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.
From rethinking how venture capital firms meet their legal needs to focusing on broadening access to legal services for all people, Sarah Reed '91 has been a pragmatic innovator.
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.
Twenty-two years. That’s how long Tom Mela ’68 and his colleagues fought the Boston Public Schools in a class-action lawsuit over huge backlogs in providing special education to students with disabilities.
“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.
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.
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.