1L Expirence: One-Ls wearing suits


The invasion of the suits finally spread to the 1Ls last week, at least to my section. But it wasn’t overeager students flagrantly violating the ban on summer job searching until December 1. No, that will have to wait for next week. It was just for yearbook photos. And for our section’s reception with Dean Clark.

First, the yearbook photos. I’m not sure if that was really a legitimate reason to wear a suit. They suggested we wear “business attire.” But doesn’t that depend on what business you’re in? What if you’re a lifeguard? A clown? An underwear model? I think it’s a bit of a stretch to assume that “business attire” means you have to wear a suit. It’s presumptuous. What if I can’t get any of the jobs that require suits and I’m stuck wearing a paper hat and apron? Then assuming that suit and tie as “business attire” will make me feel awfully silly. But I’ll excuse the people who simply wanted to look spiffy for their yearbook photo. After all, yearbook photos are permanent.

Harder to excuse are the people wearing suits for our section’s reception with Dean Clark. Right before our reception, we had our OCS/OPIA orientation session, which I suppose was an even worse occasion to wear a suit (just barely above “rehearsing for my funeral” as far as reasons to wear a suit are concerned).

The orientation presented us with a number of graphs about career prospects for graduates. The first showed the number of graduates who go to firms compared with the number who do other things, like clerkships, public interest work, joining the space program, getting struck by lightning, and turning into a chimpanzee (the last six of which all appear to have about an equal chance). It looked like a graph comparing the Harvard endowment with the amount of change in various students’ pockets. The bar indicating the percent who went to firms barely fit on the screen. The other bars looked like someone had squashed them. The only way it could have looked more uneven is if they’d used a logarithmic scale. The second graph showed the percent of graduates who get jobs as compared with the national average. Guess what that looked like.

Anyway, after the exciting career orientation, it was off to the Clark reception, with the people in suits. This was unnecessary for a few reasons. First, they said there’d be food. My policy is, anywhere where there’s food is a dangerous place to wear my one suit (actually it’s not even really a suit — I have a jacket and a pair of pants that come oh-so-close to matching. Barely visible to the naked eye. Almost can’t tell one piece is navy blue and the other is black. Almost. Goes great with my olive green only-pair-of-dress-socks and my brown shoes). So easy to get it dirty, and then what? Plus, what could the consequences possibly be of not wearing a suit? Would Clark kick us out of school? Erase our entries from the log we had to sign to get our ID cards? Ensure we get a “low pass” in FYL?

And, frankly, the reception wasn’t really worth a suit. Maybe a polo shirt and a pair of khakis, but definitely not a suit. I’ll admit, the food was a much-appreciated step up from the goldfish and assorted crackers at the All-Law School Party (does Harvard own stock in Pepperidge Farm?). There were miniature spinach pies, fried wontons, little triangles of toast, assorted fruit and other finger foods that, in large enough quantities, made for a filling and nutritious dinner, especially if you brought a Ziploc bag and loaded up on the chicken on a stick. There were also some assorted flavors of what more sophisticated members of my section told me was paté. It looked kind of like slabs of clay to me, so I’m not totally sure. Tasted like clay too. (And three slices was just about enough to sculpt a lovely model of Langdell, complete with columns. Too bad they cleared away my plate before I could save it.)

The highlight of the reception was when Clark told us of the accomplishments of people in our section: “…a Fulbright scholar, a Truman scholar, two people with an allergy to peanuts, one student who still wets the bed, three hypochondriacs, one convicted felon, four transvestites and a former stunt double for Barney the dinosaur.” Now there’s one person whose “business attire” most certainly wasn’t a three-piece suit.

Congressmen to CEOs: HLS’ LL.M class


Lewis International Center.
LL.M. Candidates board in Lewis Center.

You could learn a lot from an LL.M.

Though every year’s J.D. class features its own cast of superstars, students often forget that the students enrolled in the Master of Laws (or LL.M., as it is commonly known) program bring to the table an even more diverse set of accomplishments. Because LL.M. students already have law degrees, usually from foreign countries, their experiences are as varied as the globe is broad, with many coming from the upper echelons of their respective government, business and legal communities.

This year’s class of 142 students hails from 58 countries, with backgrounds ranging from professors, judges, politicians and national Supreme Court clerks to CEOs and a former police corporal. The most represented country is Japan, with 10 students, while most other countries have between one and three student representatives. Below, The RECORD profiles a few of the many students that make up this year’s LL.M. class.

Ivo Keltner, from the Czech Republic, spent two years as the youngest lawyer at the Czech Securities Commission, where he began working while a law student. He then joined the restructuring team of a major Czech bank, where he was in charge of untangling one of the largest bankruptcies in Czech history. Keltner currently sits on the board of directors of seven corporations, including the biggest Czech foreign investment corporation to date. He also spent a year in the army and still holds the rank of First Lieutenant in the Czech Republic’s Reserve Army.

Keltner says he came to HLS because, “if you want to do anything all around the world you have to have at least some knowledge of US legislation and standards.” So far he is enjoying the Harvard Law School experience, which differs from the Czech Republic, where “professors don’t use the Socratic method, and our exams are 99 percent oral — I can barely remember a written exam.”

Nadia Hadjdova, of Bulgaria, finished a Masters of Law at Oxford after winning a full scholarship. She then joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Never having worked in English before, Hadjdova is proud that she learned to cope in an entirely new environment and had the opportunity to work on many complex international matters, including the restructuring of a colossal Russian corporation that “produced everything from trucks to tanks.”

At HLS, Hadjdova has been most surprised at the instructions given to women in preparation for recruiting. “In Bulgaria, it is not appropriate for women to be dressed like men. Women wear colorful clothes, trouser suits, scarves, jewelry and silk. The concept of a business suit is foreign to me. But here, you have to wear all black or blue. It seems you have to project the image of a spinster.”

Pieter Leenknegt, from Belgium, already has four degrees under his belt, and says he came to HLS “purely for fun.” Leenknegt already has an LL.M. from the prestigious College of Europe and an art history degree with a thesis on equestrian statues of Franco. Leenknegt has also been an “external collaborator” for the International Labor Organization, a representative of Belgium at the World Trade Organization and in charge of appeals at the German Forced Labour Compensation Program in Switzerland.

“I had to more or less determine the criteria under which we’d grant an appeal,” Leenknegt said. He said he was disturbed that, “farmers found it apparently quite acceptable to have laborers from Eastern Europe working for them without compensation and sometimes in sordid conditions.”

At HLS, Leenknegt says he has become more aware of differences between Europeans and Americans. “Americans should amend the Constitution, which has built-in immobilities from the eighteenth century, but that’s taboo. It’s perverted that the government has to rephrase the right to environment or traffic safety in terms of commerce.”

Shervin Majlessi, from Iran, comes to HLS from Canada’s McGill University, where he was writing a doctoral thesis on private and public participation in the World Trade Organization. He finds it impossible to compare HLS and his law school in Iran.

“At the time I left, law school was the most conservative of all the schools except for the divinity school. The way you dressed was regulated, you were reprimanded for wearing blue jeans, and you couldn’t wear a tie because it was a Western symbol.” Yet he said the school was intellectually challenging: “I watched people change within four years. They’d come as a fanatic with fixed ideas and come out a totally different person after sitting though a constitutional law course with a very good professor.”

Majlessi feels a pull towards public policy and politics, but still holds back. “I grew up with fear — lead your life, keep quiet, try to survive — because any way of life that differentiates is a no-no, you’ll get yourself killed. I’ve seen many unfortunate examples of people who lost their lives or spent years in jail without being that important.”

Lucia La Rosa-Ames, from Italy, says she met her first Protestant when she joined the U.S. Trial Service Office as a Foreign Criminal Jurisdiction Specialist. “I really loved that job,” she said. “There are 15,000 American military people in the south of Italy, and the implementation of the Status of Forces Agreement raises a lot of legal issues. My main duty was to defend the interests of the U.S. when a member of the foreign forces was involved in a crime and Italy wanted jurisdiction.”

La Rosa-Ames was also impressed with the integrity of the U.S. Navy: “As a woman in a position of leadership, you are always on the defensive because you have to overcome discrimination, but there I really felt that it didn’t matter that you were a woman or man.” La Rosa-Ames came to HLS because, “in order to go forward with your career, you have to keep coming back to study. I need to know better the American system and way of reasoning, because the way in which you face legal problems is different.” La Rosa-Ames says her dream is to work in public service within the U.S.

Birgir Ragnarsson, of Iceland, found himself bored during his final two years of a five-year law degree. After graduation, he was catapulted to political prestige as legal adviser to the Minister of Industry and Commerce, then to senior attorney at the Icelandic equivalent of the SEC. Ragnarsson was then asked by the Minister of Commerce to draft a legislative bill on electronic signatures, and Ragnarsson’s bill became Icelandic law in 2001.

Since then, Ragnarsson has started a company that issues digital ID cards: “It was founded in the upswing of high tech, and we had very high expectations of growth. It’s different now, but we’re doing well because people always need security, and all the banks are our customers. We eventually want to move into the government sector.”

Asked why he came to HLS, Ragnarrson jokes, “Vanity — the reputation of schools in the States is that they’re the best schools in the world — and the name Harvard.” His role as managing director of a growing company did not stop him from coming: “You always get so involved in what you’re doing, you will never get more time. You just have to do it.”

