain that differentiation? It’s actually quite simple: Every question on the exam is pre-tested to ensure that minorities and women do not have a statistical advantage. Doubtful? In his expert report submitted on behalf of intervening defendants in Grutter v. Bollinger, Jay Rosner, Executive Director of the Princeton Review Foundation explained:

“The actual task that Law Services performs, year-in and year-out, is accumulating a test full of individually chosen LSAT questions with foreseeable cumulative effects, which are that, on average: whites will score higher than blacks, men will score higher than women, and wealthy students will score higher than poor students. This occurs not by chance; on the contrary, it arises from the fact that virtually all of the individual questions chosen to appear on the LSAT have, in pre-testing, favored whites and men and the wealthy.”

Rosner explains that, in addition to question selection, another reason for LSAT score bias is the expensive preparatory classes that generally advantage wealthy and non-minority students. By training students to take the LSAT, these classes provide essential test-taking strategies to those students who can afford it. Rosner concludes that “all (or nearly all) of the individual pre-tested questions selected for use on the LSAT favor whites over African Americans. Disparate results occur not by happenstance, but by design.” Law school administrators have been aware of the LSAT’s discriminatory effects for years, but they continue to report the high scores of their students in an effort to maintain their ranks. This discriminatory exam injects its poison into the law school admissions procedure, perverting the outcome so that the “merit” it creates embodies preexisting privilege rather than a more substantively accurate assessment of the ability to excel in law school.

Unfortunately, there are significant social consequences to the use of these purposefully discriminatory test results as the primary criterion in law school admissions. “Research shows a negative correlation between social activism and performance on the LSAT for the national pool of test takers,” Kidder has explained.

Students with high LSAT scores, who are more likely to be accepted at elite schools, are less likely to use their influence, knowledge and connections to contribute to social causes. Take a moment, then, to consider HLS. The effect of “elite” admissions criteria is the explicit selection against diversity and social activism, which means that members of certain groups are effectively prevented from using legal power to benefit their communities. It is our solemn responsibility, as beneficiaries of this regressive diagnostic tool, to consider its effects upon our discourse and refuse to submit to the reflexive self-worship and praise of alma mater.

Former Solicitor General-Liberals must stand up

BY TIFFANY BENJAMIN

Walter Dellinger served as Solicitor General under President Clinton from 1996-1997.

Surrounded by a small crowd of Harvard Law School students and faculty, former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger spoke Monday on the importance of liberal constitutional interpretation.

“Today the institutions of national government are being weakened and in some venues are held in low esteem,” he said. “Some of this disparaging evidence has been justified because presidents of both parties and congresses of both parties have engaged in lots of trivial legislation and lots of trivial debates. But we should recall what a strong national government has accomplished over two centuries.”

Dellinger’s speech, entitled “Reimagining the Constitution / Recapturing the Flag” was hosted by the American Constitution Society, a national organization focused on encouraging liberal and left-wing students to discuss the ideals of the U.S. Constitution. Dellinger serves as a member of the society’s national advisory board.

Dellinger’s address followed constitutional history from the Constitutional Convention of 1776 to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, focusing on the development of constitutional interpretation in the eyes of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.

“What can we learn from Lincoln and King? I believe that we can learn that the vision of American constitutionalism will always be a contested one. And that those who lack the power of position or the perquisites of office should be about the business of staking a claim to those values they believe constitute the legitimate beings of American constitutionalism,” he said.

Dellinger claimed that liberal and left-wing individuals “have for too long said that aggressive constitutionalism was a matter of preference and not a matter of law.” Liberal scholars, he said, should try to be as vocal as their conservative counterparts.

“We should not concede that the founding and the best account of our substantive constitutional tradition necessarily culminate with the constitution of a balkanized republic with a national legislature that lacks the power to protect the liberty and quality of its citizens against the parochial intrusions of state and local bureaucracies,” he said. “We should not concede that the best vision and the founding tradition of our constitution is a Republican national legislature treated by its Supreme Court like the counsel of a lower court judge.”

Two-L Anjan Choudhury, who is president of the American Constitution Society, said that he was inspired by Dellinger’s work in constitutional litigation and his “invocation that ideas matter.”

For his part, Dellinger said that the Society’s mission of examining and re-examining the Constitution is a vital one. “It is to the future we must look as we attempt to reclaim the past.”

Dellinger served as Solicitor General during the 1996-1997 Supreme Court term, where he tackled such issues as physician-assisted suicide, the line-item veto and the Paula Jones case. Prior to his term as Solicitor General, Dellinger served as an advisor to President Clinton on constitutional issues, and then as Assistant Attorney General and head of the Office of Legal Counsel. He was also a Douglas B. Magg Professor at Duke University. He currently works for the O’Melveny & Myers law firm in Washington, D.C.

The clerkship crunch

BY KIRSTEN SOLBERG

Introduction

A judicial clerkship is an excellent foundation for any type of legal career. A clerkship provides the unique opportunity to work as basically an assistant judge (although purely behind-the-scenes), typically at the beginning of a legal career. Clerks generally serve for a one-year fixed term, although some judges hire clerks for two-year terms.

Students choose to clerk for various reasons, usually relating to both the experience itself and the value of clerkship credentials. The experience itself enables one at least to (1) refine and improve analytical, research, writing, communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills; (2) gain exposure to a breadth of substantive and procedural law; (3) engage in a strong, supportive, mentoring relationship with a judge; (4) gain a unique perspective into how judges think and how chambers and courtrooms operate; (5) review attorneys’ written work-product and learn from both good and bad examples; (6) observe attorneys’ in-court performances and hear the judge’s evaluation of their performance; (7) become a member of an active network of former law clerks; and (8) spend a year or two after law school exploring career options.

Because of the experience, training and connections clerks gain, a clerkship is a credential valued highly by law firms, public interest organizations, law school faculty recruitment committees, government agencies, corporations, and other types of employers.

