This is the story of two talented, hardworking Harvard Law School 1Ls: Amy and Kara. Both Amy and Kara are going to be working for ten weeks this summer at a large firm in New York City. Both will earn roughly $30,000. For Amy, all her summer post-tax earnings accrue to her as financial gain, while Kara will only keep about $9,000.
The reason for this disparity is because Amy’s parents pay for her tuition and she is not eligible for Harvard Law’s need-based financial aid grants. As such, all of her earnings go to her bank account, and none will be used to offset any financial aid.
However, Kara, who comes from a modest financial background, was eligible for about $30,000 in need-based aid her 1L year, and most of her earnings will be used to offset that financial aid in her 2L year. At first it may seem strange or even counter-intuitive that Amy’s family wealth and Kara’s relative need leads to that outcome.
Here’s how it happens:
Continue reading “HLS’s Student Summer Contribution Policy Disadvantages Poorer Law Students”
I have long wondered what the animal kingdom – mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and insects – would want to tell us humans if we and the animals had a common language?
Well, in a book I recently wrote, Animal Envy, a “Human Genius” invents a digital translation application whereby animals can speak with each other across species and also speak one way to humans so they learn to listen. The response by “subhumans” was so overwhelming that the Human Genius reserved 100 hours of global TV time for the denizens of the natural world to tell their stories before mesmerized billions of humans all over the Earth.
An Elephant, Owl and Dolphin – sensing the need for some sort of production order and fair play – called themselves The Triad and convened the Great Talkout. Driven by the complexity of raising their young and surviving generation after generation, the animals, led by the wisdom of The Triad, developed a strategy born out of their keen sense of observing the human animal whom they internally called The King of Beasts.
Continue reading “Animals to Humans—Listen, Learn and Respect!”
At the start of Week 4’s episode, Corinne asks the camera, “Why are [the other girls] so obsessed with me?” At first, it sounds like the smug redirection of an attention-seeker who’s been called out for her nonsense. But as the episode progresses, it becomes clear that Corinne kind of has a point.
Just as last week ended with Corinne drama, so does this week begin with Corinne drama. After straddling Nick in a bouncy castle, Corinne goes upstairs and passes out in bed with a creepy Joker smile on her face. Sarah and Taylor take it upon themselves to call her out, telling Corinne that she is acting entitled and privileged (I can’t provide a direct quotation because I was eating pizza at the time and my notes are incoherent. I refuse to apologize for that).
Continue reading “Record Review: The Bachelor Week 4″
The good news is HLS students want them, but the bad news is we’re trapped in a bubble
Everyone is talking about how we university students talk. The nation seems to have convened a public forum to debate our debates. From courtrooms, to newspapers, to podcasts, to research reports – the state of speech on campuses is firmly on the agenda, and we are not receiving a glowing review. Our “political correctness” has apparently infuriated a nation.
Late last year during oral argument at the Supreme Court, Justice Alito enlisted a hypothetical college student to test the limits of concern over jury bias. “Let’s consider the standard that now applies on a lot of college campuses as to statements that are considered by some people to be racist,” he said. “What would happen if one of the jurors has the sensibility of a lot of current college students?” It seems unlikely that the fabled “reasonable man” was simply taking a sabbatical and was unavailable to feature in Justice Alito’s analogy – the Justice was making a point about our sensibilities. And he was doing so in language that just assumed everyone knew what he was talking about. A few days after the Presidential election, Alito again decried the “new orthodoxy” that prevails relating to speech campuses around the country. This “orthodoxy” has itself become a sort of stereotype in the national debate – rarely explained, the way campuses are invoked in these conversations conjures up images of oases populated by highly sensitive hipsters who don’t have time for confronting debate between picking up their dairy-free kale-infused chai lattes and their compliment-only freestyle poetry clubs. So how do HLS students stack up?
Continue reading “It’s Time For Some Tough Conversations”
Editor’s note: 30 years ago today, The Record printed this excerpt from a speech delivered by Abner J. Mikva to the D.C. Bar Annual Meeting in 1985. Chief Judge Mikva served on the United States Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit, first in Seat 11 and then as Chief Judge. Merrick Garland would eventually replace him in both seats. Chief Judge Mikva passed away last year.
In 1979 I was called by the Attorney General to tell me that President Carter was going to nominate me for one of the new judgeships on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. I remember wondering what the President’s timetable was, and how long it would be before I moved to my new offices down the street. What naivete!
Continue reading “Record Retrospective: Senate Should Not Subject Judicial Nominees to Simplistic Political Litmus Tests”
I ride the train to work every day. I’ve always heard that this train is an awful way to travel. But the traffic is so bad. 25 minutes on the train compared to 90 minutes in traffic. How bad could it be? When I tell people I commute on the train, they say “Wow,” or “I’m sorry,” or “And you survived!” I understand now.
Continue reading “J-Term Diary: Commuting in the Philippines”
For many reasons, 2007 was not a particularly good year for me. As I was a teenage boy then, most of these reasons involved teenage girls, one in particular. However, another reason that 2007 was lame was because that year marked the end of the original run of Gilmore Girls.
Thankfully, Netflix has brought back Lorelai, Rory, Emily, and all the rest of Gilmore Girls in the four-part mini-series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. In total, there’s six hours of fast-talkin’, pop-culture referencin’, Stars Hollowin’ goodness.