Senator Boxer defends vote on Iraq resolution


On Monday afternoon, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), spoke to a crowd of about 200 Harvard Law students on issues ranging from terrorism to the Green Party to the fight between Republicans and Democrats over confirmation of President Bush’s judicial nominees. The speech was the HLS Democrats’ first major event of the year.

Much of Boxer’s time was spent discussing the recent resolution authorizing the President to use force in Iraq if the nation refuses to comply with U.N. weapons inspections. Boxer was among the minority voting against the resolution, which passed 77-23.

“To me, it wasn’t a hard call, because I had 25 to 30 completely unanswered questions,” Boxer said. “I believe war is a last resort.”

In defense of colleagues who voted for the resolution, Boxer said that Democrats forced the President to go through several channels before they voted to approve, and that the final resolution was drawn narrowly.

“The Democrats said, ‘Go to the U.N.’ and [Bush] went to the U.N.” she said. “I also again believe that he wasn’t going to come to the Senate or the House. He was going to bypass us and say, ‘I don’t need to come here — they gave me this power through the [Persian Gulf War] resolutions back in ‘91’”

Boxer charged the Bush administration with having nefarious motives for seeking the resolution. “The whole thing was brought up because of politics,” she said. “It was all part of the grand plan by the Bush administration to get the Senate.”

Democrats, Boxer said, have a lot of work to do to get their constituencies excited about the November 5 election.

“I think it’s just a matter of us having to take it to the people. We have to make the connection between the quality of their lives and who is in office,” Boxer said.

She warned Green Party voters to, “think of the ramifications and don’t delude yourself,” this time around, stating that the Green Party cost Democrats the White House in 2000 and risked handing the entire Congress over to Republicans as well.

Boxer also defended Senate Democrats against the claim that they have obstructed the approval of the President’s judicial nominees, arguing that the reasons individuals were refused had nothing to do with the President.

“I think the Senate would be happy to put people on the bench who reflect mainstream America,” Boxer said. “We have put many people on the bench, but we refuse to put people on the bench who are from the far end of the spectrum. We never did it under Clinton, and we’re not going to do it under Bush.”

Melinda McLellan, a 1L, said she was impressed by Boxer’s candor. “I was pleased to hear from a leading Democrat who had the courage to vote ‘no’ on the Iraq resolution and who seems genuinely committed to correcting perceived problems in the Democratic Party,” she said.

Boxer was elected to the Senate in 1993. She chairs several committees, including the Environment and Public Works Committee.

HLS to open new pro bono office


Lisa Dealy, who previously oversaw the LIPP program, has been appointed to head the new office.

A Harvard Law School education has always demanded a hefty amount of academic face time in the form of required first-year courses and various other graduation mandates. These traditional obligations, in place for generations, guarantee that students will spend long hours thinking about law in the abstract — in the classroom, textbooks and cases, and on exams.

This year, however, a new requirement is in place designed to ensure that students will make a service-oriented connection between the law studied in the classroom and the law practiced in the real world. The Law School’s new mandatory Pro Bono Service Program, headed by former LIPP and Summer Public Interest Funding Director Lisa Dealy, will require students to undertake 40 hours of uncompensated public interest work as a prerequisite for graduation. Though it does not apply to current 2Ls and 3Ls, the pro bono requirement does apply to the class of 2005 and generations of HLS students to come.

An Idea is Born

“The notion for a mandatory pro bono requirement was born during discussions within the faculty-student Connections to Practice Committee, a component of the larger strategic planning process begun by HLS several years ago in efforts to reflect on and improve the Law School as an institution,” said Professor Andrew Kaufman. The process resulted in substantial changes in the 1L academic experience beginning with the class of 2004, and also serves as the basis for current Law School fund-raising efforts.

The Connections to Practice Committee saw the planning process as an opportunity for the Law School to instill in its students a sense of professional values, including the value of pro bono service. “The requirement is intended to introduce students into a habit of thinking of part of their time being pro bono time, which is a habit we think they should continue for their lives,” explained Dean of the J.D. Program Todd Rakoff, who served on the Steering Committee for the Strategic Planning Process.

The Committee developed the proposal for over a year before submitting it for a vote to the entire faculty. Rakoff said there was some initial opposition to the requirement within the Strategic Planning Committee as well as among the faculty as a whole. “The strongest argument against the proposal was that the Law School shouldn’t force people to do good,” he explained. “Those who were opposed were in favor of having the School do things to increase the number of voluntary pro bono opportunities, but didn’t want it to be mandatory.”

On the other hand, those in favor of the program felt that a mandatory requirement was legitimate because of its educational value as well as the broader message it conveyed to students as to the importance of contributing to the public good. Ultimately, when the vote was taken, the proposal passed comfortably, with “only a half dozen negative votes,” Kaufman said.

A National Trend

In adopting the mandatory pro bono requirement, the Law School joins the ranks of fifteen law schools nationwide requiring pro bono service of graduates, including the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Law Schools, which have had successful and well-respected pro bono programs in place since the late 1980s and early 1990s, respectively.

There is also evidence that the Law School’s adoption of the requirement will serve as an impetus for other schools. The University of Denver passed a mandatory pro bono requirement citing the HLS proposal as a model. Stanford Law School also recently passed a similar requirement and is in the planning stages of implementation.

The Search for a Director

The passage of the pro bono requirement left the Administration searching for the perfect candidate to administer the program. The Hiring Committee, which included Rakoff, Kaufman, several faculty members and Director of the Office of Public Interest Advising Alexa Shabecoff, interviewed well over a hundred applicants for the job. Applicants came from both the public and private sectors, encompassing a wide range of impressive professional and academic backgrounds.

However, the committee unanimously thought Dealy, Director of LIPP and Summer Public Interest Funding, was the person most suited to the task of implementing the new program. “We were lucky she was interested in running the program. She has the experience and the commitment to the program that is needed, and she knows how to get along with all the people who will be involved, including students, practicing lawyers and their organizations, faculty and administration,” Kaufman noted.

Shabecoff said the Pro Bono Program is “in great hands. Lisa already has a demonstrated track record in her former positions as running administrative programs in an innovative and student-friendly way.”

Since taking the helm in June, Dealy has focused on getting the office up and running by February, when it will begin servicing 1Ls. She says she has spent a good deal of time “researching opportunities for students, networking and talking to those in my position at other schools.” In addition, she has hired a full-time staff assistant and is poised to move into the program’s new office space in Gannett House, which became available when the Legal Aid Bureau relocated to Baker House this fall.

Fulfilling the Requirement

As Director, Dealy will facilitate the administration of the program, a primary component of which will be advising students how to fulfill their pro bono requirement in a way most satisfying to them. This can be achieved in a number of different ways, provided the work students do fits a broad definition of pro bono work and is considered legal rather than clerical or purely academic.

For example, those who enroll in a clinical program, participate in a student practice organization such as the Tenant Advocacy Project or Harvard Defenders, become involved in a student service organization like the Battered Women’s Advocacy Project, or spend a summer working at a public interest organization will likely fulfill the requirement.

In addition, a primary focus of the Pro Bono Service Program will be to offer placements with Boston-area organizations. These placement could be specifically tailored to meet the pro bono requirement for students who do not naturally satisfy the requirement through participation in other activities. Dealy said she is focusing on finding pro bono opportunities for students of all ideologies and dispositions, including those more inclined to pursue private sector work upon graduation. Such placements may be as diverse as working at a government agency, performing pro bono service at a law firm (as long as it is uncompensated), or interning in the general counsel office of a hospital or school.

The decision to allow clinical programs to count toward the requirement was based on the logical overlap of a pedagogical, service-oriented experience with the requirement, as well as a desire not to hurt enrollment in clinical programs, Dealy said. The reasoning behind including summer public interest experiences in the definition of the requirement was that students are grossly “undercompensated” for summer work, particularly compared to lucrative law firm salaries, many times earning just enough from summer public interest funding to cover living expenses.

Though not required, faculty members are encouraged to perform a similar amount of pro bono activity to that required of students in their fields of expertise.

To Dealy, the broad range of experiences that count towards the requirement is geared so that students can gain exposure to the wide range of ways in which pro bono service can be performed. “My hope is that students will really start thinking about what kind of work appeals to them early on, and will have the flexibility to tail
or their fulfillment of the pro bono requirement to suit their individual interests,” she said.

Between one-half and two-thirds of HLS students may already be meeting the pro bono requirement through their participation in student practice organizations, clinical programs or summer work, according to the proposal submitted to the faculty by the Connections to Practice Committee.

It is also estimated that many students will vastly exceed the number of required pro bono hours. “Students’ transcripts will have a statement that they have fulfilled their mandatory pro bono hours, but will also have a space indicating the number of voluntary pro bono hours completed above and beyond the minimum,” said Dealy. Her hope is to design some sort of recognition dinner or award ceremony for students who exceed the number of required hours by a certain (still to be determined) amount.

Working Closely with OPIA

Both Dealy and Shabecoff anticipate their offices will work closely with one another to complement each other’s services. “We already have a great deal of resources — books, databases and institutional knowledge — that can help students find good placements that fit their interests,” explained Shabecoff. “I am sure we will send people back and forth constantly.”

Unfortunately, since the two offices will be located on opposite ends of campus, this may be rather inconvenient for students seeking to benefit from both offices. “It will awkward to be so far away from OPIA [when we move to Gannett House],” said Dealy.

