Former NBA Star Lays Out Philanthropic Goals for Democratic Republic of Congo

Twenty-five years after the former Zairian dictator Mobutu Sese Seko visited Harvard amidst protests, eight-time NBA all-star and philanthropist Dikembe Mutombo spoke about development projects in his native Democratic Republic of the Congo—formerly known as Zaire—on Thursday at the Law School. Towering over the podium, the seven-foot two-inch 18-year NBA veteran discussed the hospital he founded in the DRC’s capital Kinshasa, as well as efforts to improve education and prevent Congolese brain drain…Law School professor William P. Alford, who serves on the board of Special Olympics International with Mutombo, invited the former NBA player to campus and moderated a question and answer session. Following his address, Motumbo stopped by the Harvard men’s basketball team’s practice.

We must ensure everyone has access to equal justice

An op-ed by Martha Minow. Neglected in today’s headlines, blogs, and talk radio is a silent, shameful crisis that inflicts suffering and costs the nation money, legitimacy, and decency. Our justice system has become inaccessible to millions of poor people and so every day, we violate the “equal justice under law” motto engraved on the front of the grand United States Supreme Court. Americans who cannot afford legal help routinely forfeit basic rights as a result. Because the law does not enforce itself, veterans seeking benefits the nation has guaranteed, victims of domestic violence needing legal protection, and tenants and homeowners pursuing their rights since the financial disaster all need advisors and guides through the law and its agencies and courts.

Analysis: Kim Secured ‘Extraordinary’ Bargain, Experts Say

Eldo Kim, the then-College undergraduate who was charged last week for allegedly sending emailed bomb threats that temporarily shut down campus last December, reached an “unusual” yet “fair” arrangement in avoiding a trial, law experts said this week…Alex Whiting, professor of the practice of criminal prosecution at the Law School, applauded the U.S. Attorney’s Office for being willing to negotiate this deal, adding that attorneys usually feel pressure to prosecute aggressively in cases like Kim’s. “I think it is a great outcome,” Whiting said. “There are consequences for him that are very real, but at the same time it takes account of the fact that he’s a young man obviously under a lot of pressure who made a bad decision and [should] have an opportunity to remake his life without a felony conviction on his record.”

A Salute to Fierce Women Who Protect Children

Dr. Elizabeth Bartholet, Harvard Law Professor, was one of the non-Evangelicals who spoke at Together for Adoption. She is another fierce woman who has been a great proponent of international children’s rights and has presented and promoted the idea that it is a basic human (and legal) right of all children, everywhere, to have a family. She is one of CHIFF’s strongest proponents and allies. She proposes that we deal with illegal and unethical infractions individually, while moving forward with giving children from all countries families.

Open Letter to Dean Cosgrove and Professor Goldberg: Students Need Title IX Transparency

A letter by Students for Inclusion, Student Mental Health Association,
Women’s Law Association. We want to thank Lindsay Church [`16] and the Harvard Law Record for addressing an important topic: the implementation at Harvard Law School of the University’s new sexual harassment policy that incorporates federal Title IX requirements. Among the important issues raised by this article and the robust debate on campus about the policy’s implementation, there is one that stands out for immediate action: We are very concerned about the lack of clarity on who at the law school is currently mandated to report disclosures of sexual and gender-based harassment and assault.

SCOTUSblog on camera: Laurence H. Tribe (Part one) (video)

…In this six-part interview, Laurence H. Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, discusses his background, from his birth in Shanghai, China during World War Two and his early interest in mathematics to teaching presidents and Supreme Court Justices and arguing cases before the Supreme Court; the inspiration and purpose of his latest book, Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution , written with former student Joshua Matz; and understanding essential, accessible points of the Supreme Court, principles in constitutional law and leading issues of the day — “Obamacare,” racial equality, gay rights, campaign finance, and the relation of privacy and technology.

From Crimson Madness to March Madness?

On Friday evening, October 17, Crimson Madness—a kickoff event to celebrate the start of the Harvard men’s basketball team’s fall practices—began in normal enough fashion. Shortly after 6 p.m., head coach Tommy Amaker walked onto the court at Lavietes Pavilion and welcomed the crowd…More subtle evidence of the program’s transformation came from a conversation that occurred before the event in the glass-encased lounge overlooking the court. Just after 5:30 p.m., Amaker was chatting with Randall Kennedy, Klein professor of law, and Jared Sullinger, a power forward for the Celtics. Harvard’s coach had tabbed both men to serve as judges in the slam-dunk contest. Kennedy, who also serves as the team’s faculty adviser but identifies tennis as his main sport, wanted guidance from Sullinger about what qualified as a good dunk. (The key factor? Degree of difficulty.) In what may have been a first, an esteemed Harvard law professor was seeking adjudicatory advice from a 22-year-old professional basketball player.

A ‘sitdown’ with Snowden

The new documentary “Citizenfour” centers on a series of candid interviews with Edward Snowden, the former Central Intelligence Agency employee and National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who last year leaked more than 200,000 classified documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance efforts. The film’s action unfolds in a Hong Kong hotel room over eight days, during which Snowden’s revelations about the vast scope of the surveillance programs hit the press. On Monday afternoon, via videoconference, Harvard Law School’s Lawrence Lessig engaged Snowden in another frank conversation.

Underfunded Legal Aid in MA Leaves 2/3 of Those in Need Unrepresented

According to a new report issued by the Boston Bar Association’s Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts, 64 percent of the low income people in Massachusetts who applied for and were qualified for civil legal assistance were turned away over the past year because the funding was not there to support the representation. In total, an estimated 30,000 were denied legal services in cases having to do with such things as child custody, foreclosures, and employment violations. Martha Minow is the dean of the Harvard Law School and one of the 32 members of the task force that produced the 37-page report. “When you have people who are literally not represented in actions where they can lose their homes or face physical violence, where they can’t get legal remedies to which they’re entitled, there’s a failure to live up to the rule of law,” said Minow.

Why Ebola Is Scarier Than It Should Be

An op-ed by Cass R. Sunstein. In 2012, more than 33,000 Americans died on the highways. In some recent years, the flu has killed tens of thousands. Alcohol is associated with some 70,000 deaths annually, weight problems with more than 300,000, and smoking with over 400,000. Even a single one of these preventable deaths is a tragedy. But the risks they pose do not greatly trouble most people in their daily lives. What’s worrying many people much more these days is the far lower risk, at least in the U.S. and Europe, of contracting Ebola. What, then, can public officials do to stem the public anxiety? The problem is that Ebola fear presents a delicate challenge — one that official assurances might just make worse, at least if they breed distrust.