Look, if you’re reading this and you loved Gilmore Girls, you should absolutely watch A Year in the Life. In fact, you’ve probably watched it already. Write in with your thoughts.
Continue reading “Record Review: Gilmore Girls Revival Surprises, Delights”
The battle-cry of the American Revolution: “give me liberty or give me death!” Reflecting upon my first year living in America and upon what I have learned in criminal law, I find it hard to believe that Americans truly value liberty. What I see is the human spirit crushed under the yoke of an overly oppressive criminal justice system. I fail to understand how to logically reconcile over-criminalization and mass incarceration with the famous American love of freedom.
The rhetoric justifying this draconian criminal system does not help. Classmates speak of deterrence and signals – which is simply a way to sugar coat what is truly happening: we are scaring people into submission. But is this the sort of human we wish to foster? A being whose conduct does not flow from virtue but from fear. This is our vision of humanity’s highest form or greatest potential? Do we want a society of craven and vindictive worms that curl up lest they get stepped on? The idea that we must design our society according to such a vision reveals a troubling pessimism regarding human nature and a profound lack of ambition regarding the possibilities for society.
And this is all for the laudable (and supposedly necessary) goal of self-preservation. But the emphasis on preserving society neglects the more important antecedent question: is it the sort of society that is worth preserving? What if the methods through which our society ensures its survival creates the sort of society that is undeserving of survival?
Continue reading “The Blood Price”
A few days ago, I spoke to a Harvard Law alumnus, inter alia, about the recent presidential election. The alumnus had supported Barack Obama, worked as a plaintiff-side civil rights litigator, and also happens to be black. Ordinarily, he votes Democratic. Yet this year, he voted for Donald Trump.
There are many people to blame for Trump’s victory. But one among the blameworthy is you, dear reader. The Democrat. The liberal who’s too cool to be a Democrat. The leftist who’s too cool to be a liberal. When the American Left has lost a black Harvard-Law-educated civil rights attorney to Donald Trump, it has done something very, very wrong.
Continue reading “Whom to Blame For Trump? You”
- The Republican establishment since 1960
- The media
- James Comey
- Minorities who voted for Trump
- Democrats/liberals who didn’t vote
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Jill Stein voters
- Whites who voted for Trump
- Liberals who couldn’t stop labeling every Trump voter and/or white person a racist
- Liberals who didn’t call out the people in group 9
*The ordering is somewhat arbitrary, but I do mean to say that I saw each of these individuals/groups as but-for causes of Trump’s victory.
 A friend of mine would have replaced 4. with “Women who voted for Trump” (and I imagine 8. with “Men who voted for Trump”). I suppose that exposes our respective biases.
Dear Heather Mac Donald,
In September, you came to Harvard Law School on the invitation of The Federalist Society to discuss the findings of your new book, The War on Cops. Because the audience was left with a negligible amount of time to engage, I wanted to take this time to respond.
Your credentials are very impressive, and you came equipped with a significant amount of data in support of a narrative that there is currently a “War on Cops.” However, I wonder if you have ever read these words from Martin Luther King Jr. in his famous letter written from Birmingham Jail:
Continue reading “Dear Heather Mac Donald”
Harvard Law School has a proud history of being at the forefront of progressive tort law. Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw, who studied law at Harvard College, authored the landmark decision of Brown v. Kendall in 1850, the first judicial opinion to recognize negligence.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. studied law at Harvard at a time when tort law was an incoherent ragbag of miscellaneous wrongs still shaped by the writ of trespass. Holmes’ 1873 book, The Theory of Torts, revolutionized tort law by breaking civil wrongs into the triad of negligence, strict liability, and intentional torts. This division is now taught in every law school in the country.
Continue reading “Rebooting Cybertorts For The Internet of Things”
Like an exclamation point to his entire campaign, Donald Trump appointed Steve Bannon – a man who, at the very least, has perpetuated anti-Semitism – to be his chief strategist. A message that so many Jewish children in the United States grew up with now rings truer than ever. That message? Don’t get too comfortable.
It is something our parents tell us again and again – you are accepted now, but you never know what tomorrow holds. We are raised on stories of neighbors who turned against our grandparents, of friends who looked away, and a government that did the unthinkable. For Jewish people who can pass as ‘white,’ these stories make us hyper-aware that whiteness granted can be revoked at any time, and that control of that decision always belongs to someone else. Continue reading “We Remember”
Although many of us on the left viewed the 2016 election as a referendum on Donald Trump, the exit polls indicate that voters’ views on Hillary Clinton, not Trump, were a more decisive factor in the final tally. Clinton voters were significantly more likely to vote out of enthusiasm for the former Secretary of State, while Trump voters were primarily voting out of dislike for other options. In other words, while bigotry, sexism and downright disgusting behavior undoubtedly played a significant role in the 2016 presidential contest, there was a consequential portion of voters for whom the election was a referendum on what the Democratic Party represents to them.
To many voters Clinton, Obama, and our other Democratic leaders represent public institutions—institutions that HLS holds a unique responsibility towards. The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government are largely a manifestation of our legal system. The nation’s highest ranked law schools, like HLS, are idolized in the legal profession and have a large role in defining the norms in that legal system. Indeed, an overwhelming proportion of our Democratic leadership graduated from these very schools. In this light, there is a lens through which the election can be viewed as a referendum on HLS itself. Continue reading “How We Can View The Election as a Referendum on HLS”