Dealy sees the two offices as sharing a common, yet complementary mission. “I see OPIA as more of a national expert on public service opportunities, whereas the Pro Bono Service Program will provide more local expertise,” she said. “I also see the Pro Bono office as adding a connection between Harvard and the local community.”

True to the office’s local focus, the Pro Bono Service Program will take over a small voluntary pro bono program called Providing Unpaid Legal Services (PULSE), formerly administered by OPIA. Through PULSE, students could find volunteer placements with a number of Boston area nonprofits willing to host a law student intern. Shabecoff noted that because of OPIA’s many other services to students, keeping track of PULSE placements and feedback often got lost in the shuffle. OPIA has turned over PULSE placements to Dealy, who will use them as a core from which to build other placements.

1L Reactions

Some 1Ls expressed enthusiasm about their new requirement. “I think it will be a fantastic boost to the HLS community,” said 1L Jesse Tampio. “It could provide a great opportunity for some people to experience the kinds of legal work where the compensation comes from something often more rewarding than money.” One-L Mike Bloch agreed. “Hopefully the requirement will have the added bonus of turning more students on to the idea of pursuing a career in public interest after graduation.”

Ultimately, Dealy sees the new program as something students will learn to live with, if not love. “To me, this is a very valuable component of the law school curriculum,” she said. “Not everyone will love it, just like not everyone will love contracts or property, but providing pro bono service is an important responsibility of being a lawyer.”

Gay, lesbian students cast wary eye on OCI


After years in academia, where administrators freely brandish their statistics on diversity of sexual orientation, gay and lesbian students at Harvard Law School face a recruiting process with a shabbier pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Though no firm explicitly gives students the ghastly choice of the U.S. military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ — keep your sexuality to yourself or be fired — not all make clear the atmosphere and policies that gay and lesbian lawyers will find at a firm.

Among large firms on the coasts, most firms express some level of gay-friendliness, if only through a non-discrimination clause.

The more hospitable firms publish the number of gay associates and partners at their firm. According to OCS Director Mark Weber, fewer than 20 percent of firms report their percentage of “openly gay” lawyers to NALP, compared to nearly 100 percent reporting of other minorities.

According to Weber, “those firms who do not report are not necessarily unwelcoming” and, thus, students must pursue other avenues to determine how welcoming a firm is. Students often consult the firm’s record of clients and pro bono work, their diversity statistics for other minorities and women, as well as medical, life insurance and family leave policies for same-sex partnerships. At HLS, a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender network is available, as are resources from the OCS website. This all helps a great deal when few firms are as candid as San Francisco-based Morrison & Foerster, which publicly professes a commitment to hire and promote gays and lesbians to “important management positions.”

Some firms offer to pair students with gay and lesbian recruiters if so requested in order to ask specific questions. Dan Lefler, recruiting partner at Los Angeles-based Irell & Manella, considers these interviews part of the process of finding the lawyers who would make the best fit at the firm.

In light of this available information, most gay and lesbian students find that expressing sexual orientation does not disadvantage their prospects in “big liberal markets,” as 3L Geoff Upton described them. “If anything,” Upton continued, “being gay can present an advantage in hiring at such firms.”

Some studies support the contention that, at least when submitting resumés, indicating a sexual orientation does not have an overall disadvantaging effect in receiving interviews.

But the openness and broad acceptance found at some large firms may serve to mask problems that gay and lesbian 2Ls and 3Ls face during the recruiting season.

Those firms that do not publish the number of gay and lesbian lawyers and have no particularly welcoming policies — such as same-sex benefits — leave gay students to take a gamble. Many simply take the firm’s silence to be an unwelcoming sign, and there is at least some good reason for that. When 3L Lindsay Harrison inquired about gay partners at D.C.-based Williams & Connolly, she says she was bluntly told, “I don’t know any partners who are out. We are kind of an old-school firm and that’s not going to change anytime soon.” She said the firm ultimately apologized.

In the end, Irell & Maella’s Lefler pointed out, firms end up hiring “many more gays than indicate that on the resume or in interviews,” touching on the phenomenon of unmentioned sexual orientation.

To many gay and lesbian students who do not submit or inquire about sexual orientation, they consider it a private, irrelevant, matter. “Does it really matter?” one 2L, who is gay, said anonymously.

Yet for many, questions such as about whether or not sexual orientation will affect success at the firm, or whether they will be discriminated against, continue to crop up. Weber suggested that this is because “there is more social pressure to keep sexual orientation secret than religion .” Some gay and lesbian students, he pointed out, do not even tell their parents for fear of a negative reaction. How, then, can they tell someone they have just met?

OCS does not recommend a specific course of action for gay and lesbian students considering whether to include their sexual orientation on their resumes or in interviews. Rather, they suggest that students consider how fundamental that particular factor to their identity and to consider generally, as Weber puts it, “what story you want the resume to tell.”

Fenno: A day at HBS


Fenno was in a classroom. At least, it seemed like it could be a classroom. Twenty-somethings wearing Ralph Lauren sat facing the front of the room, where the three-dimensional image of a white-wigged man smoking a pipe was projected by a laser array out of the floor behind the podium. Thelonious Monk was being piped over the P.A. system through Bang & Olufsen speakers while men in tuxedos circled the room with silver trays carrying what appeared to be champagne cocktails in fluted glasses. The chandelier suspended from the domed ceiling refracted light from the holograph machine onto the blond heads of the “students,” who flashed perfect teeth as they exchanged stories of golfing and horseback riding from last weekend. A not-so-apologetic throat-clearing interrupted the polite banter; it was time to begin.

“My dear students of the Harvard Business School, I am truly sorry I cannot be with you in the flesh today,” the professor began. “As you know, the school has introduced a no-smoking policy, and I dare not deliver this particular talk without the benefit of the little weed that so well clears the head for concentrated exercise. Besides, I have been dead for over 200 years. Let us resume our discussion of the salutary effects a moderate degree of inflation presents in connection with arresting the progress of a generally tiresome middle class.” Forty hands shot up at once.

Fenno was confused, not to say unhappy. Here she was at the Business School listening to a lecture by the ghost of Adam Smith. She looked in her purse for her day planner. Maybe she’d scheduled something weird. There next to her wallet was a skee-ball ticket from Jillian’s.

She turned it over: “Congratulations, you’ve been EXCHANGED. And it’s a three-way! An HBS student is at the K-School, and a K-School student is at HLS. Have a good time! — The HL Central HLS-HBS-KSG Exchange Committee.” Well great, she thought. I’ll just chill out here and listen to the dead guy while I live on crudités and brut. But oh no! she realized, suddenly panicked. If I’m the HLS student here, then that might mean….

Back at the Law School, 100 screaming 2Ls were pouring out of the squalid tenement that is Pound Hall, where Rob Jackson had just begun to recite Ronald Coase’s The Problem of Social Cost verbatim to Professor Kraakman. Jackson punctuated each sentence by striking the table and proclaiming a successive digit of pi. Fenno knew she had to get back, and fast. If not, this thing would end up worse than an all-LL.M comparative tax class.

Fenno took off her heels and ran after a city bus stopped at a corner. She boarded and sat down next to a familiar-looking young woman. “Hey,” Fenno said, turning to her, “aren’t you—?”

“Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich. Edison, New Jersey. Nice to meet you.” She extended her hand.

“What are you doing out here in Allston this time of day?” Fenno asked.

“Oh, well, thanks to Kaplan, I aced the test and got into Harvard Law.”

“But Harvard Law’s on the other side of the River.”

“I know, but thanks to Kaplan’s advertising money, the MTA lets me ride public transportation for free, so I’m maximizing my mass transit time.” She indicated with a pencil the open pages of an oversized paperback resting in her lap. “Wanna help me ace this logic game?”

Fenno noticed Chris Kolovos sitting across from them. He had apparently overheard their exchange. Narrowing his eyes quizzically, he asked, “Technically, wouldn’t you have needed to get a 180 instead of a 178 to have aced the LSAT?” Alexandria muttered something disagreeable and moved to the back of the bus. Chris narrowed his eyes even more quizzically and followed her.

Fenno debarked at the southern edge of campus and walked briskly up the path behind Hastings. Outside the journals entrance, D. Hara Sherman was explaining the rejection of the Environmental Law Journal to Jill Zimmerman. “It makes perfect sense. Obviously the Journals Committee joins me in assuming the environment is sexist. We can’t have a journal devoted to sexism at Harvard Law.”

Jill nodded slowly in an appeasing display of near-understanding. She replied, “But it was the Entertainment Law Journal that was rejected. The Environmental Law Review has been around since 1976.”

“Exactly,” Hara rejoined. “Nineteen seventy-six. The bicentennial. The beginning of the end of pre-post-feminist feminism. It’s all in the numbers, this enviro-sexist capitalist conspiracy.” She seemed to become a bit flustered. “Have you noticed it’s kind of humid today? I’m going to my locker to get an umbrella. On second thought, an umbrella’s a little too phallic. I think I’ll just go hang out inside my locker and think about art.”

Fenno wanted to stop and learn more, but there wasn’t time. Up at Pound, people had evidently overcome the initial trauma caused by Jackson’s avant-garde math/law fusion jam. By now, everyone was standing around in small groups, each actively engaged in not caring about the World Series. This highly-emotional distraction soon proved too much, and talk turned inevitably and with much relief to the subject of flyout week.

