An Open Letter From the Coalition to Improve LIPP

Dear Dean Manning,

We, the Coalition to Improve LIPP and the undersigned HLS student groups, are writing to urge you and the financial aid committee to enact changes to the Low Income Protection Plan to enable all Harvard Law School graduates to pursue the careers of their choosing.

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Suzanne Schlossberg is a 3L, and Rachel Sandalow-Ash is a 1L. Suzanne is the Vice President of the Coalition to Improve LIPP, and Rachel is the President.

West Coast, Best Coast

West Coast Best Coast, ‘nough said.

The Texas Club has attempted to wage a rivalry on the West Coast Club through email and social media puffery. Our response: that’s cute.

They are desperately trying to convince students to move to the Lone Star state. After all, Texans are leaving and joining California in droves. But you can see through their propaganda. You didn’t need to be swayed by an ad to come to Harvard Law School, and you don’t need one to move out to the West Coast either. We’re just here to remind you of what the West Coast has to offer.

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Julian Sarafian is a 3L, and Eric Lim and Phil Bildner are 1Ls. They are members of the Harvard West Coast Law Students Association.

David Zwick ’73: Harvard Law’s clean water hero

There is an unfortunately widespread belief among Harvard Law students that young lawyers must wait before they can begin using their newly-acquired lawyering skills to confront the great public problems of our time. “I agree there are problems,” many think. “But who am I to attempt to solve them— and, let alone, solve them now?” 

The life and work of David R. Zwick, who passed away this month, belies this belief.

Zwick, a member of the Harvard Law School class of 1973, did not even wait for graduation! In November 1972, The Record ran a full page story on the then-3L, titled: “Phantom 3L Attacks Pollution, Congress.” The lead reads:

“Author, pollution control advocate and 3L David R. Zwick has taken his time in getting his law degree. Since 1967 when he began his studies at HLS the young pro bono lawyer-to-be has authored two books, directed a national task force investigating water pollution under the auspices of Ralph Nader’s Center for Responsive Law, and completed most of the work toward a degree in public policy in the Kennedy School. The law degree seems anticlimactic.”

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Pete Davis is a civic reformer from Falls Church, Virginia and a member of the Harvard Law School Class of 2018. Email Pete at Pete@CivicIdeas.org. Tweet at Pete at @PeteDDavis.

Dear HLS, Racism Lives Here Too

We ask everyone to donate and support local grassroots organizations working for racial justice in the greater Boston area.

In late 2017, a notable white supremacist group posted recruitment fliers around Stanford Law School (SLS). Last quarter, racist anti-immigrant hate mail was stuffed in a student’s mailbox at SLS. In response, a group of women of color at SLS hung a banner in the law school that read “Racism Lives Here Too.” Racist acts are not surprising or unique to SLS, or even to HLS. The reality is that as law students of color, we know that racism and other -isms live here, too.

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Felipe Hernandez is a 1L.

An Open Letter to Harvard Law Students

Alumni can make an important contribution to students presently enrolled in their alma mater by calling attention to frames of reference often unmentioned or little discussed at Harvard Law School as the curriculum focuses on developing analytic legal skills and discerning legal concepts. Some alumni wish that they were accorded these larger perspectives when they attended Harvard Law School. A brief mention of a few advisories that might enhance your grasp of the meaning of legal education in addition to legal training:

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Ralph Nader was the Green Party candidate for president in 2000 and a former editor-in-chief of the Record.

The Six Credit Shift: Why We Should Lower the Number of Required Upper-level “Law Classroom Credits”

During the HLS admissions process, prospective students are often wooed by information about opportunities like clinics, independent studies with professors, and the ability to cross-register for courses throughout Harvard University. HLS delivers on all counts. However, the current reality is that many students are not able to pursue as many of these opportunities as they would benefit from and be willing to prioritize due to one of HLS’s stricter degree requirements: the upper-level law classroom requirement. This article is about that requirement, why it is problematic, and how it could easily be fixed.

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Mark Satta is a 2L. He is a Record contributor.

Why Fighting for Justice Means Fighting for Professor Mark Wu’s Tenure

There is no doubt in my mind that anybody reading these words is keenly aware that Harvard Law School can be an alienating place. We need look no further than to popular culture to remember that this institution has been plagued by a history of promoting and fostering a toxic environment of cutthroat competition and destructive impulses. Recent events in national news should prompt each one of us to reflect more deeply on the just exercise of power and how to wrest it from those who abuse it.

