Student Spotlights

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Closing arguments: Graduating students reflect on life before, during and after Harvard Law

This year, more than 750 students will receive degrees from Harvard Law School. Each brought unique experiences to law school and all have tailored their academic careers while at HLS to explore their individual interests. As they prepare to graduate, several members of the Harvard Law School Class of 2015 reflect on the interests they brought to law school and the experiences they will take from their time at Harvard Law.Continue Reading »

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Harvard Law School’s faculty portraits: A backdrop for daily life at HLS

The first and second floors of Wasserstein Hall feature over 180 photographs of Harvard Law School professors. Located at an apex of social activity on campus, the portraits are a backdrop for the daily routines and informal interactions of students and faculty members. Professors have come to appreciate the photographs as one of the honors of receiving tenure, and alumni often seek out photos of their favorite professors while on campus for reunions or other events.

In the News

HLS faculty weigh in

A selection of analyses and opinions from Harvard Law School experts.

US should not negotiate free trade behind closed doors (registration)

An op-ed by Mark Wu. Many Americans who think free trade can be good for them nevertheless doubt whether the same can be said for the international trade agreements that are actually being written, often in conditions of secrecy. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that the US is negotiating with 11 Pacific Rim countries, is a case in point. Beyond the few paragraphs on the White House website, most Americans have little idea what it contains. Even members of Congress have to go to a secure room in the basement to read the latest negotiating text…As a former trade negotiator, I know that so-called trade promotion authority and some degree of secrecy is vital for getting a deal done. But the current level of secrecy may be going too far. Instead of dismissing critics as misguided, the White House should strike a better balance between retaining flexibility for negotiators and keeping the public informed during the process.Continue Reading at The Financial Times »

Do Human Rights Increase Inequality?

An article by Samuel Moyn. Imagine that one man owned everything. Call him Croesus, after the king of ancient lore who, Herodotus says, was so “wonderfully rich” that he “thought himself the happiest of mortals.” Impossibly elevated above his fellow men and women, this modern Croesus is also magnanimous. He does not want people to starve, and not only because he needs some of them for the upkeep of his global estate. Croesus insists on a floor of protection, so that everyone living under his benevolent but total ascendancy can escape destitution. Health, food, water, even paid vacations, Croesus funds them all. In comparison with the world in which we live today, where few enjoy these benefits, Croesus offers a kind of utopia. It is the one foreseen in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), a utopia that, though little known in its own time, has become our own, with the rise in the past half-century of the international human rights movement — especially now that this movement has belatedly turned its attention to the economic and social rights that the declaration promised.Continue Reading at The Chronicle of Higher Education »

Battling with the too-big-to-fail banks

An op-ed by Mark Roe. Headlines about banks’ risks to the financial system continue to dominate the financial news. Bank of America performed poorly on the US Federal Reserve’s financial stress tests, and regulators criticised Goldman Sachs’ and JPMorgan Chase’s financing plans, leading both to lower their planned dividends and share buybacks. What was also of interest was Citibank’s hefty build up of its financial trading business that raises doubts about whether it is controlling risk properly. These results suggest that some of the biggest banks remain at risk. And yet bankers are insisting that the post-crisis task of strengthening regulation and building a safer financial system has nearly been completed, with some citing recent studies of bank safety to support this argument. So which is it: are banks still at risk? Or has post-crisis regulatory reform done its job?Continue Reading at World Finance »

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