One male student had a theory: “Interviewing as a guy sucks. I heard all a girl needs to do to get a ‘special’ call-back at Quinn is to find the shortest, goofiest associate on the dance floor at the Hong Kong, ask him for a fourth scorpion bowl, and start making out with him until he ‘calls’ her back to his hotel room. Either that or get her head bashed into the ping-pong table at the Inn. I’m not sure which works better. Guess she might as well try both.”

The circle of students voiced their agreement. Donovan Rinker-Morris, however, seemed to disapprove: “I think you are displaying an instinct towards moral simplification. Making out with a Quinn Associate and having one’s face bashed into a ping-pong table at the Inn are classic tactics, ones that Hitler used. I think you are all Hitler, and I don’t intend to resign from anything for pointing that out.”

Meanwhile, Rob Jackson emerged from Pound with Kraakman in a cold sweat looking white as a sheet. A sort of sweaty sheet. Fenno quietly snatched Rob’s skee-ball ticket out of his hand. Students began frantically dialing cabs for him. “No, my people, all is well,” Rob responded to this manifest solicitude for his safe travel back to the K-School. “I will take advantage of the Law Review car service. Farewell. I hope that when we meet again, you will all be much, much smarter than you are right now.” He threw back his head and set off proudly towards Gannett House.

Fenno waited a moment and followed him, just to be sure. Finally satisfied at seeing him duck into a black Town Car, she turned left and entered the basement of Austin. She hadn’t had a chance to check her email in a few days, so she stopped in front of the iMacs. Her OpenMail contained the following messages:

From: rcoe@law.harvard.edu
To: marshal@hlssun1.law.harvard.edu
Re: [MARSHAL] Class of 2003
Thanks Rachel. I will send out an e-mail about Fogg soon.

From: klachter@law.harvard.edu
To: marshal@hlssun1.law.harvard.edu
Re: [MARSHAL] Class of 2003
hey rick,
in the email about the fogg, we need to make sure people know it’s right here at harvard, not in boston, in addition to
telling them about the ticket sales…
That oughtta hold the little bastards.

From: klachter@law.harvard.edu
To: marshal@hlssun1.law.harvard.edu
Re: [MARSHAL] Sorry!
Hi everyone,
We are aware that we accidentally sent part of our conversation to the whole mailing list – we’re very sorry, and thanks for letting us know. Stay tuned for details about the Halloween party…
The little bastards oughtta really love that.

From: nesson@law.harvard.edu
To: students@hlssun1.law.harvard.edu
Cc: ogletree@law.harvard.edu, warren@law.harvard.edu
Re: [MARSHAL] Sorry!
Perhaps I can be of service….

Concert Calendar: Music on the fly


So you’re living large on the firm for a week. Checked into the Rain Man suite, eyeing the mini-bar with that glint of menace in your eye. A few nights of mints on the pillow, posh meals, and a completely legitimate excuse to take your evenings off. So, in that spirit, we thought we’d give you a week full of musical ideas for the most popular major fly-out cities:

New York

Lucky bums! You’ve come just in time for the CMJ Music Marathon 2002 — which means showcases at most clubs that count in the city Wednesday through Sunday.

Monday (10/28): Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, DMX, and Faith Evans (Beacon Theater) — Talk about a show that covers the spectrum from R&B to hip-hop, Motown to Bed-Stuy and most points in between. Aside from the fact that Stevie Wonder himself is a talent for the ages, seeing him alongside singers like Flack and Evans is a rare treat indeed. Expect some surprises in the set-list, particularly from the likes of DMX, who undoubtedly will find ways to keep from being the odd one out in this singers’ bill.

Tuesday (10/29): Bob Mould (Bowery Ballroom) — With Cobain and Nirvana getting a temporary glut of nostalgic celebration, some critics are bound to point out that the cavernous sonic wash that made Nevermind such a juggernaut owes a tremendous amount to the scabrous chords, bristling intensity and melting volume of Hüsker Dü. While the most recent album from former frontman and guitarist Bob Mould is not on par with his best work, seeing Mould remains a reminder that beneath the most kinetic of the Husker’s hardcore punk was songwriting so solid that the wall of sound had something substantial to sit on.

Wednesday (10/30): Soundtrack of our Lives (Roxy) — I have been waiting for the opportunity to wax fanatical about these guys for some time, and finally I get my chance. This band is amazing. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to know where to start. Rising from the ashes of the frenzied MC5 punk of Union Carbide Productions, Sweden’s Soundtrack of our Lives is, simply put, pure rock ambition that nearly always pays off. Ranging from Spiritualized-style psychedelia, Stones-style swagger-rock, SOOL isn’t out to build a catalogue — they’re out to build a canon. So far, so good.

Thursday (10/31): Too many choices — This is really, really tough. If you want to get your groove on, just go to the Hammerstein Ballroom and check out the amazing double-bill of DJ Spooky and Medeski, Martin & Wood. If you want to rock, go to Irving Plaza for the Ipecac Records showcase featuring bands like Calexico and NYC upstarts the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Or you could make an event out of it and see the Misfits at the world (ooh, spooky), Cypress Hill at Roseland or sneak through a window and see the Foo Fighters at the Supper Club. But, if you want something really deliciously weird, consider trying the Fantomas Melvins Big Band at the Roxy, featuring Mike Patton from Faith No More and the grunge legends the Melvins onstage together in what will certainly be a din of bizarre but clinically interesting noise.

Friday (11/1): This isn’t getting any easier. If you want to throw on some black pants and go clubbing, see Paul van Dyk at the Roxy, but if you want ethereal, eclectic, trancy beautiful Nordic music, see Sigur Ros at the Beacon Theater. If you don’t have too much of a headache from the night before just go see Murphy’s Law at the Continental.

Saturday (11/2): Chemical Brothers (Hammerstein Ballroom) — Back in the States with more block-rocking beats, take advantage of the rare opportunity to see them spin up close and personal.

Los Angeles

Monday (10/28):
The Cramps (Galaxy Theater) — The Cramps are the house band of Quentin Tarantino’s dreams, even if they were around first. Still trucking with over two decades of trash rockabilly camp, fear, loathing, sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, the Cramps are a great way to start your week in la-la land in deliciously freaky fashion. Throw some pomade in your hair and a spit shine on your shoes and prepare to meet the fishnet throwbacks your mother always warned you about.

Tuesday (10/29): L.A. Guns (Key Club) — Hair metal is not dead in L.A. Hair metal will never die in L.A. Axl is fat and Tracey Guns is still scrawny, nasty and out for blood. Long may he shriek.

Wednesday (10/30): Keb Mo’ (Cerritos Center) — See, why don’t we get this sort of thing in Boston? Keb Mo’ is perhaps one of only a handful of people who perpetually produce what could even begin to be considered spectacular modern blues recordings and on this coast he’s nowhere to be found. Be sure to take this opportunity to see a modern master on his own turf.

Thursday (10/31): The Roots (House of Blues) — If you can’t or don’t want to sneak into the Stones at the Staples Center, make it a hip-hop Halloween with the traveling party, jam session and poetry slam that is the Roots. From their human beatbox ad-libs to their lyrical and mature rhymes, the Roots are among the chosen few hip hop acts that are absolutely and completely worthwhile live, and a great choice for the holiday.

Friday (11/1): One Man Army with U.S. Bombs (Roxy) — I can’t in good conscience send unsuspecting law students to the freewheeling gross-out fest that is the Dwarves at the Troubador, so instead get your punk fix at the Roxy (seems like every town has a Roxy these days) with two of the most durable punk outfits to follow in Tim Armstrong’s bootsteps.

Saturday (11/2): Saves the Day and Ash (Palace) — Two fantastic indie rock bands in one of LA’s more intimate venues, expect a few hours of tuneful fast-moving pop/grunge swirly guitar bliss.

Washington, D.C.

Monday (10/28):
Hothouse Flowers (Ram’s Head Tavern, Annapolis, MD) — Fusing traditional Irish music with a wealth of American influences, the Hothouse flowers are more than just Bono’s protégés. They are, like the ill-fated Pogues before them, a cult band with a wisp of legend about them and a tendency to be a bit hard to come by live. All the more reason, I guess, to see them now.

Tuesday (10/29): Future Bible Heroes (9:30 Club) — Featuring former Harvard student and indie rock auteur par excellence Stephen Merritt (the heart, brains, and magic behind the Magnetic Fields), the Future Bible Heroes are the newest incarnation of Merritt’s growing musical dynasty, with (thus far) each step every bit as impressive as the one before. Early opener Glo-worm is a bonus.

Wednesday (10/30): Flogging Molly and Andrew W.K. (Nation) — Flogging Molly is faux-Irish rock leaning towards punk. And Andrew W.K. is, as one critic noted, “Jock Jams on steroids”…. or Glenn Danzig’s peppy little party brother…or just howling theatrical steakhead mayhem. And certainly, a hell of a lot of fun.

Thursday (10/31): Blues Traveler (9:30 Club) — Yes, it has been a while since “Runaround,” but after the tragic loss of their original bassist and ensuing inevitable hiatus, Blues Traveler has returned leaner, meaner and more focused. Always good live, expect treats, covers and a heartfelt return this Halloween.

Friday (11/1): Rockin’ For the Kids (Lincoln Theater) — This benefit for the Children’s Hospital features a bill that is eclectic to say the least, featuring librarian-songstress Lisa Loeb (who I still contend is cuter than Britney, Christina or any of the other Mouseketeers), original bad girl Joan Jett, a
nd none other than (drum roll)… the mighty, the one, the only…..FOGHAT! Need I say more?