The duties of a judicial clerk vary somewhat depending on the judge and the type of court. However, typical duties include reviewing pleadings and briefs, conducting legal research, writing memoranda and draft opinions, editing, proofreading, providing oral briefings, and observing court proceedings. The position also may include administrative duties such as maintaining the chambers’ library and assembling documents, as well as assisting with trials, oral arguments and other court proceedings.

Timing

In the last decade or so, most judges conducted their hiring for clerkships approximately two school years in advance. Thus, most law students applied sometime in their second year of law school for clerkships that would begin immediately after they graduated. Each year, the process crept earlier and earlier into students’ 2L year as judges competed with each other for the best students. In the fall of 2001, some judges started reviewing applications in August for clerkships that would not begin until 2003. This schedule was bad for everyone. Two-Ls interviewed with judges at the same time they interviewed with other employers for summer jobs. Judges had little information to consider beyond grades from students’ 1L year.

Several judges recently took the initiative to shift the hiring cycle significantly – to start it only one year in advance of the actual clerkships instead of two years in advance. Thus, most law students would apply in the fall of their third year of law school for clerkships that would begin immediately after they graduated. This plan has caught on within the judiciary and within law school so that, at least for 2004, clerkship hiring will start only one year in advance – thus, in the fall of 2003 for 2004 clerkships.

Not all clerkships are filled through the regular hiring cycle, however. Some judges prefer to hire less far in advance so that applicants have more developed records. Some judges develop openings unexpectedly when, for example, a person previously hired becomes ill or has an extreme change in personal circumstances. Additionally, new judges are appointed to the bench periodically and need clerks without much lead time for hiring. The challenge in applying for clerkships outside of the regular hiring cycle is simply identifying openings.

Grades

Many clerkship applicants ask about their chances based on their grades. This type of inquiry is understandable. Unfortunately, there just is no comprehensive information to provide to clerkship applicants about grades. Observations based on anecdotal information are as follows.

Although some judges screen applications initially by grades alone, they usually will not publicize the fact that they do so, let alone provide an objective cutoff that applies year to year without regard to the particular applicant pool. That said, the more applications a judges receives, the more likely he or she is to screen using some objective factor such as grades. (Consider how you would handle hundreds of applications if you were a judge!) Judges in popular locations receive the most applications and therefore are the most likely to screen based on grades.

Other judges look at grades as only one component of an application. If all other parts of two applications were the same, better grades would of course lead to better chances in the clerkship lottery. The problem is that no two applications are otherwise the same. Sometimes part of an application will appeal to a judge in a way even the applicant cannot predict. For example, one HLS clerk bonded with her judge over their mutual interest in quilting, a hobby she had listed on her resume but not one she had seen associated with the judge in the research she had done.

You therefore should consider grades as only one way to distinguish yourself among other clerkship applicants. If you have all As, for example, your application may get attention based on grades alone. But if you have more average grades, your application may get attention based on the Harvard name, strong recommendations, and/or (for at least one judge) an interest in quilting. If you are interested in clerking, pursue that interest, choose courts and judges carefully based on your best guesses about your chances, and see what happens. Also feel free to consult with the clerkship advisor in OCS for individual advice.

Application Process

A typical application package consists of a cover letter, resume, law school (and sometimes undergraduate) transcript, writing sample and letters of recommendation. The cover letter and letters of recommendation involve some complicated logistics because they should be addressed individually to each judge. The most efficient way to produce this result is to create a data file of judges’ contact information and then to use the mail merge function to input this data into form letters. Detailed instructions about this process are provided on the website.

An interview is of utmost importance in the clerkship selection process. Scheduling clerkship interviews can be particularly tricky because many judges hire clerks on a rolling basis, and applicants are expected to pay their own travel expenses. Once applicants send their materials, they should be ready to interview at the convenience of the judge, with potentially as little as 24 hours’ notice.

The rules governing offers for judicial clerkships differ dramatically from those for other types of legal jobs. The main difference is that judges are not as patient as other employers. Judges are accustomed to deference and assume that one would not have applied for a clerkship in their chambers without being preparing to accept an offer on the spot. Some judges actually will expect a response on the spot. Others may give a successful applicant more time – but often no more than 24 hours – in which to consider an offer and make a decision.

U.S. Supreme Court Clerkships

Practically speaking, a clerkship at another court – almost always a federal circuit court of appeals, but very occasionally a federal district court or state supreme court – is a prerequisite for a clerkship at the Supreme Court. Generally, the justices hire students in their third year of law school (or during their clerkships, depending on the individual justice’s timing guidelines) to begin clerking at the Supreme Court following the completion of their lower court clerkships. However, the justices increasingly are considering applicants who have a year or two of pra
ctical work experience either before or after their initial clerkships.

Clerkship Advising

The Office of Career Services has one staff member – Kirsten Solberg – who served as a clerk herself and handles advising about clerkships. Watch for a variety of formal and informal programs throughout the year covering topics such as the clerkship experience itself, the application process, interviews, clerkships at specific courts and how to succeed in a clerkship once you have one. Try to get in the habit of checking regularly the “Time-Sensitive Announcements” within the clerkships section of the OCS web site.

[Extensive information about judicial clerkships is on the Office of Career Services’ website at http://internal.law.harvard.edu/ocs/jdstudents/Judicial_Clerkships/index.htm. Excerpts from the website are provided here, but please refer to the website for more details about each point.]

Harvard commemorates September 11th

BY JONAS BLANK

On a somber, breezy afternoon yesterday, over ten thousand students from around the University gathered to participate in a memorial service commemorating the September 11 attacks.

Held in front of the Tercentenary Theater in Harvard Yard, the service featured devotional readings from many of the world’s religious traditions. Four students read passages on the theme of remembrance, while four more read on the theme of hope. A choral performance, composed by University junior Carson Coonan, came in between the sets of readings.

The subdued crowd spilled across the quad onto the steps of Widener Library, some students sitting, some sobbing lightly. Many students bowed their heads throughout the ceremonies.

