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.
Even when he was 5, Joel Motley ’78 knew his late mother was doing important work; now, he has co-produced “The Trials of Constance Baker Motley,” a short film about the woman who the first black female Manhattan borough president, New York state senator, and federal judge.
Accepting the Daniel P.S. Paul Constitutional Law chair, Tomiko Brown-Nagin delivered a lecture titled, “On Being First: Judge Constance Baker Motley and Social Activism in the American Century,” which focused on 20th century social reform through the life of the civil rights advocate who became the first female African American federal judge in 1966.
HLS Professors Tomiko Brown-Nagin and Jonathan Zittrain ’95 have been elected members of the American Law Institute–the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law.
In honor of the centennial anniversary of Louis D. Brandeis’ confirmation to the United States Supreme Court, Harvard Law School and the Harvard Law Library are celebrating his relationship with the school, as a student, a devoted alumnus, and as a Supreme Court Justice employing and mentoring HLS graduates.
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.
Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow has announced the creation of a committee to research if the school should continue to use its current shield. The shield is the coat of arms of the family of Isaac Royall, whose bequest endowed the first professorship of law at Harvard.
“Choosing Not to Choose: Understanding the Value of Choice,” by Professor Cass R. Sunstein ’78 (Oxford). Choice, while a symbol of freedom, can also be a burden: If we had to choose all the time, asserts the author, we’d be overwhelmed. Indeed, Sunstein argues that in many instances, not choosing could benefit us—for example, if mortgages could be automatically refinanced when interest rates drop significantly.
In a discussion moderated by Professor John Manning, five Harvard Law School professors, Tomiko Brown-Nagin, John Coates, Richard Fallon, Charles Fried and Intisar Rabb, assessed last year’s Supreme Court decisions and shared their thoughts on those rulings.