Saturday (11/2): Marshall Crenshaw (Avalon Theater, Annapolis, MD) — The fact that Crenshaw isn’t one of today’s most popular songwriters remains an unsolved crime. Like a reincarnated Buddy Holly, Crenshaw’s pop is note perfect — smart, sensitive, accessible and smooth as all get out. A great sense of humor and an endearing humility round out the package.

Vino & Veritas: The Pennoyer of Wine


“Never go to France unless you know the lingo,” wrote the English poet Thomas Hood in 1839. A half-century earlier, the French writer Antoine de Rivarol claimed that “[w]hat is not clear is not French.” If speaking of French wine, Hood could not have been more right, nor Rivarol more wrong.

France, the spiritual, if not literal homeland of wine, remains tragically beyond the reach of many American wine drinkers. Indeed, when I first began drinking wine, I simply steered clear of all things French. It was just too complicated and daunting. Then one day I found myself unknowingly complicit in the opening and subsequent wasting (read: dumping out) of a very good, very expensive Bordeaux. Realizing that my continued ignorance threatened more of his fine bottles, the owner of that Château Ausone bought me a book. That little primer took away the mystery and introduced me to the unendingly interesting monde de vin français.

Trying to introduce French wine in the 700 or so words remaining is, of course, a ridiculous undertaking — as likely to confuse, say, as assigning Pennoyer v. Neff as the very first case of 1L fall. But we all survived that. Hopefully, in the long run, this topic will rival the excitement I know you feel for personal jurisdiction.

Perhaps the most important thing to know about French wine is that, with very few exceptions, it takes the name of its region or town: Bordeaux, Burgundy and Sancerre are places, not grapes. This is quite different from American wines, which are usually named for the grape or grapes that predominate. So while we drink American chardonnay, we drink French chablis, though both come from the same grape.

Thus, a good first step for one accustomed to American labels is to learn which grapes correspond to which regions. Here’s a basic primer covering the four kings among the French regions (grapes are in bold):

Bordeaux: If there were kahunas in France, this would be the big one: Bordeaux is perhaps the most prestigious of all French wine. Most of it is red, made primarily from cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Red bordeaux tends to be strong, tannic and firm, and will develop complex flavors with age that defy generalization. Bordeaux’s white wines come primarily from sémillon and sauvignon blanc and include the wonderful dessert wines from Sauternes.

Burgundy: The Burgundy labeling system is extremely complicated and impossible to capture concisely. A few major points are worth noting. To the north is Chablis, from which come wonderful whites, all chardonnay. White Burgundies from elsewhere in the region likewise come mostly from chardonnay grapes. White burgundy, and chablis in particular, tends to be drier, more earthy, and less buttery than American chardonnay. As for reds, most burgundy is made from pinot noir, which makes light-to-medium bodied, somewhat fruity wines.

Rhone: Whereas burgundy baffles with its intricate village naming system, the Rhone confuses with the plethora of grapes that grow there. The vast majority of rhones are red. The reds from the north come from syrah. This dark grape produces full-bodied, tannic wines, that often have a wild feel to them. They are often spicy, and with age can be meaty in taste and feel. White wines from the north come from marsanne, rousanne and viognier grapes. In the south, things get more complicated. The production is almost entirely red. The featured grapes among the many grown there are grenache, syrah and mourvèdre, but many more are often blended in. Unless you get to know a particular maker well, you will often not know for sure exactly which grapes, and in which proportions, produced what you are drinking.

Champagne: You’ve heard of it, and you’ve probably had it on New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, you may also have had something else fizzy that someone called champagne. All champagne, properly named, comes from Champagne, France. Champagne usually contains chardonnay and (surprising given its usual white color) two red grapes: pinot noir and pinot meunier. You will often see bottles without years (or labeled “NV”), as most champagne is “non-vintage” — a blend of grapes from several years. Beyond not calling anything champagne that isn’t, the most important thing to know about champagne is that it should not be reserved only for celebrations. Champagne makes for the perfect aperitif and even goes well with many dishes. Drink it liberally.

It is, I must admit, somewhat embarrassing to stop here. French wine has so much to offer, and this is necessarily just the barest-bones of an intro. Go forth and explore!

Here are my tasting notes for the week (all prices are from Martignetti’s):

NV Deutz Brut Classic Champagne ($29.99) — Wonderful! It had an earthy, wet-leaves aroma. It was also quite yeasty in smell, and even more so in taste; sweeter than expected, with a chewy mouth feel. Highly recommended!

2000 Domaine Mas du Bouquet Vacqueyras ($10.99) — Not wonderful. Vacqueyras is a small village in the southern Rhone. Like much of the wine from that region, Vacqueyras is a blend of various grapes. Fifty percent, however, must be grenache. This wine had a deep purple color, with an earthy nose that included meat and berries. The nose was more interesting than its taste, which was acidic, tannic, and slightly bitter. In fact, there was not much interesting to its taste — not all that surprising, as my experience is that very young Rhones tend to underwhelm.

1997 Grossot Chablis ($12.99) — The color struck me first: a beautiful golden, almost yellow, hue. It came with a huge buttery aroma. In the mouth, it was quite dry, with flavors of butter and undertones of apple. Because of the color and noticeable buttery taste and smell, this chablis (again, 100 percent chardonnay) will not strike you as being as different from California chardonnays as are many white burgundies. On the whole, a decent choice given its low-for-Chablis price.

Soundtrack of our (flyout) lives


Having survived the OCI juggernaut more or less intact, the average 2L can safely place the heady, angst-drenched on-campus interview process behind himself and look forward to the heady, angst-drenched Flyout Week process. A RECORD columnist who truly cares about his readers would be remiss not to offer suggestions on how to ease the travel tension. Two-Ls, assuming you are not flying on the satellite-TV-at-every-seat JetBlue, you are going to need some entertainment for your week of flight delays, runway waits, and non-movie flights. Thus, it is with quiet modesty in my taste in music that I offer to you My Essential Flyout Week Travel Mix CD.

[I offer these with apologies to Fenno, who will surely be disappointed by a version of “Interview Aspirations’” that suffers from a glaring lack of smitin’ and throat-steppin.’]

“Take the Money and Run” (Steve Miller Band): With Arthur Andersen dead and buried, WorldCom and Enron on life support and Martha Stewart Omnivision desperately seeking some legal antibiotics, corporate law enforcement is surely on the minds of some civic-minded HLSers. For those hearty Eliot Spitzer idealists, I recommend this Steve Miller classic about the pursuit of criminals and restitution for their ill-gotten gains. Essential Lyric: “Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas / You know he knows just exactly what the facts is / He ain’t gonna let those two escape justice / He makes his livin’ off of the people’s taxes.” See also, “I Fought the Law (and the Law Won)” (The Clash).

“All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix)” (Puff Daddy et al.): It’s no secret that, each year, more than a couple of aimless HLS kids head south to New York for no better reason than the promise of $2,403 a week for a summer and God-knows-how-much after that. To them, there is something quietly reassuring in this ode to Mr. Franklin. Essential Lyric: “Now… what y’all wanna do? / Wanna be ballers? Shot-callers? / Brawlers – who be dippin’ in the Benz wit’ the spoilers / On the low from the Jake in the Taurus?” But see “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems” (Notorious B.I.G.) (“It’s like the more money we come across / The more problems we see.”).

“The Godfather Waltz”: A common criticism of HLS students is that they leave law school having forgotten what brought them to law school in the first place. For those of you who are still working out your Tom Hagen issues, I recommend this one-way ticket to your roots, consigliere. See also, “Woke Up This Morning (Sopranos Theme)”, “Law & Order (Main Title Theme)”.

“Get Together” (The Youngbloods): While some of us feel naturally drawn to litigation practice, I am not one to thrust my own preferences upon members of my audience that are drawn to less confrontational pursuits. For them, may I suggest something a little bit mellow? It is noticeably easier to “Get To Yes” when you’ve got the appropriate soundtrack playing in the mediation room. Essential Lyric: “Come on people now / Smile on your brother / Everybody get together / Try to love one another right now.” For full retro effect, light up some incense and vote McGovern. Litigation types might not go for this one, but that’s why Limp Bizkit still sells records.

“Guerrilla Radio” (Rage Against the Machine): The law market might be tight this year, but there’s always room for a couple of extra entrants into the lucrative field of “Activist Lawyer for a Controversial Political Cause.” Whether you aspire to be The Go-To Guy for Arrested WTO Protestors, or even In House Counsel for a Patch of Threatened Redwood Trees Somewhere Near Portland, you need a soundtrack worthy of your cause. Rage Against the Machine (or its newest incarnation, Civilian, featuring Chris Cornell, ex-Soundgarden) is a safe bet for a charming, if edgy, protest chant. Essential Lyric: “The fistagons / Bullets and bombs / Who stuff the banks / Who staff the party ranks / More for Gore or the son of a drug lord / None of the above fuck it cut the cord.” Those who would like to stick it to The Man/The System/Big Brother but who don’t feel quite as militant are welcome to strike back in their own little ways and start small, by springing street crime perps through the tried-and-true search-and-seizure violation allegation. See, e.g, “New York City Cops” (The Strokes) (“New York City cops / New York City cops / New York City cops / They ain’t too smart”).