University President Lawrence Summers spoke last, delivering a charged message that urged students to respect diversity and work for change even as he drew sharp political distinctions.

He called last September’s events “a calculated plot to murder innocent, unsuspecting people… because they were members of this national community enjoying the fruits of freedom.” Echoing many of President Bush’s speeches of the past year, Summers said that the terrorist attacks “reminded us of the eternal existence of evil.”

Summers’ speech also reflected on the nature of the University and its role in the search for truth. He called for students to recognize the “moral clarity” of the fight against terrorism in all forms.

“We debate the nature of truth,” Summers said, “but there are some truths beyond debate.” He urged the assembled students to, “advance our common purpose by refusing to excuse or legitimate terror.”

Summers called for respect for diversity and tolerance, as well as for the men and women fighting terror around the world. Acutely aware of the surrounding academic environment, Summers repeatedly implored students to look for positive solutions.

“Ultimately, we will be judged not by what we oppose, but what we work towards,” he said.

Summers’ remarks concluded with the tolling of the Memorial Church bell, which lasted for two minutes.

Tuition hike: Bad economy and rising costs blamed

BY JONAS BLANK

Along with the usual stress of exams, students this past May were treated to a nasty surprise: The largest tuition hike since 1995. A May 13 schoolwide e-mail from Dean Robert Clark brought students the bad news that full tuition for the 2002-2003 academic year would be $29,500, a leap of 7.3 percent from last year’s $27,500. Along with the Law School’s estimated living expenses of $17,900, that brings the total cost of a year at HLS to $47,400.

Clark’s e-mail detailed a number of reasons for the increase, including the hiring of Professors Ryan Goodman and Guhan Subramanian, funding the new pro bono office, and adding another full-time OPIA employee. Compounding the Law School’s problems was the abysmal year on Wall Street, which resulted in a paltry two percent increase in endowment income, which is the money that the University allows HLS to spend out of the interest on its endowment. Even though the Law School kept its costs from rising too much

Five win Sears Prize

BY LEA SEVCIK

In a couple of unusual twists, this year’s Joshua Montgomery Sears, Jr. prize went to five recipients rather than four, and all five of the recipients are on the Harvard Law Review. Together, the five have pretty impressive resumes: starting an equity fund, pursuing Ph.Ds, even an attested interest in professional skiing.

The prize is awarded annually to two 1L and two 2L students with the highest grade point averages, which at HLS means over an “A” average. This year, three 1Ls received the prize due to a tie. The 2L recipients are Michael Shah and Michael Gottlieb, and the 1L recipients are David Landau, Christian Pistilli and Jared Kramer.
Despite their academic similarities, this year’s recipients differ in many surprising ways. They range in age from 22 to 27, they all study in different ways, and their paths to HLS could not have been more diverse.

A Closer Look: The 2Ls

Michael Shah has the unusual distinction of having won the Sears prize twice, and is thus likely to graduate at the top of his class. Yet Shah is not eagerly embracing an illustrious legal future. He will not be clerking next year, and after a summer split between Wachtell in New York and Susman Godfrey in LA, Shah says he is still considering investment banking.

When Shah finished his pre-med major at Harvard University, he wanted to “get started in life” rather than pursuing a lengthy medical degree. He spent a year at the London School of Economics getting his Masters in finance and economics, and immediately put his skills to use. Together with two other LSE students, Shah started a private equity fund that raised over $2 million. It was only when the equity markets crashed that Shah decided to go to law school.

Today, Shah is still keeping involved as an investor and a financial and legal advisor in his friends’ startups. One of his current projects is an artificial sweetener called Sucraslim, which has no calories and is safe for baking. “We’ll be rolling out the infomercials in the next couple of months,” he said.

When it comes to class, Shah says, “I try to take things that are useful if I don’t end up practicing law,” like secured transactions and real estate.

Michael Gottlieb graduated from Northwestern University with a political science major and a thesis on the diplomatic norms of the Association of South East Asian Nations. He twice won the National Debate Tournament in college, then spent a year in Boston coaching debate at Harvard University.

As a 1L, Gottlieb was an “HL Central person,” participated in the HLS Democrats, and helped to found the HLS American Constitutional Society. In his 2L year he researched for Professor Laurence Tribe and kept busy with the Law Review’s articles committee.
He also went the law firm route last summer, splitting between Jenner & Block and Cleary Gottlieb in D.C. Next year he will be clerking for famed Judge Stephen Reinhardt in the Ninth Circuit. Beyond that, his plans for the future are hazy, although he says that “I loved D.C., that’s probably where I want to end up.”

So if Gottlieb could do anything in the world right now, would he still study the law? “I doubt it. I’d probably still be interested in the law, read Supreme Court decisions. But I’d probably be a professional skier.”

The 1Ls

David Landau majored in social studies at Harvard College, was editor-in-chief of The Independent, and wrote his thesis on how presidents gather support in the Ecuadorian legislature. He then went straight through to HLS, where in his 1L year he was a subciter for the International Law Journal.

Landau admitted that he was “miserable” for part of his 1L year. He found HLS to be a “pretty cold place sometimes,” and he missed the “academic buzz” of college. He also didn’t take an immediate liking to law. “It’s something you have to become perhaps more committed to, understand better before it becomes interesting,” he said.

Landau said his work on Law Review has helped him to like law school better. “It’s neat to be in a smaller group in a school like this.” Also, “you see what people are doing on the cutting edge of legal scholarship, it gives you a very different exposure than what you see freshman year and it’s usually much more interesting.”

Despite his legal success, Landau’s plans may not include the law: “I’m not doing recruiting this fall. I want to teach, and I’m seriously thinking of a Ph.D in government. I almost did that before coming here.” Next summer he hopes to work for professors: that would give him a better idea of whether or not he liked legal research.

