Dear Community: Condemn Intent Behind Stickers

Dear Community,

On the evening of October 31, stickers with the words, “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE,” were posted around the entrance of WCC. Similar stickers appeared around Cambridge and other parts of the United States and Canada. According to an online forum, the stickers were intended to convey a “harmless” message that would leave “the media & leftists frothing at the mouth” and turn public opinion against them.

Continue reading “Dear Community: Condemn Intent Behind Stickers”

This letter was written by the following individuals, listed by their organizational affiliation: David A. Azcárraga '18, La Alianza; Amanda Chan '18, Affinity Group Coalition; Leilani Doktor '19, Native American Law Students Association; Elizabeth Gyori '19, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association; Peter Im '18, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association; Milo Inglehart '19, Lambda; Gideon Palte '18, Jewish Law Students Association; and Thaya Uthayophas, HLS Advocates for Human Rights.

Care About Justice? Don’t Use Barbri

After Trump was elected president, there was a sudden flurry of political interest: yesterday’s apathetic suddenly discovered the (tiny) activist within themselves and started wondering how they can contribute and fight back against Trump and what he stands for.

The answer, for many, was to go into corporate law and help enrich and empower the forces that created Trumpism in the first place.

Continue reading “Care About Justice? Don’t Use Barbri”

Josh Komarovsky is a 3L.

Solved! — A Tool for Today’s Experiential Legal Education?

(Bordwin ’55 recently published Solved!, a book about how a business lawyer can solve clients’ problems “strategically — with creativity and imagination.” Below are his reflections on the book)

This is the saga of a business lawyer who, after decades of practice, learned that he’d gained a reputation as a problem-solver and now, at age 86, has written a book of 40 Tales describing how he solved the most vexing problems clients threw at him over a 60-year career.  Early manuscript readers told me they enjoyed reading these stories, but the lawyers who read the MS all had the same reaction:  “This is a must for law students and young lawyers.”  And this from a U.S. Senator; a Federal Appeals Court Judge; law school professors; a law school dean; and a large-firm corporate lawyer.  I asked law professors for clarification.  They told me that these Tales of my experiences fit into today’s law schools’ movement toward “experiential legal education.”  I had to find out what that was all about.

Turns out that my annual judging Ames Competition cases and participating in the HLS Problem Solving Workshop Program were a small part of this experiential education movement; today’s curriculum at HLS (always a leader!) includes Dispute-Resolution; Drafting; Negotiation; Clinical Work and more; and this experiential education direction is now mandated by the ABA as a condition of a law school’s accreditation.  Since my lawyer readers were unanimous that SOLVED! is an educational tool that will help law students transition into practice, I had to understand the “why” and “how” of this relation, if any, between my Tales and legal education today.  More precisely, the questions are:  “What are law-teachers’ goals?  Can my experiences as related in the Tales help in achieving those goals?  And if so, how?” Continue reading Solved! — A Tool for Today’s Experiential Legal Education?”

About Those (Not So) Free Bar Expenses…

Just about now, the bar prep companies are starting to market to 3Ls. If there’s one big winner in this game, it’s Barbri. Everyone uses Barbri! When those scores come around in October, you certainly don’t want to be the one who shuts up when all your law firm colleagues are smiling away. So why not just go with the tried and true and play it safe? The firm’s paying and it’s free, right? Wrong.

Continue reading “About Those (Not So) Free Bar Expenses…”

Joseph Gerstel is a 2017 graduate of Harvard Law School. He is working in tax law as a law clerk in a law firm.

Our Bicentennial Crisis: A Call to Action for Harvard Law School’s Public Interest Mission

This week, Harvard Law School has invited alumni back to campus to celebrate the 200th anniversary of our school’s founding.

But a bicentennial is not just a time for celebration of the past — it is also a time to confront the present and plan the future.  As we celebrate, many students are concerned: about our school being overtaken by corporate interests and losing relevance to the average American; about a watchdog of the law being largely asleep as the institutions of the rule of law and equal justice under law are under siege; and of a school community that has lost track of its declared mission to “educate leaders who contribute to the advancement of justice and the well-being of society.”  

To surface these concerns, I have compiled a report on Harvard Law School’s public interest mission — Our Bicentennial Crisis: A Call to Action for Harvard Law School’s Public Interest Mission — that is being released today to coincide with our school’s bicentennial celebration.  The report aims to document: first, the crisis of mass exclusion from legal power for the average American (in the criminal justice, civil justice and political systems); second, Harvard Law’s failure to address this crisis, and the inaccurate excuses our community tends to give for not addressing it; third, what accounts for this civic deficit; and fourth, twelve reform proposals that aim to help us better live up to our mission.  An electronic copy of the report can be downloaded here. To request a hard copy, email PeDavis@jd18.law.harvard.edu.

Between the 1970s and 1990s, a flurry of critical works — including Duncan Kennedy’s “Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy,” Joel Seligman’s The High Citadel: The Influence of Harvard Law School, Richard Kahlenberg’s Broken Contract, Scott Turow’s famed One L, and Lani Guinier’s writings on legal education and profession — helped set Harvard Law School on a course from the hidebound, lily-white, cutthroat school of The Paper Chase to the more diverse, pluralist and genial school it is today.

I hope for this report to have a similar motivating impact, inspiring the community to transition from a school community where four out of five graduates deploy their legal educations to advance the legal interests of a wealthy and powerful few to one where a majority of students use their education to serve the interests of the vast, underserved public.

Continue reading “Our Bicentennial Crisis: A Call to Action for Harvard Law School’s Public Interest Mission”

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.

Why Harvard Law School Matters: A New Critique

As Harvard Law School celebrates its 200th anniversary with two days on October 26 and 27 of events attended by hundreds of alumni, some law students, led by Pete Davis (’18), are inviting the Law School to engage in extra-ordinary introspection as it looks toward its Third Century.

