A look back at 2016, highlights of the people who visited, events that took place and everyday life at Harvard Law School.
During the fall 2016 semester, a group of leading scholars came together at Harvard Law School for the lecture series, “Diversity and US Legal History,” which was sponsored by Dean Martha Minow and organized by Professor Mark Tushnet, who also designed a reading group to complement the lectures.
Historian Annette Gordon-Reed would like to make clear that she likes “Hamilton,” the Broadway hip-hop musical phenomenon about Alexander Hamilton. But she would like to make clearer that she found the show problematic in its portrayals of Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, the Founding Fathers, and the issue of slavery.
Over 800 alumni returned to Harvard Law School for the fourth Celebration of Black Alumni (CBA), Turning Vision into Action. The event brought together generations of black alumni to reconnect with old friends, network with new ones and take part in compelling discussions about the challenges and opportunities in local, national and global communities.
New exhibit documents the shield’s ties to the family of Isaac Royall, Jr., the 18th century slaveholder whose bequest established the first professorship of law at Harvard in 1815, through its removal in the spring of 2016.
On March 14, the Harvard Corporation voted to retire the Harvard Law School shield, following the recommendation of an HLS committee. The shield is modeled on the family crest of Isaac Royall, whose bequest endowed the first professorship of law at Harvard. Royall was the son of an Antiguan slaveholder.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History for her book “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” Annette Gordon-Reed ’84 first read a biography of Thomas Jefferson as a child—and hasn’t stopped learning and writing about him. The HLS professor, who is also on the faculty at the university and the Radcliffe Institute, spoke to the Bulletin about her latest book, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination,” co-written with Peter S. Onuf. She discusses her own fascination with and (measured) admiration for the third U.S. president—and the significance of teaching history at the law school.
As part of the Last Lecture Series presented every year by the HLS Class Marshals, Professor Annette Gordon-Reed ’84 spoke about her experiences combining legal analysis and historical research.
The Harvard Corporation has approved the recommendation of the Harvard Law School Shield Committee to retire the HLS shield, which is modeled on the family crest of an 18th century slaveholder.
A committee of Harvard Law School faculty, students, alumni, and staff established in November by Dean Martha Minow has recommended to the Harvard Corporation that the HLS shield — which is modeled on the family crest of an 18th century slaveholder — no longer be the official symbol of Harvard Law School.