Haverford College grad Christian Pistilli focused on Kant and pursued a philosophy Ph. D at the University of Pittsburgh. But the “tough road” to a Ph. D lost its appeal when Pistilli decided he wanted to become involved in the world in a more practical way. He left his degree behind and traveled to Maine to join the Senate campaign of Democrat Mark Lawrence against Olympia Snow. When Lawrence lost, Pistilli went to work as a paralegal at Hunton & Williams in New York, then made his way to HLS.

Pistilli found HLS a natural fit: “Law school splits the difference between grad school and politics,” he said. Pistilli added that he enjoyed his first year experience: “Lots of people come in with low expectations and expect it to be tough. I found the people wonderful and the class work not as bad as I was lead to believe.” He loved his professors: Professor David L. Shapiro was “brilliant and terrifying,” while he found that Professor Lewis D. Sargentich’s jurisprudence class presented “the closest thing to what I remember really liking about philosophy.” Pistilli also became a subciter for the Journal on Legislation and joined the HLS Democrats.

This summer, Pistilli worked part time for his torts professor, Jon Hanson and also enjoyed “being a bit of a bum” and doing some leisure reading. Where would he like to end up? “I don’t want to run for office, but I can see working in government or on the Hill, or teaching.”

Princeton grad Jared Kramer was well on his way to a promising career in computer science until four months before his 1L year, when he chose HLS over a computer science Ph.D. He still sometimes feels “not quite at home” in law school. “I find it very frustrating not to have any answers. In computer science you’re either right or wrong or too stupid to find out, and either of those three are comforting.”

Still, Kramer enjoyed his 1L year. “The constant argumentation is interesting and stimulating,” he said, adding that “the non-quantitative nature of law is both good news and bad news, but the people are good news.” Kramer subcited for the Journal on Legislation last year, but this year he plans to be involved only with the law review “to placate my girlfriend who lives in New York.”

In his spare time this summer, Kramer also found the solution to a computer science problem that he had stumbled upon on his professor’s website. Jared’s professor urged him to publish the solution, a task that Jared is currently coordinating with another person who discovered the solution at the same time — a professor at Northeastern University.
Jared spent the summer at Fish & Neave in New York, and this summer he hopes to work for the Department of Justice. In the long term, Jared is “more of an academic,” although he is also drawn to litigation.

The Surprise of the Prize

Most Sears Prize winners attributed their good fortune to chance rather t
han design. Gottlieb says: “One of the reasons I was so shocked about the whole thing, and why I never expected to win the Sears Prize, was because I got rejected from HLS the first time I applied, and in off the wait list my second time. So I never really thought I’d be in the running for an award like this.” As a result, he says: “I was literally shocked when I got my grades.”

Landau said he was also caught off-guard: “I thought I’d done pretty well, but you never think you’re going to do that well. I feel like in many ways it’s just luck.”
Kramer agreed: “I didn’t think I did that well in Crim Law and I ended up doing best in Crim Law. That just goes to show that you have no idea what happens when you get out of an exam.”

Law Review Posts More Low Female Numbers

When the Class of 2004 Law Review members congregated as a group for the first time this August, they found that a surprising three-quarters of them shared a common characteristic — they were men. Despite a “double-blind” selection process and recruitment efforts geared towards women, only 11 of the 43 successful 2L applications this year were those of women.

The percentage of incoming women this year is the lowest it has been since 1995, when the numbers also stood at 11 out of 43. In the years between, the figure has hovered between 30 and 50 percent. In 2001, 17 out of 46 editors chosen were women; in 2000, the numbers were 18 out of 41.

These dramatic figures — especially given that women make up 44 percent of the class of 2004 — have led Review members to question why the numbers turned out the way they did. However, the very mechanisms that are intended to ensure anonymity and fairness during the selection process inhibit efforts to unearth the root of the problem: Whether women are simply self-selecting out of the application process, or whether something much deeper is going on.

“What is frustrating to us is that it has been important historically that the application process be extremely confidential,” said Law Review treasurer, 3L Allison Tirres. “We have a double-blind process in place which stands in the way of our trying to gather the data that might be helpful for figuring out, for example, whether women simply aren’t taking the competition.”

The Law Review makes every effort to ensure the selection process is totally blind. Applications are filtered through two layers of numerical assignments before they are read by as many as six different editors. The process is so secretive that even after it is complete, the identities of those who “graded on,” who filled the discretionary spaces pursuant to the Review’s affirmative action policy, and those not chosen at all are never revealed, not even to the members themselves.

Included in the application materials was an optional demographic survey not used in the decision-making process. However, “not even a majority of applicants filled one out,” said Tirres, rendering it difficult for the Review to gauge from the surveys how many of the 171 completed applications came from women.

Given the importance of this data to understanding the problem, Law Review president 3L Bert Huang said the Review would consider consulting an independent third party to review the list of applicants to provide an accurate gender ratio of applicants, which he perceives as a “critical piece of information” to have in understanding the issue. In addition, Huang said that although the current 3L editors voted last year not to make the optional demographic survey mandatory, the current 2L editors could consider making it mandatory for next year’s competition if they wished.

If the low number of women is an issue of recruitment, 3L editors were particularly disappointed given their recent efforts. Last spring, the Review held special information sessions for women, hoping to address specific concerns of women about life on Law Review and to attract more of them to take the competition. In light of this, 3L Executive Editor Elizabeth Kennedy felt disappointed and worried when she learned of the gender ratio among 2L editors. “Our efforts to prevent the percentage of women from slipping [even lower than in years past] just didn’t work, and that is dispiriting,” she said.

An alternative explanation for the gender imbalance on the Review is that the 2L editor positions reserved for those who “grade on” adversely affect women. Prior to the institutional changes made to the first year experience, the top three applicants from each of four sections were evaluated for admission based 70 percent on grades and 30 percent on the writing competition. Last year, the two applicants with the highest GPAs in each of seven sections graded on, increasing the number of grade-on spots from 12 to 14.