Mr. Davis, after two years of observation, participation, conversation and research, has produced a major report titled Our Bicentennial Crisis: A Call to Action for Harvard Law School’s Public Interest Mission. Over the past sixty years, many of the beneficial changes at the law school were jolted, driven or demanded by a small number of organized students calling for clinical education, for women and minorities to be admitted as students and faculty, for more affordability, for more realism in their legal education and for more intellectual diversity among the professors (The critical legal studies scholars obliged them up to a point). Over time, the law school administration, with faculty persuasion, responded.

The bicentennial report by Pete Davis asks important questions about the law writ large square in the context of the law school’s long declared mission statement: “to educate leaders who contribute to the advancement of justice and the well-being of society.” Continue reading “Why Harvard Law School Matters: A New Critique”

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

Title IX: An Investigation

The Record serves the community in part through investigating the goings-on at Harvard Law School. As part of the #MeToo movement, we are soliciting stories, information, and anything else pertaining to Title IX proceedings on campus. If you would like to share any of those things with us, don’t hesitate to send us an e-mail. The law school community benefits from the truth, and that is why we still print.

Name:

Email:

Title:

Letter to the Editor:

Harvard’s Contracts Courses Ignore the Most Important Parts Of Contract Law Today: The End of Freedom of Contract and the Erosion of Tort Law

Our contracts courses are based on mythology. The Book Of Genesis for contracts goes a little something like this: 

“In the beginning, humans made deals with one another. When there is a true ‘meeting of the minds,’ humans shake hands, and the courts enforce that as a binding contract. Contracts make both parties better off by allocating goods efficiently between the two parties, thereby creating value. If John has 5 bushels of wheat, and Jane has 5 gallons of milk, each has too much wheat  or milk to consume by themselves, respectively. John contracts for some of Jane’s milk, Jane contracts for some of John’s wheat, and thereby the excess of wheat and milk is no longer excess, by utilized to its fullest extent. Voila, value is created.”

It’s a nice story. Unfortunately, this mythology little resembles contracts today. The overwhelming majority of today’s contracting looks a bit different: Continue reading “Harvard’s Contracts Courses Ignore the Most Important Parts Of Contract Law Today: The End of Freedom of Contract and the Erosion of Tort Law”

Our Professors Shouldn’t Engage In McCarthyism

Professor Cass Sunstein engaged in a blatant display of McCarthyism in his op-ed for Bloomberg View this week, in which he accused politicians to both the left and the right of him of Marxism.

Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are using Marxist strategies, he argued, because their rhetoric “heightens the contradictions,” a quote directly from (dun dun dun) MARX!

Of course, when Marx talked about “heightening the contradictions” he meant that the contradictions inherent in capitalism must worsen in order to provoke the working class to rise up in revolt. In his view, small reforms that blunt the edge of capitalism would only prolong its existence. Continue reading “Our Professors Shouldn’t Engage In McCarthyism”

What to See at HLS in the World

Our alumni readership keeps asking how we’re covering the bicentennial. That is to say, you should all attend HLS in the World on October 27th, because despite the fact that Harvard Law is basically a corporate professional school at this point, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have a modicum of intellectual curiosity, and neither would you. Plus, these talks are great!

But, of course, a lot of the talks are full now. You thought you were going to get into the talk on Marbury v. Madison with Susan Davies, Merrick Garland ’77, Kathleen Sullivan ’81, and Larry Tribe ’66 if you’re just now reading this article? LOL.

Here are my recommendations, so don’t say we didn’t tell you this was happening! Register here after you check out our previews.

Continue reading “What to See at HLS in the World”

Kate Thoreson is a 2L. She is the deputy editor-in-chief of The Harvard Law Record.

A Call to Defend DACA

As law students, we have spent long hours studying the breadth of power granted to our government by the Constitution. As progressives, we believe that power ought to be harnessed to advance the dignity of all people. As Americans, we were outraged when the Trump Administration instead announced that it would use this power to destroy the lives of our classmates, our neighbors, and our friends.  It is yet another step in this government’s swift descent into cruelty, divisiveness, and nativism.

Continue reading “A Call to Defend DACA”

Jacob Glick is the Vice President of HLS Dems. He submitted this letter on the behalf of its Executive Board.

The Threat of Big Data Surveillance

You are being tracked by the digital clues you leave behind. On campus, every computer-log in, tweet, or electronic ID card potentially identifies your location. Outside school, depending on where you live, your car is tagged by automatic license plate readers, your face by surveillance cameras, and your social media posts captured by those wishing to monitor your activities. If you carry a smartphone, computer, or tablet, your digital life is being revealed to third party companies and the government entities that lawfully request that private information. These digital trails will only increase as the Internet of Things begins turning ordinary objects into data-rich sources of surveillance. In short, citizens (especially young, digitally savvy citizens) are creating a web of self-surveillance that offers convenience and social control in equal measure.

Continue reading “The Threat of Big Data Surveillance”

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson is a Professor of Law at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law.

NALSA Indigenous Peoples’ Day Statement

The Native American Law Students Association at Harvard Law School calls upon Harvard University to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day as the official school holiday on the second Monday in October. In continuing to celebrate Columbus Day, Harvard University disregards the student body’s strong support of this measure by not taking any action to catalyze this change.

Continue reading “NALSA Indigenous Peoples’ Day Statement”

Leilani Doktor and Chris Childers are 2Ls. They are the co-presidents of NALSA.

People Kill People

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

In the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook, in which 27 people were murdered by Adam Lanza with firearms, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill to bring back the federal assault weapons ban. Sixty senators voted against it.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

Continue reading “People Kill People”

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