Writ Large: Faculty Books

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In new book, Benkler makes the case for “prosocial” systems design

For generations, the assumption that selfishness drives human behavior has shaped the design of social systems in which we live and work. In his new book “The Penguin and the Leviathan: The Triumph of Cooperation Over Self-Interest,” Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler ’94 rejects this assumption as a “myth” and proposes an alternative, refreshingly optimistic model that asserts our human traits of cooperation and collaboration.

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Checks and Imbalances

Vermeule and Posner are bullish on executive power

Vermeule and Posner set out to explain why the traditional separations of power confining the executive have weakened over time—and why that’s not necessarily worrisome.Continue Reading »

What Kind of Difference They Made

Glendon looks to history to inspire graduates considering a career in public life

In her long career as a law professor, Mary Ann Glendon has seen students struggle to stay idealistic in an imperfect world. Will they lose their moral compass if they choose a life in politics? Risk irrelevance if they stick to academia? Glendon, a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, has explored how great statespersons and philosophers grappled with similar questions.

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Inside HLS

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    The Delta Force: A collaboration between HLS and local organizations seeks to transform a region

    Where others see entrenched problems, the HLS Mississippi Delta Project—an interdisciplinary effort in the HLS Clinical and Pro Bono Programs—sees opportunity for transformation. Since launching less than three years ago, the project has made strides in improving public health, promoting economic development and assisting children in the Delta.Continue Reading »

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    How Judges Decide: A clinical course puts students in chambers

    Arraignments on drug charges. Restraining orders in cases of domestic violence. Default judgments on overdue credit card payments and appeals on speeding tickets. When Judge Sabita Singh, an associate justice on the Massachusetts District Court, presides over these and a wide range of other civil and criminal matters, Allison Lukas ’11 is there. Lukas is […]Continue Reading »

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    Taking an Idea and Running with It

    This winter, as protests erupted throughout the Middle East, Jason Gelbort ’12 was one of the many obsessively watching the news, wondering if there was anything he could do to help. Then, on March 2, he went to a talk by Chibli Mallat, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Visiting Professor of Islamic Legal Studies at HLS.Continue Reading »

Alumni Notes and Newsmakers

Leonard Joy ’56

Leonard F. Joy ’56 on representing the infamous and the “truly good”

At the reins of New York’s federal public defender office for two decades, Leonard F. Joy ’56 represented notorious defendants in cases involving international intrigue, terrorism plots and arms trafficking. But Joy’s favorite case will always be one that reminds him why he transitioned into public defense as a young corporate lawyer. The case was particularly satisfying for Joy, not just because he won but because it offered the rare thrill of defending someone “who was truly good.”

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John Kroger

John Kroger ’96: Where His Convictions Have Led Him

Kroger went from being a Marine reconnaissance scout to a Yale undergraduate to an aide for then-Rep. Charles Schumer ’74 and then for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, before he enrolled at Harvard Law School. After clerking for a year, he landed a job in 1997 as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York, where he quickly racked up a list of high-profile convictions against drug dealers and mobsters.Continue Reading »

Rebecca Hamilton, interviewing the vice president of southern Sudan, Riek Machar

Learning from History: Rebecca Hamilton ’07 analyzes a citizens’ advocacy movement from the inside

Rebecca Hamilton ’07 has traveled extensively in Sudan, interviewing powerful generals in the north and refugees in Darfur who had survived murderous government raids. But that was easy, she says, compared to the delicate task of talking about the book that resulted. “Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide” is a look at the advocacy movement that Hamilton was part of and which she has now come to critique.

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Committee on Capital Markets Regulation offers students the chance to whisper in the Treasury secretary’s ear

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Since the financial crisis hit, HLS Professor Hal Scott and the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, an independent research organization which he directs, have been working double time making recommendations on financial regulatory reform through white papers, major reports and testimony before Congress.Continue Reading »

Goldberg and students provide analysis to Gulf Coast Claims Facility administrator

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This fall, Professor John Goldberg, a tort law specialist at Harvard Law School, unexpectedly found himself engaged in a research project that could impact the lives of thousands of Americans. And it needed to be completed in a matter of weeks.Continue Reading »

A venerated Supreme Court practitioner makes it his mission to expand access to the lower courts

Professor Laurence Tribe ’66, who has been teaching at HLS for four decades, is back in Cambridge after nine months as the first head of the new Access to Justice Initiative at the Department of Justice, launched in March 2010 to improve access to justice for all, the middle class as well as the poor.Continue Reading »

Connecting Across Classrooms and Across Oceans: Zittrain explores the case for a new kind of casebook

Jonathan Zittrain ’95

A common lament of law students is that casebooks are expensive and heavy. Others say they are static and slow to evolve. Professor Jonathan Zittrain ’95 has set out to address both complaints.Continue Reading »

We Knew Her When … Former client of HLS clinic wins Grammy

The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards – Show

When Esperanza Spalding won the Best New Artist award at the 2011 Grammy Awards last February, Clinical Professor Brian Price wasn’t at all surprised—he had long predicted that the former client of his HLS clinic would hit it big.Continue Reading »

A Prescription for health law: Conferences, research and university-wide collaboration

There is no shortage of attorneys involved in legal issues related to the pharmaceutical and health care industries. There is, however, a shortage of law schools examining those issues. Since its founding, the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics has aimed to rectify that problem. Continue Reading »

Hearsay: Faculty short takes

“Private Manning’s Humiliation” Professor Yochai Benkler ’94 and Bruce Ackerman, professor at Yale Law School The New York Review of Books April 28, 2011 “Bradley Manning is the soldier charged with leaking U.S. government documents to Wikileaks. He is currently detained under degrading and inhumane conditions that are illegal and immoral. … “President Obama was […]Continue Reading »

On the Faculty Front: Veteran advocates and novel proposals

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Poor underwriting, predatory lending, sloppy record-keeping, neighborhood blight, ill-considered or invalid foreclosure decisions, the inability or refusal of banks to negotiate with homeowners, homeowner protection scams—all these are widespread problems that Professor Elizabeth Warren has long been addressing. She served for nearly two years as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, which addressed foreclosure mitigation and […]Continue Reading »

Where Social Entrepreneurship, Leadership and the Law Intersect

Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship

After spending a semester investigating how Citizen Schools, an organization that partners with middle schools across the country to expand the learning day, could save on program costs and best serve students with disabilities, a group of six HLS students presented their findings to their professor and fellow students—and to representatives from Citizen Schools itself.Continue Reading »