Only for the Eye Candy


Abandon, the much-hyped directorial debut of Traffic screenwriter Stephen Gaghan, promises to be a twisty thriller, but instead disappoints as a flaccid and predictable detective story redeemed only by its liberal serving of eye candy (Katie Holmes for the boys; Benjamin Bratt and Charlie Hunnam for the gals) and its many unintentionally humorous episodes.

The film opens with Detective Wade Handler (Bratt) being assigned to reinvestigate the disappearance two years earlier of Embry Langan, the orphan-heir to a vast fortune and a troubled drama student-cum-opera composer at an unnamed elite northeastern university (Harvard in the original script). Embry has long been presumed dead, and Handler’s assignment is motivated by a request from the trustees of Embry’s estate for a formal declaration that he is deceased so that they can administer probate and send his files off to storage.

In his preliminary research for the case, Handler discovers that the gorgeous Katie Burke (Holmes) was Embry’s girlfriend at the time of his disappearance, and he conveniently decides that she will be the focus of his investigation.

Katie is now a senior at the college, and when Handler finds her she is rapidly crumbling under the multiple pressures of preparing for her final exams, trying to finish her thesis and participating in a competitive job interviewing process. The last thing she needs is some cop on her case, probing her about the disappearance of Embry — her first love — whose cruel ‘abandonment’ of her two years before has clearly scarred her.

Through a series of flashbacks, we are introduced to Embry (Hunnam) who Gaghan clearly intended to be a compelling and sexy artiste. Unfortunately, on-screen, Embry comes across as a self-obsessed, pretentious little creep, which makes the beautiful and talented Katie’s enduring fascination with him utterly unconvincing. It so happens that Embry disappeared the night his avant garde opera, ‘Trip Hop Inferno,” debuted to a sycophantic audience in the basement of the university’s old, gothic theatre (Gagham’s rather unimaginative answer to the standard haunted house).

With Detective Handler on the case, things begin to go further awry for Katie. One of her best male friends mysteriously disappears, and she begins to catch fleeting glimpses of what she thinks is Embry outside her classroom and behind the stacks in the library. Is she losing her marbles, or has Embry really returned to campus?

Against this background, Handler is charged with finding out whether Embry’s disappearance was a theatrical stunt staged by the attention-craving Embry for its shock value, or whether there is indeed a more sinister explanation, such as suicide or homicide. As Handler gets closer to understanding what happened to Embry, he also (surprise, surprise) gets closer to Katie.

The film is doomed from the start, due to a plot riddled with so many holes that it never gains the integrity of a serious thriller. It is also undermined by the gratuitous shots of Holmes in various states of undress, and the plain silly shots of Katie willingly disappearing into the now abandoned theatre by herself in the middle of the night to try and confront Embry, even though she is supposedly terrified of him.

Similarly, the character development is superficial and formulaic. Katie — a sweet little virginal ingénue in the flashbacks who is easily seduced by the forceful Embry — is now shown to be wounded and insecure as a result of his abandonment of her (which recalls her childhood abandonment by her father). Yet this insecurity is at odds with Katie’s depiction in other scenes as a confident and sassy young woman who is comfortable enough to cuss in a job interview with the venerated McKinsey & Company and to effortlessly seduce her boss.

My final gripe is that Gaghan lets numerous wallpaper episodes — students getting drunk at student parties, students tripping and smoking weed — stretch on for too long which further delays the progress towards the film’s predictable dénouement.

However, despite these many flaws, Abandon could still be a good pick for a first date movie. Depending on your preference, either Bratt or Holmes will surely stir your pulse, and there are enough faults to trawl through at a post-movie dinner if faced with an uncomfortable lull in the conversation.

To see where Abandon is playing check out our Movie Listings Channel.

Inman Square’s taste of Morocco


It’s Saturday night, and you need to eat. While you would like to avoid having to take out a loan in order to pay for dinner, at the same time you do not want your dining experience to open with your waiter writing his name in crayon on your paper tablecloth. Furthermore, while you could never imagine venturing to that strange and distant land across the river (I think they call it “Boston”), you are tired of frequenting the Harvard Square standbys. If ever you find yourself in such a predicament, I suggest you direct your stomach and your date towards one of Inman Square’s newer additions – Argana.

Argana, a tiny new restaurant serving “a unique blend of Moroccan Mediterranean cuisine,” is hard to miss. Its bright orange façade calls out (loudly) to the Cambridge Street passersby, which I count as an attribute from a marketing standpoint given that, depending upon how much one has had to drink, oftentimes on a Saturday night the typical HLS student responds best/only to loud colors and sounds.

If getting liquored up is in fact your primary goal for the evening, Argana will not disappoint. The bar is creatively adorned with a variety of mosaics and clay pots that make for excellent conversation pieces (read: terrible pick-up lines). More importantly, Argana boasts a short and yet unique cocktail list (all $8) for those willing to venture beyond the beer/gin-and-tonic paradigm. I had the pleasure of sampling the coffee-bean garnished “Marakkech Express,” a tasty combination of Stoli Vanil, Khalua, Tia Maria and fresh espresso. Other noteworthy concoctions include the “Harissa-Tini” (cucumber vodka w/ a hint of chili-infused Noilly Prat) and the “Arabian Nights” (Myers Dark Rum shaken with mango syrup and Chambord with a float of Limonaya Vodka).

Despite Argana’s somewhat overbearing façade, the restaurant’s cuisine is rather reserved (which is not necessarily a bad thing). Take, for instance, the lamb boureck appetizer ($7), a beautiful presentation of filo pastry triangles stacked ever-so-carefully upon a bed of ground lamb, pears and almonds. Although no bold flavors seemed to stand out, the ingredients of the dish were each fresh and delicious. For those who like to share, my server recommended the mazza ($10), a plentiful assortment of Mediterranean goodies, including hummus, olives, Zaalouk and grilled Argan oil pita points.

In the entrée category, Argana seems (rightfully) proud of its “Tangines.” “Tangines” refers to a Moroccan style of cooking, in which meats, fruit and vegetables are slowly cooked over charcoals and presented in a giant conical earthenware vessel. Sounds scary, tastes very good. Among the Tangines prepared are vegetable, lamb, quail, Cornish hen and salmon (ranging from $15 to $18). I opted for the Salmon Tangine ($17), a flavorful cut of Charmoula marinated salmon bathed in a stew of carrots, green peppers, olives and preserved lemon.

Beyond its world of Tangines, Argana also offers a respectable assortment of couscous entrees and an interesting-sounding duck a la Marocaine ($19) – duck fillet served on Casablanca-style couscous with fresh mangos in a port wine prune sauce. Anyone looking to dine in a Moroccan/Mediterranean restaurant while avoiding Moroccan/Mediterranean food (Why would anyone do this?) will be happy to know that Argana provides a number of “comfort” foods (e.g., the angel hair seafood pasta and mushroom raviolis). Somewhere between comfort and adventure you’ll find the berber pizza ($8), a grilled pita topped with mushrooms, olives, tomatoes and goat cheese.

Argana’s dessert menu consists of a few jewels amidst a handful of commoners. While it’s hard to go wrong (in any restaurant) with the crème brulee ($7), mint sorbet ($6) or chocolate fondue for two ($14), I suggest taking a chance on one of the more creative offerings. The M’Halbi ($7) proved a surprisingly tasty blend of mint and orange blossom water. On a return visit, I will make it a point to try the crepes berberes ($7), a serving of berber pancakes topped with orange honey and sultanas sauce. Not to be forgotten are Argana’s after-dinner coffee drinks (all $7.95), which include the “Cafeè Diablo” (cognac, Grand Marnier and Sambuca) and the “Mocha Berry (chambord, cocoa, coffee and cream).

So it’s Saturday night and you need to eat. Skip past the Mexican place, the pizza place, the other pizza place with good beer and the brewhouse, and instead take a walk (or a $5 cab ride if you’re lazy) to Argana, where you’ll find a hip little restaurant that is sure to please both stomach and pocketbook.

War on terror exiles 3L


To the Editors: I was partly amused and partly saddened by the first sentence of last week’s article War on terror exiles 3L. The sentence reads as follows: “The sprawling American anti-terrorism campaign finally reached Harvard Law School when 3L Ahmed el-Gaili was prevented from returning to the United States to finish law school.” Actually, the campaign reached the Law School quite a bit earlier.

The “sprawling American anti-terrorism campaign” first reached Harvard Law School last fall, when the Harvard International Office first warned foreign students that if they traveled outside the U.S. they would face substantial delays and uncertainty in obtaining visas through U.S. Consulates abroad and during the reentry process. It continued to reach us when one S.J.D. student from the Middle East (who has been at Harvard for six years) went to a three-day conference in Europe last spring and ended up being unable to return to the U.S. for two months for visa reasons; when another S.J.D. student from the Middle East (who has been at Harvard for seven years) has not risked going home to visit his family out of fear that he would be denied a reentry visa; when two other S.J.D. students from the Middle East have been unable to return to Harvard this fall after going home for the summer because they have not been granted visas more than three months after their original visa interviews; and when three LL.M. students (one of whom attended college in the U.S.) have had to defer the start of their studies for a year for the same reason. Not to mention the fact that numerous staff members in the Graduate Program, the Registrar’s office, the Dean of Students office, and other offices have been working for months to put mechanisms in place to comply with the new Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) mandated by the INS.

