Contra Shapiro, We Can Reject Trump’s Status Quo

A couple weeks ago, a BBC interview went viral in which conservative commentator and Harvard Law alum, Ben Shapiro, cut his interview short, telling his interviewer, Andrew Neil, that “I’m popular and no one’s heard of you.” Shapiro later walked back his position on Twitter, admitting he wasn’t properly prepared for the interview.

The interview lasted for roughly sixteen minutes, and prior to the juicier moments making headlines, Neil and Shapiro engaged in some substantive discussion. While Shapiro’s early exit from the interview made for good clickbait, I’m far more concerned with a stance on President Trump that Shapiro put forward during the interview.

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Women’s Work, Women’s Grade Gap

On Tuesday, Harvard hosted “Harvard Hears You: The 2019 Summit for Gender Equity,” a University-wide event sponsored by the Title IX Office and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. The Summit’s organizers hoped the event would address pressing questions about gender equity at Harvard. Ostensibly, this was an important step in what must be a long-term school-wide reckoning with gender justice.

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Questions for Admitted Students to Ask Dean Manning

As current students, there are many things we wish we had known before enrolling at Harvard Law School. As members of the Labor and Employment Action Project and the Harvard Graduate Student Union, we have been fighting since we arrived on this campus for our right to form a union, better conditions for student workers, and real protections against harassment and discrimination. We asked our fellow activists with official and unofficial student groups, including the Financial Justice Coalition (FJC), Affinity Group Coalition (AGC), Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign (HPDC), and Pipeline Parity Project (PPP), what they wished they knew as well.

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Mythbusters: Top Five Myths About Prison Divestment

The pressure on Harvard to divest from the prison-industrial complex is heating up and the debate is raging on campus. As organizers with the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign, we caught wind of some misinformation circulating around campus about the campaign, the endowment, and divestment. We figured now was a perfect time to clear up this misinformation and do some mythbusting. So without further ado, here are your top five myths about prison divestment.

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An Open Letter to the Harvard Law Forum

February 27, 2019

Martin Drake
Harvard Law School Forum
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

Dear President Drake:

You are an honorable man. Board Members of the Harvard Law School Forum are honorable. That explains my chagrin at the surprise O Henry ending to my invitation to address the Forum about limitless executive power on March 1, 2019.

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Fighting Fake News: A Mini Law Student Memoir from Two Days in the Trenches

I got sucked into debunking a fake news story. I spent two days tracking its spread and responding to the lies. Here’s the story of what happened and what I learned.

Last week an acquaintance on Facebook posted a screenshot of a headline which read “CA Democrats Introduce LGBTQ Bill that would Protect Pedophiles who Rape Children.” He captioned his post “truth or fiction? #horrifying if true.”

This social media move was a paradigmatic example of lazy yet insidious partisan pot-stirring. By posting a screenshot of the headline rather than a link to the article itself, the poster put the burden on the audience to figure out what the hell was going on. He also increased the likelihood that others would believe the headline by failing to provide the most convenient method for additional assessment (clicking on the article). And by writing a banal question and hypothetical “if” claim, the poster likely sought to distance himself for any flak if the headline turned out to be false or misleading. (Spoiler alert: the headline was false and misleading.)

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Meet the Candidates for Student Government, 2019-2020

We conducted interviews with candidates who will be up for positions in Student Government. Voting takes place today and tomorrow, March 11 and 12.

Here is where to find these interviews:

Princess Daisy Akita and Daniel Egel-Weiss: Candidates for Co-President
Jake Weiner and Parisa Sadeghi: Candidates for Co-President
Sarah Rutherford, David Shea, and William “Billy” Wright: Candidates for Director of Student Organizations and Journals
Hannah Dawson and Nicholas James Pellow: Candidates for 3L Representative
Micah Burbanks-Ivey, Noelle Graham, Josh Martin, and Daniel Sieradzki: Candidates for 2L Representative

10-Day Phone Challenge for 3Ls

Excessive use of cell phones, largely due to social media and addictive news alerts, makes it harder to think critically, to practice self-care, and to be creative. My plea to my fellow graduates this semester is this: quit refreshing your phone and start refreshing yourself.

