New head of VA looks to put system’s troubles behind

Robert McDonald

At the inaugural Disabled American Veterans Distinguished Speaker Series at Harvard Law School, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald said the troubled agency is making progress in getting its house in order, citing more — and more timely — appointments and authorizations to see private doctors for veterans who live far from VA hospitals.

Faculty Sampler: Short takes from recent op-eds

Faculty Sampler-Sunstein (HLB Fall 2014)

  “How to Deregulate Cities and States” Professor Cass R. Sunstein ’78 and Harvard economics Professor Edward Glaeser The Wall Street Journal Aug. 24, 2014 “In 2011 the Obama administration, with bipartisan support, called for an ambitious process through which federal agencies would periodically evaluate existing rules, eliminating or streamlining them when cost-benefit analysis suggested that elimination […]

President of a community without borders

HLSA Salvo Arena LL.M. ’00 (HLB Fall 2014)

Every two years, the Harvard Law School Association appoints a new president to oversee an organization aimed at fostering engagement and community among the nearly 38,000 alumni living in 148 countries around the world.

Authors and Auteurs

Phoning Home 3d Alumni Book (HLB Fall 2014)

“Phoning Home: Essays,” by Jacob M. Appel ’02 (South Carolina)

Tapping into his background as a doctor, lawyer, and bioethicist—and his personal background and family experiences—Appel writes on subjects ranging from his secret prank calling of his parents (in the title essay) to his favorite psychiatric patient (upon their final parting, they share a mutual desire never to see each other again). He also tackles social issues such as opting out of end-of-life medical care. Throughout, the author shares emotions and insights with a humorous and skeptical perspective.

A conversation with Bryan Cressey

Bryan Cressey (HLB-Fall 2014)

When Bryan Cressey J.D./M.B.A. ’76, a native of Seattle, was putting himself through the University of Washington by working at a conveyor-belt company, he grew intrigued by the “go-go era of the ’60s,” as he puts it, when business innovators such as James J. Ling were creating giant conglomerates. Cressey decided he wanted to build companies and applied to the J.D./M.B.A. program at Harvard. From his first job in 1976 with a venture capital firm in Chicago; to four years later co-founding Golder, Thoma & Cressey (later Golder, Thoma, Cressey, Rauner); to the present, Cressey’s leadership in industry consolidation with a particular expertise in the health care and medical services fields has been recognized by Fortune and Time magazines, among many other publications.

Fighting Unequal Justice

Alec Karakatsanis ’08 (left) and Phil Telfeyan ’08 (HLB Fall 2014)

Until last spring, scores of destitute people—virtually all of them African-Americans—were locked up in the city jail of Montgomery, Alabama, for traffic tickets they couldn’t pay, sentenced to a day in jail for every $50 they owed. They could earn a $25 credit daily by providing free labor, scrubbing blood and feces off jail floors and cleaning buildings.

Origin Story

Profile: Tim Kiefer ’98 (HLB Fall 2014)

On the second floor of the City-County Building in Madison, Wisconsin, there now hangs the portrait of a man named Nathan Dane. The same steady gaze examines visitors 1,100 miles away as they step off the elevator on the fourth floor in Langdell Hall at Harvard Law School.