Several studies, most notably one conducted in 1994 by Professor Lani Guinier from a sample of University of Pennsylvania law students, indicate that men earn higher grades than women on average in law school and by the end of the first year are more than three times as likely to be in the top ten percent of their class. Similarly, a Law Review gender task force formed in 1996 found that the median GPAs of women who applied to the Review were lower than those of men.

Two-L editor Amanda Straub sees this issue as an important starting point to correcting the gender imbalance. “We should question why [the imbalance in first-year grades] is so,” she said. “Are pedagogical strategies not as conducive to the way women learn? Is the format of the average 1L exam unfavorable to the way women think? Maybe these disparate numbers point to a greater problem in the law school as a whole.”

In addition to these larger institutional questions, this data has made some Review members reconsider the role grades play in the selection process. Eliminating grades from the process altogether was considered in 1996 in the wake of the findings of the task force, but the proposal was rejected 47-21. In light of this year’s low number of women editors, Kennedy suggested it may be time to “rethink our entire selection process. . .Perhaps we should reduce or eliminate the role grades play in editor selection,” she said.

Various editors have also speculated that inherent biases in the substance and structure of the competition could provide another possible explanation for the low number of women. However, as 2L editor Corrine Irish explained, “These are just guesses. It’s really hard to say without investigating the issue.”

One potential remedy to the under-representation of women on the Review is the addition of gender as a discretionary category to the Review’s affirmative action policy. Currently, the Review reserves seven to nine discretionary spots for which they can take into account an applicant’s physical disability or membership in a historically underrepresented or disadvantaged racial or ethnic group.

Last winter, the Review seriously considered a proposal to add gender as a category. The change was initially approved by the then-2L class of editors but was ultimately rejected when voted on by the Law Review at large. Although the low number of women in this year’s class has prompted editors to re-engage in the affirmative action debate, members still have mixed feelings.

“There are strong feelings among the editorial staff on both sides of the affirmative action issue,” Tirres said, “which is not surprising given that we are on a law school campus, where these things are hotly debated.”

“It would be unfortunate to use only an affirmative action remedy but permit the competition to continue to be corrupted, if that’s the case,” said 2L editor Meaghan McLaine, “but if it isn’t feasible to take a holistic approach, I’d support a systemic one like affirmative action.”

Huang said it was important to guard against knee-jerk reactions. “I think it’s easy to react and say, ‘What great irony — clearly it was a mistake [not to add gender as a discretionary category],’” he said. “But I think there is a lot of learning and data-gathering, a lot of looking into what the task force in 1996 found, before we can understand the situation. Once we have that information, we will have the material for a serious and open discussion about what is the right thing to do.”

Regardless of what the Review chooses to do in the future, many members expressed concern that the 11 women in this year’s class feel welcome. “I was afraid that [the 2L women] would feel isolated or have a negative experience on the Review either because of their small numbers or because they would immediately find themselves, simply owing to their gender, in the center of a controversy that started before they joined us,” said Kennedy.

To guard against that, 3L women editors have made special efforts to reach out to 2L women. Tirres and Huang arranged for 3L women to contact 2L women before they even arrived on campus, and 3L women hosted a women’s night during orientation.

Thus far, 2L women report positive experiences despite the low numbers. “Working on Law Review has just been a wonderful experience so far,” said McLaine. “It’s an incredibly friendly and open environment, with a lack of competitiveness that is refreshing after the stresses of 1L year.”

Two-L Alice Wang agreed. “I’ve had a great experience so far. The women in my class are very active and vocal, so it doesn’t seem like our small numbers are detracting from our experience as a group.”

Perhaps what the 2L women lack in numbers, they compensate for in strength. As Kennedy noted, “They seem to me to be a particularly strong and confident group of women.”

Orientation and the Fleet Bank Man

BY JEREMY BLACHMAN

If there was one phrase that kept getting repeated over and over again during the week of 1L orientation — aside from “it’s really nothing like One-L or The Paper Chase, we swear!!” — it was “here’s another very, very important piece of paper for you to read very, very carefully.”

This year’s registration seemed to require a wheelbarrow to take home all the brochures, flyers, handbooks, guides, maps, floor plans, and encyclopedic volumes about Ethernet.

We got stuff like the helpful “Playing it Safe: A Guide for Students, Faculty, and Staff,” which introduced the handy R.A.C.E. acronym for fire safety: Rescue. Alarm. Confine. Extinguish. As opposed to my initial guess, Run Away Carrying Everything.

Plus we got goodies from our new friends at Lexis and Westlaw. It took me a minute to figure out why Lexis had a sweepstakes where you can win a Lexus. And then, after way too many minutes thinking about it, I got it. Lexis, Lexus! Those legal research tools sure are funny.

I don’t understand their competition yet. But from what I’ve heard, I’m surprised their tables at orientation were allowed to be right next to each other.

Westlaw’s coffee mug probably edges out Lexis’s notepad for best bribe of the day, although I don’t really understand the fake velvet case. Kind of matches the Fleet Bank sunglass case. They’ll go great together in my trash can.

Along with my new Fleet Bank ATM card, which I really only signed up for because I felt bad for The Fleet Bank Man. All alone at his table, surrounded only by Fleet Bank paraphernalia and forms with really small print.

The first time I passed by the “please, please, please sign up for an account” table, The Fleet Bank Man was polite. “Have you signed up for your free Fleet Bank account yet?”

By the fifteenth time I passed him, I felt pangs of guilt as I saw other students mocking him. So I finally stopped, if only just to listen.

“Get a free mouse pad, keychain, and white board.”

Wait a minute. Did he say mouse pad, keychain, AND white board? Not “…OR white board?” How could anyone be passing this up?

“But I don’t know my mailing address,” I said. “Leave it blank — just put your name and we’ll find it,” the Fleet Bank Man said. “Or not even your name. Just your mother’s maiden name and the last 3 digits of your favorite number. We’ll figure it out.” Sounded a little desperate to me.