I’ve observed Professor Mark Wu quite closely during my time as a student. Professor Wu embodies the qualities needed to elevate the standard for leadership necessary to effect positive change at this institution. HLS desperately needs faculty and administrators like Professor Wu—people who work to normalize a model of compassionate leadership to shape future leaders who will graduate from this institution and exert their influence in their respective sectors—as jurists, practitioners, and adherents to the rule of law.

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Ally Chiu is a member of the Harvard Law School Class of 2017.

The Massachusetts Legislature Should Pass Automatic Voter Registration Now

Imagine that registering to vote were actually easy. Imagine that you did not have to navigate an antiquated signup process, remember to update your registration every time you moved, or navigate arbitrary registration deadlines just to exercise a constitutional right. Imagine that you could just show up to your polling place on Election Day and vote.

You might not have to imagine much longer: the Massachusetts legislature could make simpler voting a reality by passing the Automatic Voter Registration (“AVR”) bills currently before both chambers. The state legislature should do so before the committee reporting deadline on February 7th. AVR would not only reduce the headache of registering to vote – it would also add 700,000 people to the voter rolls in Massachusetts alone, and increase voter turnout and the diversity of the electorate in the process.

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Zach Fisch is a 2L.

Walking Out on the Mooch

I’ve had the good fortune of taking the Trial Advocacy Workshop (TAW)  over Jterm. Workshop activities occur in the afternoon. After that, we have dinner with visiting faculty (judges and trial lawyers from around the country). We end the day with an evening trial demonstration put on by visiting faculty.

On Wednesday evening of the final week of class, I trudged through the tunnels from Wasserstein (where we have dinner) to the Ames Courtroom (where evening demonstrations occur). I noticed a man at the front of the room in the “jury” seating whom I hadn’t seen before. He looked out of place because he clearly wasn’t a student, but he was dressed very casually. (The TAW faculty wear business attire.)

Professor Sullivan began the evening’s proceedings, as he had on some other occasions, by talking about various opportunities the workshop can lead to and the varied career paths that TAW graduates go on to have. He made a joke about this including a very brief stint as White House Communications Director. I was confused for a few seconds and then put things together. That out of place man was Anthony Scaramucci. And Anthony Scaramucci was a graduate of TAW.

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Mark Satta is a 2L. He is a Record contributor.

Can Environmentalists Eat Meat?

Among the many internecine conflicts within the environmental community, one that seems particularly relevant as we struggle with our 2018 New Year’s resolutions is whether someone can be a card-carrying environmentalist while continuing to consume meat and other animal products.

Besides arguing against meat consumption from the premise that animals have an inherent right to life, one of the main arguments environmentalists put forth against meat consumption focuses on its connection to climate change. According to this argument, methane emissions involved in meat production are one of the biggest contributions to GHG emissions. If you seriously care about stopping climate change, then you should exercise responsible consumption and stop eating meat. In terms of gratuitous consumption, eating a filet mignon for dinner is equivalent to driving a Hummer to work, and no real environmentalist would do that.

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Tom Wolfe is a 2L.

Meet the Real-Life Justice League

The real-life Justice League. From left to right: Richard Painter, The Honorable Justice Robert Katzmann, Douglas Elmendorf, Lesley Rosenthal, Juan Carlos Botero, and David McCraw.

Move over, Batman. Statman has arrived—and not a moment too soon.

What do Aquaman, Batman, Cyborg, the Flash, Superman, and Wonder Woman all have in common? None can save the world alone. Turns out, the same is true for the rule of law.

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Agathon Fric is an LL.M. candidate.

Take the Power Back: Samantha Power Has No Place at HLS

This past April, Samantha Power ’99, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during the latter part of President Obama’s tenure, was named to a joint appointment at both the Law School and the Kennedy School. The article from Harvard announcing her appointment cites her work in human rights, diplomacy, and international justice as qualifications for the appointment[1], but a critical examination of her record as ambassador reveals a much more sordid history of promoting American imperialism and enabling the very human rights abuses she sought out to prevent.

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John Froggatt is a 3L.

Big Law Harms Society

The purpose of this article is to introduce a new perspective around the discussion about career choices at HLS. Some argue that the school should become more civic-minded and encourage people to go into public service. Others argue that working for a Big Law firm is socially beneficial. Notably missing from this discussion is the idea that working for Big Law harms society.

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Josh Komarovsky is a 3L.