International students at Harvard – particularly those who previously have not spent much time in the U.S. – frequently comment on their U.S. colleagues’ myopia towards the rest of the world. The Record’s coverage of world events and attention towards international students has occasionally given me cause for optimism. Last week’s article was not one of those occasions.

Very truly yours,

Gail J. HupperAssistant Dean for the GraduateProgram and International Legal Studies Harvard Law School

(I am putting a hard copy version of this letter in Jonas Blank’s Hark box as well)

Five students who made a difference


Another class, another year. Sometimes the massive human churn of graduates out of Harvard Law School seems as regular and inexorable as the rotation of the earth. Each year, students leave this school to find their futures; each year, students become what many would only dare dream, be they firm lawyers, clerks or public servants. As such, the goals of a professional school are decidedly different from those of an undergraduate college — the curriculum is more rigorous and focused, and the emphasis is even more on results.

But for many, HLS is something more than a training ground. Our school is blessed by its size, something that gives it an incredibly wide range of opportunities to take advantage of and groups to call home.

There are specific people to thank for that. Some students here have done much than simply make it through law school. Their efforts have helped to build something at HLS that did not exist before, helped to turn this Law School from a pre-professional stomping ground into a bona fide community. They gave those of us just exiting the undergraduate experience a few more years to experience a similar sense of community, and all of us reasons to be sorry to be leaving HLS, an always-imperfect, but never uninteresting place.

This place provides myriad ways to make a difference, as these five students show. They have started corporations and led organizations. They have fought for equality, made us laugh, made our quality of life better, and set examples for all of us. They have proven, too, that the people we cherish most are often those whose brilliance extends beyond the classroom. All five have been selected for Dean’s Awards for Community Leaders.

HLS is blessed with a galaxy of stars, far too many to be named, far too many to thank individually. Still, as the days of this year dwindle, the RECORD wanted to commemorate these five 3Ls, who have been some of the brightest stars of all.

T.J. Duane

Perhaps no person was more ubiquitous over the last three years than HL Central founder and 2002 Head Class Marshal Duane, who turned a whim of a personal web site into a prominent non-profit corporation that transformed social life at Harvard Law School. Duane’s single-minded passion for HL Central, and his love for the school, showed everywhere, from his frenetic Admitted Students’ Weekend tours to the organization’s weekly bar reviews. When the first $20 bus ride left Pound Hall for New York City this year, Duane was there to see it off. Whenever there was a problem, whenever there was a gap to fill or a new project to launch, T.J. Duane took charge, even after he relinquished the reins of HL Central last year. He also figured prominently in the Law School Council, Student Activities Council, and the Catholic Law Students’ Association.

“T.J. saw opportunities where most people saw complaints, and he found ways to pursue his visions and get around obstacles people put in his way,” said 2L Naomi Klein, the incoming Executive Director of HL Central. “I don’t think that there is anyone at HLS — in the student body, the faculty or the administration that does not know the name T.J. Duane.”

Today, Duane leaves a much different organization than the one he founded, with broad involvement in community service, the arts and admissions recruiting. But Duane says that for him, HL Central has become about much more.

“I didn’t do these things for any kind of personal recognition,” he said. “The intention wasn’t all about drinking and food and socializing. It was about getting to know your classmates as human beings…. To have people getting along, being positive influences on each other… that’s going to be clutch for developing a stronger society. I always wanted this to be about having a stronger community at Harvard Law School.”

As Head Class Marshal, Duane will be speaking on behalf of his class at commencement. He plans a reflective speech — this is the first class to graduate post-September 11 — but also a positive one that puts a challenge out to his class.

“I feel like this class is one of the most talented classes I’ve seen come through Harvard Law School of the five, six that I’ve seen,” said Duane. “I feel like they can do a lot of really impressive things.”

As for what motivated him to get involved in the first place, Duane’s explanation was simple, “I have a lot of energy, and I do get bored pretty easily.”

Taryn Fielder

In this year’s Parody, “Taryn-It-Up” Fielder was a hard-driving drill sergeant who held a whip — and the presidency of every student organization on campus. Like most of the characters who appear in the yearly production — which Fielder helped direct this year and co-produced last year — the portrayal was a humorously twisted version of the truth. Indeed, Fielder made it seem like it was physically possible to be involved in everything at once. She could be seen on many lunch hours manning the BarBri or Lexis-Nexis tables in the Hark, or spending hundreds of hours in the Ropes-Gray room building sets, rehearsing scenes, or rehearsing lines. What fewer people saw — but no less important — was her work with the Human Rights Journal, Women’s Law Association and Law School Council, as well as countless other organizations. Fielder, as one RECORD staffer noted, “was everywhere.”

Not only was Fielder involved in many places, but she became an engine for growth in every organization she joined.

“Most people know that Taryn’s involved with a ton of campus organizations,” said 3L Mike Ginsberg, a fellow 2002 Class Marshal who co-produced last year’s Parody with Fielder. “But I think what makes Taryn stand out for me is how when she’s leading something, be it the Parody or WLA, she really makes an effort to build a team spirit among the people she’s working with. She sets a terrific tone for the rest of the people involved in the projects she’s leading. She’s a natural leader.”

And unlike her character, Fielder did everything with a smile on her face and a humble shrug of her shoulders. She led by example, and proved that the best kind of leadership is that which puts people first. One look at the 2001 Parody she co-produced — which had one of the production’s most elaborate sets ever, featuring a video screen, fake rockets and multiple moving set pieces — is a testament to both her ambition and her leadership.

When asked what motivated her to get involved on campus, Fielder had a characteristically disarming response: “Well, someone had to keep a fire lit under T.J.’s ass — just kidding. I guess mostly it was wanting to get to know people, to enjoy the full HLS experience…. My greatest motivation was just meeting new people and learning more about all the incredible people I’m lucky enough to call my peers.”

She isn’t all that much like her drill sergeant alter-ego, but Taryn Fielder — using kindness, passion and decency — has been a leader all can look up to.

Mike French

When Mike French got to HLS, his last involvement with student government had been in fifth grade, when he ran on the platform of “crispier French fries” in the cafeteria. His first LSC platform at HLS was “two dryers for every washer.” (The current ratio, he estimates, is 1.8 to 1.)

“It’s the little issues people care about,” said French. “Those are things you appreciate every day.”

When French got here, Hemenway Gymnasium was no small problem. The facility’s weight room consisted of a screened-in cage with a few rusty barbells inside; its cardio training equipment was stocked with ailing machines from the 1970s.

French leaves HLS as outgoing LSC President. He leaves a reformed organization with a stronger institutional memory, greater contact with the average student (French was in charge of implementing the “Sound-Off Board” in the Hark) and, most importantly, at least one major project it can be proud of — a renovated Hemenway.

“I really enjoyed the work,” on Hemenway, French said, which led him to greater involvement in LSC. “I thought, here’s something that really benefits the student body…. I saw LSC as a way to do more things like that.”

The old weight cage is still in Hemenway, for those who want to look — and it pales by contrast to a mirrored room full of brand-new weight machines downstairs, as well as a fully equipped cardio area with state-of-the-art equipment. The facility reflects countless hours of meetings between French and University weightlifting coaches, talks with scores of equipment suppliers, and meetings with deans, which culminated in Dean of the Faculty Robert Clark’s final approval of funding for the renovation.

“Mike has improved the quality of life for the students immeasurably,” said Dean of Students Suzanne Richardson. “He has a personal touch, traveling to various administrators’ offices — mine, Building Services, Registrar’s, and beyond to the University Athletic department.”

French demonstrated the best possibilities of student governments, which are often criticized as inept organizations full of would-be political hacks. To help propel the LSC after his departure, French instituted record keeping systems that will help future leaders follow his and others’ example.

Despite his visible achievements, French said his greatest honor as LSC president came this year, when he and Professor Emeritus Clark Byse visited Appalachian School of Law in Virginia, the site of a recent shooting where the school’s dean — an HLS alumnus — was killed. The pair were sent to convey sympathy and support from the entire HLS community.

“It was a sad trip in general,” French said, “But I was proud to be able to represent Harvard Law.”

Erin Hoffmann

At 90 years old, the Board of Student Advisers is one of HLS’ oldest organizations. Over its many years, it has had many missions — from running the original moot court program to its current role in teaching First Year Lawyering. But without the leadership effort of BSA President Erin Hoffmann, the transition to FYL — which accompanied HLS’ move to smaller 1L sections — might have been a very, very rough one for the organization.

“For us, it was a really challenging year, because it was the first time that we’ve had full-time people devoted to the program. In addition to bringing in those new people, it meant a real structural change for us at the BSA,” she said.

The old legal writing program had suffered under the weight of massive inconsistency — some faculty members made teaching it a priority, while others ignored it — and general student disaffection. With FYL, HLS sought to standardize the teaching of the legal writing component by adding staff members dedicated to teaching FYL full-time and creating a set curriculum.

The change to FYL and smaller sections could have meant the end of 2Ls teaching legal writing courses, or even conversion of BSA to an all-3L organization. As late as spring of last year, such things were far from decided — along with crucial elements like the program’s basic curriculum. But with Hoffmann at the helm, BSA arrived at a solution that proved better for students — and meant more dedication from BSA. Rather than expand the size of the organization to accommodate the larger number of sections, Hoffmann and others pushed for team-teaching, with FYL classes taught by a 3L and a 2L. That meant that 3Ls, in some cases, would have to teach two sections instead of one. Under Hoffmann’s leadership, the plan worked.