But I didn’t know the half of it. The next student who passed may have been the straw that broke the Fleet Bank Man’s back. He tried to walk by, but The Fleet Bank Man notices everyone. I overheard the other day:

“Have you signed up for your free Fleet Bank account yet?”

“I’ve already got a bank account.”

“What bank?”

“Bank One.”

“But we’ve got an ATM right there on campus.”

“That’s okay. I’m happy with Bank One.”

“Did I mention we’ve even got an ATM right on campus?”

“I’m happy with my current bank account.”

“Happy? How can you be happy when we’re the only ones with an ATM right on campus? Do you even know what “happy” is? You don’t until you’ve signed up for your free Fleet Bank account.”

“Sorry, I’m really not interested.”

“Wait! Bank One gives children tainted candy on Halloween! And pushes elderly people out of their wheelchairs! And we’ve got an ATM right on campus….”

I think the Fleet Bank Man may need to take advantage of the Office of Student Life Counseling. Which, incidentally, has a lovely brochure.

JAG policy calls for meaningful action and discussion

BY MATTHEW DELNERO

Like many gay and lesbian students, I was saddened to hear of the law school’s decision to permit the use of OCS services by military recruiters, despite the military’s noncompliance with the HLS sexual orientation anti-discrimination policy. Partisan bureaucrats in Washington forced HLS to abandon the practice of denying military access to OCS facilities, despite the fact that military recruiters have been able to visit the campus through other channels, such as the HLS Veterans Association.

Although the Clinton administration never challenged Harvard’s policy regarding military recruitment through OCS, the Bush administration has taken a heavy-handed approach to interpreting the Solomon Amendment, a 1996 law making federal research funding contingent on the military’s ability to recruit on-campus.

The challenge now is to formulate a community response that is meaningful, sincere, and, of course, effective. I believe it is important to respond vigorously to the Defense Department’s behavior; students and faculty should be outraged that the Bush administration has forced the Law School to abandon its principled stance against discrimination. But I urge that members of the HLS community not partake in actions directly obstructing the presence of military recruiters on campus.

Throughout the summer, members and allies of HLS Lambda have engaged in meaningful dialogue regarding an appropriate response to the Bush administration’s actions against HLS. We all aspire to the same goal: to let partisan bureaucrats in Washington know that while we respect and honor those students pursuing the noble calling of military service, we reject the Defense Department’s strong-arm tactics and irrational discrimination against its gay and lesbian service members. As to how to best reach that goal, there is a fortunate diversity of opinion here.

The approach that has been most publicized, however, is that of subverting the military presence by occupying every military interview slot with gay students who are not actually interested in military service. While I share the frustration of those who advocate that tactic, I am convinced that such an approach would not serve our intended goal and may inadvertently show disregard for those students (whether gay or straight) who are genuinely interested in JAG Corps service.

Prior HLS policy on military recruitment provided the perfect balance between idealism and pragmatism: Those students wishing to interview with the JAG Corps could do so through the Veterans Association, while the school maintained its principled stance against the military’s irrational discrimination towards its gay and lesbian service members.

Under the new HLS policy, however, military recruiters will participate in the On-Campus Interviewing (OCI) process and presumably will not opt to use the Veterans Association’s services. If, however, all interview slots are filled with students not actually interested in a position with the JAG Corps, then those students genuinely hoping to interview with the military may be disadvantaged.

While it is possible that the military will add more interview slots in response to the seeming surge in demand, there is no guarantee that they will. Rather, aware that they are caught in a dispute between Harvard students and the senior leadership in Washington whose orders they must follow, JAG Corps recruiters may simply opt to abandon their efforts at HLS. While the departure of the recruiters may initially seem to be a victory, such a position ignores the need to support and honor the men and women of our military while we express our opposition to the Defense Department’s harmful and unproductive discrimination against its gay and lesbian soldiers. Signing-up for JAG Corps interview slots in protest fails to serve that delicate balance.

Despite my disagreement with the tactic of signing up for JAG Corps interview slots in protest, I look forward to participating in other expressions of dissatisfaction with the Defense Department’s violation of HLS anti-discrimination rules. My colleagues in Lambda, as well as many other students and faculty members, are considering a variety of promising actions. We all agree on the necessity of a visible presence that expresses opposition to the Defense Department’s irrational discriminatory policies.

The Dean’s open letter to the HLS community, in which he demonstrated sensitivity and thoughtfulness in explaining the unfortunate change in OCS policy, was a laudable first step. Going forward, the law school could host a forum regarding the discrimination against gay and lesbian soldiers in the military. HLS may also wish to initiate or participate in future legal challenges to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and/or the Solomon Amendment.

Through these and other actions, we will hopefully accomplish what the Defense Department has sadly failed to do: the honoring of all the men and women, both straight and gay, who have valiantly served the United States in its armed forces.

HLS allows military to use OCI

BY MIKE WISER

Responding to a threat by the federal government to withhold $328 million in funds from Harvard University, Dean Robert Clark decided in late August to allow military recruiters to participate in the on campus recruiting process. Clark’s decision reversed a policy that had prevented JAG recruiters from using the Office of Career Services (OCS), because the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prohibits individuals who are openly gay from joining the military, prevented the military from signing the Law School’s non-discrimination pledge.

U-Turn

Dean Clark’s reversal came after a letter from the Air Force in late May said that the Air Force believed the Law School was violating the provisions of the 1996 Solomon Amendment by not allowing military recruiters to participate in on campus interviewing. Under the provisions of the Amendment, all federal funding to a university could be withheld unless “the degree of access by military recruiters is at least equal in quality and scope to that afforded to other employers.” For Harvard University, almost 16 percent of its annual operating budget could be withheld.

While allowing the military to visit the school to recruit at the invitation of the student HLS Veterans Association (HLSVA) had satisfied military recruiters in the past, an Air Force inquiry that began in December of 2001 determined that the Law School was not in compliance with the Solomon Amendment.

With hundreds of millions of dollars in the balance, Clark decided to allow recruiters to use OCS resources and to recruit through its interview process.