This semester before graduation is a great time to experiment with what exactly these blinking devices mean to you. Did you know that pulling down to refresh a feed has the same addictive effect as playing a slot machine? [1] You already have an instinctive sense of the impact your phone has on your life. After graduation, you will be on call for work nearly 24/7. Now is the time to better your relationship with your phone.

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An Open Letter on the Public Interest Scavenger Hunt

Dear Harvard Law School Community,

With the new semester underway, we are excited to announce the return of a great Harvard Law School tradition: The Public Interest Scavenger Hunt is back, and will be taking place on Friday, March 8th, 2019!

As the 3L class knows, this tradition was born with us, when we were 1Ls. And as the Hunt’s inaugural class prepares to graduate, we are redoubling the event’s commitment and connection to its core mission: promoting and supporting the Public Interest Community here at HLS. Toward that end, we are excited to announce that this year we are uniting the Hunt with another great Harvard Law School tradition: The One Day’s Work Pledge.

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An Open Letter on the Clerkship Hiring Pilot, Signed by 38 Student Groups

February 4, 2019

We, a collection of student-led organizations at Harvard Law School, are writing to affirm our strong support for Harvard’s participation in the Clerkship Hiring Pilot that will span the next two years. We also write to reinforce our commitment to encourage our respective memberships to adhere to the requirements put forward in the plan.

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For Law Students, a De Minimis Pay Raise

On January 1 of this year, student workers at Harvard Law School got our first raise in over a decade, from $11.50 to $12.00 an hour.  Our meager fifty cent raise wasn’t the result of Harvard’s sudden generosity—rather, it’s because the Massachusetts Legislature increased the state’s minimum wage.

It had been so long—at least eleven years!—since Harvard Law raised pay for research assistants and teaching fellows that the state minimum wage has now surpassed what we were making. In real terms, that means our wages have declined due to inflation. In the same amount of time, tuition has skyrocketed 57%, from $40,751 in 2008 to $63,800 in 2019. Yet none of that money is being returned to the students whose work keeps the school running, and our pay is far from a living wage.

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A Royal Disaster: A Record Review of A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding

When does a bad movie become “so bad, it’s good?” A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding does not give a definitive answer to that question, and frankly, it does not even attempt to give an answer. Royal Wedding is a plainly bad movie.

Royal Wedding, of course, is the sequel to A Christmas Prince, one of Netflix’s forays into the made-for-television streaming Christmas movie genre that this newspaper reviewed last year.

Yet despite hitting a lot of the same tropes as its predecessor, both substantive (e.g., disabled child, sartorial subplot, stilted dialogue) and superficial (stupid establishing shots, excessive backlighting, cheap sound effects, distracting scene transitions), Royal Wedding manages to be, in fact, a much worse movie.

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Ten Student Organizations Call for Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

We, the undersigned organizations, are a coalition of affinity groups at Harvard Law School representing hundreds of students, millions of dollars, and countless hours of physical, intellectual, and emotional labor. While our specific organizations vary in membership, programming, and mission, we share a unified purpose: to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity. This purpose mandates we take action to change the status quo.

We call on Dean Manning to establish a Harvard Law School Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (“Committee”) charged with designing an Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (“Office”); tracking implementation and progress on the Office; and monitoring the wellbeing of students until one year after the operation of the Office.

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Dean Manning Unresponsive and Deceptive in Crucial Debate Over the Law School’s Mission

Despite pitching “vigorous, lively discussion” at Harvard Law as his top priority, Dean Manning has repeatedly refused to engage with the ongoing debate over Harvard Law’s contribution to what some alumni are calling “the crisis of legal inequality.”

Last year, the Harvard Law Record’s Pete Davis published a book-length report entitled Our Bicentennial Crisis: A Call to Action for Harvard Law’s Public Interest Mission, which documented Harvard’s failure to address the mass exclusion from legal power for the average American in the criminal justice, civil justice and political systems. The report included several reform proposals through which HLS could potentially remedy its role in this legal crisis.

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