“That was the big innovation that we were able to get the faculty to agree to,” she said, “I think for my class as a whole, it was a real victory for us to feel like we had been able to influence a change and to keep some things that were really valuable to us.” And according to BSA surveys of 1L sections, satisfaction with the legal writing component has been much higher than in the past.

Hoffmann has also been involved in other ways, serving as a senior editor for the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, the Law School Council, and the Catholic Law Students’ Association.

Asked why she decided to dedicate so much time to BSA, Hoffmann credited her own BSA instructors: “I had a wonderful experience with my LRA instructor and my A-group adviser first year, and I was convinced from the beginning that BSA was the organization that I wanted to be involved in later. I just think BSA is a neat place to give back, and the students were the constituency I wanted to give back to.”

BSA colleague Ryan McAllister praised Hoffmann, saying: “I hope Erin knows that as she leaves HLS, she has touched many people’s lives in a positive way and that the BSA, FYL and HLS are better institutions because of her actions and leadership. That’s a goal most of us strive for even though we may not always be able to accomplish it.”

Nicole Lawson

One need only look at events on campus over the past few weeks to realize how powerful and effective the Black Law Students’ Association has become. In large part, students have Nicole Lawson to thank for the group’s transformation into one of the predominant voices for minority representation on campus. And that accomplishment is only the beginning of the many things Lawson has done to benefit the Law School community.

“When I came to HLS as a 1L, BLSA instantly became one of my strongest support networks,” Lawson said. “I saw BLSA as an organization with so much potential. Even though I cannot make many complaints, I saw that there was not always widespread involvement in the planning of activities among the membership.”

Lawson dove into the organization, joining as many committees as possible as a 1L and rising to internal vice-president as a 2L, where she made spurring 1L involvement a primary goal. This year, Lawson has stayed true to her mission of encouraging 1Ls, opting to join many different BLSA committees that bring her in contact with new students. Her work on this year’s successful Spring Conference brought high-profile recording artists, as well as the Conference’s first web site.

Though she has not always held the highest-profile positions, Lawson has been a kind of invisible glue — always present, always involved, and always, as she says, refusing to be apathetic.

Though she hesitates to credit herself with their efforts, Lawson says the activism of this year’s 1L BLSA class demonstrates the organization’s improvements.

“I look at all of the wonderful new things that BLSA 1Ls have done this year, including the establishment of B.A.D. (Black American Dialogue), and I am just proud to be leaving the organization better than I found it,” she said. “I seriously doubt that their activism is directly related to me, but I would like to think that I was a part of setting the tone for a BLSA that would encourage them to think outside of the box and help the organization grow.”

Lawson’s influence has not stopped with BLSA. Along with serving as a 3L representative for the American Constitution Society, she serves as primary editor for the Women’s Law Journal. She has also worked to benefit people outside of HLS through the Recording Artists’ Project and the Street Law Program, and worked with the admissions office to organize a minority recrui
tment forum in Atlanta two years ago.

“Nicole has that rare combination of being brilliant, compassionate and creative, and able to effectively interact with a wide range of interests,” said Professor Charles Ogletree, who advises BLSA. “She is one of the most gifted and talented people I know, and I’m so pleased with what she’s done for BLSA.”

University’s role in Harken Energy bailout questioned



Recent news reports, along with a report released by the student watchdog group HarvardWatch, claim to have unrearthed previously undisclosed aspects of the relationship between Harken Energy and Harvard University’s investments. In particular, they have exposed an off-the-books partnership that Harvard set up with Harken during the period 1986 to 1993, when President George W. Bush was a Harken director.

Bush’s dealings as a director of Harken Energy have already been the subject of considerable scrutiny, as questions related to insider trading and dubious accounting have persisted. Specifically, Bush profited in 1990 from a sale of nearly a million dollars of his Harken stock shortly before Harken was forced to make a damaging restatement of its profits. The SEC forced the restatement after the agency uncovered a fraudulent insider sale that had significantly distorted Harken’s financials. Though Bush was never prosecuted for any of this activity, it is notable that this interaction with the SEC took place during the period when Bush’s father was President.

The most recent revelations in this matter have focused upon an aspect of Harvard University’s relationship with Harken. One month after Bush became a director, Harvard agreed to invest at least $20 million in Harken through its subsidiary, Aeneas Venture Corporation. Harvard eventually became Harken’s largest shareholder, controlling roughly 30 percent of Harken’s stock, and placing two representatives on Harken’s board. According to HarvardWatch, Harken was Harvard’s third largest equity holding. In spite of this fact, Harvard did not list Harken among its top equity holdings.

The HarvardWatch report also indicates that, in the years before 1990, Harken was facing both a liquidity crisis and a solvency crisis. In May 1990, in order to prevent Harken from going into bankruptcy, Harvard and another large investor lent Harken $46 million. This move temporarily prevented Harken from becoming insolvent but exacerbated Harken’s liquidity crisis because of increased interest payments.

The result of this move was the continued decline of Harken Energy, and the liquidity crisis the company faced seemed destined to bring about its failure. Harken’s working capital for 1990 was negative $7 million.

In November 1990, Harvard and Harken set up an off-the-books partnership called the Harvard Andarko Partnership (HAP). In that the partnership was owned by and transparent only to insiders, it bore a striking similarity to the partnerships used by Enron that have been most heavily criticized. The Enron partnerships have been strongly criticized by Bush and many others in his administration. White House spokesman Scott McClellan says that the HAP partnership was Harvard’s idea. However, according to board meeting notes recently obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, the creation of the partnership was approved in a motion made by Bush. According to Professor William Black, an expert on financial management and regulation at the University of Texas at Austin, HAP allowed Harken to avoid a liquidity crisis, boost its net worth, and keep many of its problems off of Harken’s books.

The terms of HAP seem perplexing when examined from a purely financial standpoint. Harken was allowed to bring to the partnership $20 million in debt and liabilities, plus a group of poorly performing oil-drilling assets valued at $26 million, for a net of $6 million. Harvard alternatively, contributed $64.5 million of its drilling assets, 91 percent of the investment. But in spite of this imbalance, Harvard agreed to accept just 84 percent of the Harken Anadarko Partnership’s earnings. A critical effect of this deal for Harken was that it removed large debts from Harken’s books and placed them in an entity that didn’t publicly disclose the debts.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the sweetheart deal for Harken also helped its cash flow dilemma in that Harvard subsequently pumped $100,000 a month into Harken through management fees and $3 million worth of drilling and servicing fees in the first year. Furthermore, at this point Harvard inexplicably allowed Harken to erase $16.2 million in debt that Harken owed Harvard from a previous venture. Harken was allowed to pay off this note with assets valued at just $14 million. The HarvardWatch report indicates that at this point Harken’s stock rose to unprecedented levels in its history, ultimately reaching an all-time high of $8 in 1991. This price represents a 540% increase from Harken’s stock price at the end of 1990. Rice University accounting expert Dala Bharan has indicated that “It seems to be a simple case of Aeneas bailing out Harken.”

During the period after the organization of HAP, when Harken’s stock price was temporarily inflated, Harvard sold 1.6 million shares of its stock. These sales generated $7.47 million.

Harvard ultimately bought out Harken’s remaining 12 percent stake in the partnership for $2.65 million in cash. This stake had generated $3 million in losses for Harken in 1991. At this point, Harken’s stock began to fall, and it never again recovered. After buying out Harken’s interest in HAP and securing Harken’s release from any liability to HAP’s creditors, Harvard sold HAP in 1993 to Cabot Oil and Gas for $34.5 million. The owners of Cabot Oil and Gas had strong ties to Harvard. Until 1991, a member of the Cabot family, Walter M. Cabot, was President of Harvard Management and its Aeneas investment arm.

There are other notable ties between Harken Energy and Harvard. According to the Wall Street Journal, the person with the most influence over Harvard’s endowment has been Robert G. Stone, Jr., a former senior fellow of the Harvard Corporation, and a businessman in the oil industry. Stone oversaw Harvard’s involvement in HAP. He has been a major political contributor to the Bush family since George H.W. Bush’s first presidential election. George W. Bush received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1982.

A number of students at Harvard College and Harvard Law School are calling on the University to disclose all information about Harvard’s dealings with Harken. They are asking for an independent investigation, conducted by a committee of democratically chosen students and alumni, in order to develop proposals to prevent future conflicts of interest and ensure responsible investing. Some students have called for a more open, transparent investment policy. However, University officials have stated that they do not disclose such information.

George Farah, a 1L working to mobilize students to sign a petition containing these demands, said: “President Summers has an obvious conflict of interest. Robert Stone chaired the search committee that chose him as president, and Mr. Stone remains active in University administration.” Farah also pointed out that President Summers has emphasized the importance of transparency in talks he has given around the world.

Clifford Ginn, a 3L (who is also a columnist for The RECORD) is working to organize a student response. Ginn said that he believes the Harken story is symptomatic of a more fundamental problem in Harvard’s management structure. “The Harvard corporation has invested in apartheid in South Africa, employed sweatshop labor to make Harvard apparel, and used the endowment to further political ends, but I doubt it could get away with doing any of those things if Harvard had a more open and democratic governance structure.”

Current and past University officials have refused to comment on the details of the Harvard Andarko Partnership.