“I think the difference is more symbolic than anything else, because the reality was they were recruiting here and recruiting effectively on campus for the last several years,” Assistant Dean for Career Services Mark Weber told the RECORD.

Jason Watkins, president of the HLSVA, also agreed that the change probably would not make much difference for military recruiters. Watkins, who said he was “a results oriented person,” told the RECORD, “I’m not sure how much there is to be gained from official or publicized changes in policy.”

A Difficult Decision

Whether or not the change will make it easier for military recruiters, Weber said that the school’s decision came only after months of agonizing about how to respond. During that process administrators consulted members of Lambda (the gay and lesbian student group) as well as students on the placement committee for input. In the end, the administration finally decided that they would not win in a battle with the Air Force.

“I think we made a judgment that it would not be successful, given the current climate of support for the military. Also we had a sense that maybe that wasn’t the important thing to do. The more important goal is to try and bring about real change,” Clark said.

In an e-mail to students on August 26, Clark explained that, “Our decision to permit military recruiters access to the facilities and services of OCS does not reduce the Law School’s commitment to the goal of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”
“Dean Clark really had his back against the wall,” 2L Adam Teicholz, president of Lambda, told the RECORD. Teicholz said that Clark’s letter to the community showed that the school does not accept the military’s recruiting policy.

“The situation must be especially galling to [the] administration regardless of their moral stance, because the military is coming in and using money to force the school to change its rules, violating their prerogative to set HLS’s internal policies,” he said, “Their job now is to see how we can put those values back as part of school policy.”

What now?

Weber said the challenge now is to balance disapproval of the military policy against the danger that they will be perceived as discouraging students from joining the military.
“We all want the best and the brightest serving in the military,” Weber said. “And I can’t think of a better place to recruit them than at Harvard. I think that a good way to implement change is by getting people in the military who have different points of view who can effectuate change from the inside.”

Lambda’s Teicholz agreed with Weber, saying that they encouraged students interested in joining the JAG corps to go through the alternative interview process. “This is not about JAG; it’s about the Bush administration’s wielding its control of students’ educational opportunities to force Harvard to compromise its principles,” he said.

During an e-mail interview, Teicholz added, “Go enlist! Just do it in a way that doesn’t tell the Department of Defense that they can push us around to enforce their homophobia.”
Off campus, opinion makers have both praised and blasted the decision. “A public untutored in the nuances of the university’s thinking might get the impression that while Harvard’s elite graduates should make policy for the military, they just shouldn’t serve in it,” one Memphis paper wrote.

On campus, it is not yet clear how supporters and opponents of the military’s policy will react to the decision. Some students (including a columnist in today’s RECORD) have called for gay and lesbian students to try to book all JAG interview slots, while others have argued that doing so would only hurt students who are legitimately interested in joining the military. Teicholz said that Lambda had not yet decided how it would react.

Fenno

BY

Fenno instinctively trusted Mark Weber’s comforting words about the U.S. economic downturn not affecting Harvard nearly as badly as it would, say, other law schools, or, say, Iraq. Little did he know at the time that in a secret ceremony just before last Wednesday’s introduction to On-Campus Interviewing in a packed Ames Courtroom, Weber had laid off 10 percent of his staff in a gruesome decimation requiring biohazard suits and high-pressure hoses to clean the carpet on the third floor of Pound. On learning that corporate fat-trimming had reached the very womb of all things job-related, Fenno felt about as secure as a Columbia summer associate at Weil Gotshal & Manges. So he resolved to carefully navigate this maiden column in a bland attempt to save his own skin. (Fenno did consider the fact that anonymity could make service of a pink slip a bit problematic, but couldn’t think of a suitable pseudonym, or at least one that made any sense.)

Aside from the minor distraction occasioned by pondering such trivia as employment, “the future,” and “oil,” Fenno thought the start of the 2002-03 school year a rather bittersweet experience. On the one hand, T.J. Duane was gone. Fenno wasn’t sure he’d be able to have fun anymore without someone to tell him what fun is. After all, it was very unlikely that Fenno would be able, all on his own, to stand in a boat and take in the views of the warehouse district of Boston Harbor for three hours, be turned down by scantily-clad Eurogirls at Mantra on a Thursday night, or order appetizers at Cambridge Common. On the other hand, T.J. had been replaced by supermodel Naomi Wolf. Fenno was pretty sure that was a good sign. Then Fenno was informed that Naomi Wolf was a Freudian slip for Naomi Klein, who, while still cute and presumably a better organizer than her covergirl namesake, was not as into boneless buffalo wings as Fenno would like. Fenno again felt about as secure as a Columbia summer associate at Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Then Fenno was reminded that the military could recruit on campus now because of the Solomon Amendment, which apparently had been lying dormant for years but promised to freeze the job-search process with Herculaneum-like political fallout for at least a couple of weeks. With his bloodhound’s nose for political scandal, Fenno immediately recognized this as a hot-button issue. Characteristically eager to join the fray, he wanted to start by commending the Law School Administration on matching the wisdom of the Solomon Amendment with that of saving the entire University 16 percent of its operating budget. Some kind of medal from the President (Bush, Summers, Heston, whomever) was surely in order.

Next, given the slim pickings awaiting him in private-sector interviews, Fenno thought it would be similarly wise to burnish his physical fitness credentials for military recruitment. To that end, he wanted to ask the Administration if any part of the 1.7 percent of the University’s endowment saved annually by complying with the Amendment could at least help the Law School get its own gym or something. (Maybe HLS could give it a defiant name like “Hemengay” or “HLS’ Gay Thumb-in-Your-Eye Gym.”) Or maybe flight lessons, so we could be just like the lawyers on the TV show. But Fenno realized that with the Fed rate at 4.75 percent, a 1.7 percent return on any investment was nothing short of a frothing pipe dream. And he’d heard they screen for pipe dreams during the application. He doesn’t know what their policy on froth is.

He also thought it might be a good idea to mention here and there how excited he is about female supermodels.

Leaving his job concerns aside for a few moments, Fenno paused to gaze with a twinge of nostalgia upon the brand-new 1Ls flitting about campus with their heads full of actual, real-life ideas. Of course, these would soon be replaced by “doctrine,” “theory,” and Shockingly Dorky Conversations in the Hark (SDCH). Ah, the new corn from the old wheat. It seemed like just yesterday that Fenno pulled the futon off the roof of his parents’ minivan, only to realize that it wouldn’t fit through the halls of Story, much less into one of its rooms. But six years is actually a pretty long time.

Based on all his experience here, Fenno could safely predict that this new corn would very quickly grow quite pale, overcaffeinated, confused and generally pissed off. The Arthur Miller section would this year become twice as pissed off in half the time. Eventually seemingly far-away strains of “New York, New York” would emanate from somewhere under a bench in the back of Pound 101. This would start happening even before Erie, which will have moved from class number 18 to a computer-aided video lesson to be completed in Holmes Hall by the end of this week. Fenno made a note to drop in sometime to watch Miller zooming around the room like a videotape on fast-forward and talking like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Sometime in late October, much of the corn will have grown kind of mealy and thoroughly inedible. [Consider using different metaphor, or ending this one earlier, or just quitting now and playing Sega for the rest of the day.] Two-Ls will roll their eyes in incredulous condescension upon hearing their third SDCH of the week, pretending not to remember that they’d vigorously advocated the affirmative of the same question just one year ago. One of these eye-rollers will then rue the day he ever decided to eat spaghetti with marinara sauce while wearing a white shirt right before his afternoon callback at Hale and Dorr.

Another old standby Fenno knew he could rely on to keep his mind off life was class. Academics: the heart of the HLS experience. But since he considered himself more of a digit than a major organ of the student body, Fenno was glad he had a few classmates still left on campus to take notes, and that he knew how to use e-mail. He had used this device to capture the outline for Professor Ring’s tax class. He figured if he read the liturgy on his own for two hours every Monday and Tuesday, it would be just as fulfilling as reading it during class, which he’d heard was all she did anyway. What matter if he performed the service at vespers instead of nones? Does Wong really care when you pray to him, as long as you’re sincere and don’t try to look directly into his face, or try to print the whole thing out on an ink-jet printer? If a 2L on Law Review writes a case note, but no one ever reads it, did it really happen? These were just a sampling of the riddles Fenno knew he had to answer before the year was through.

And so, furnished with all the tools he needed to start yet another semester, Fenno was content to carry on in his naïve belief that Harvard Law School is something that only happens to other people.

Jag must go: Time for civil disobedience

BY LINDSAY HARRISON

The U.S. military ought to change its slogan. What it really means is: “Be all that you can be, unless you’re being gay.” After the military threatened the withdrawal of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding unless Harvard Law School permitted the military to interview through OCS, Dean Clark was forced to allow the employer on campus despite its formal policy of discrimination against gays and lesbians. Dean Clark did his part, writing a strongly worded letter in support of gay students and opposed to military discrimination. Students should now protest the military’s assault on Harvard Law School’s policy of non-discrimination by launching an assault of our own.

The military needs to learn that it cannot force our law school to act as a conveyer belt for the military’s own homophobia. The best way we can teach the military this lesson is by filling every interview slot with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students. This strategy can best accomplish the twin goals of protesting the miltiary’s policy of discrimination and persuading the military not to engage in strong-arm tactics to advance discriminatory ends.

First, by filling each slot with individuals that are qualified but for their sexual orientation, we can demonstrate to the military that discrimination against gay and lesbian students is only causing the military harm. Imagine the interviewer’s response to the plethora of otherwise qualified candidates: “Well, you have great grades and you’re on the law review, but I see here that you are a homosexual.” While the exclusion of gay men and lesbians from combat is, in my opinion, irrational, the exclusion of gay men and lesbians from JAG is plain absurd. By marching in intelligent, capable, gay individuals, one after another, we can demonstrate to the military that they are losing out by engaging in discrimination.

Second, by filling each interview slot with gay and lesbian students, we can persuade the military to go away. Imagine hours and hours of wasted time spent interviewing otherwise qualified candidates. The recruiters sent to interview on campus will quickly realize that doing interviewing through OCS will not help fill their quotas for new recruits, and they will leave.

Opponents of this strategy argue that filling up all the interview slots with gay and lesbian students is unfair to students who really wish to become part of JAG. First, this argument ignores the possibility that gay and lesbian students really wish to sign up. Unfortunately, joining the armed forces is not an option for these students, but that does not mean that they should be deprived the opportunity to interview. Second, this argument ignores the ease with which anyone in this country may contact a military recruiter. Army JAG, Navy JAG, and Air Force JAG each has a website with detailed instructions on how to sign up. In the same way that students wishing to work in other public interest fields must take the initiative to obtain interviews on their own, students wishing to join the military may contact JAG and obtain an interview. The Veterans Association has already indicated a willingness to assist the military in conducting informal recruiting on campus, just as they have done in years past.

Opponents of this strategy also argue that filling up all the interview slots with gay and lesbian students is unpatriotic and disrespectful of the men and women who honor us with their military service. First, this argument contains a flawed understanding of the meaning of patriotism. Patriotism does not involve blind devotion to the military and support of every military act and policy. True patriotism involves love of our country and of the principles we hold dear — namely, equality and liberty. Attempting to demonstrate to the military that it should not discriminate is not unpatriotic. Second, the argument that filling the slots with gay students is unpatriotic is itself unpatriotic. It essentially tells gay and lesbian students that they should not attempt to sign up to serve. Again, this argument ignores the fact that many patriotic gay and lesbian students are denied the opportunity to enlist. Gay men and lesbians are thankful that we have a military and are thankful to those who serve. We only wish that we too could join their ranks. By filling up all the interview slots with gay men and lesbians, we can show the military the error of its ways and attempt to create a world where gay people can be patriots too.