Letters

All Men and Women Treated Equally

As a male graduate of the Class of 1964, I read with dismay the Bulletin’s sycophantic “review” of Judith Richards Hope’s revisionist and self-indulgent portrayal of the women in our class evidently described in her book, “Pinstripes & Pearls” (which in fairness I confess I have not read).

I was in Judith Richards’ section, as were approximately 120 men, and, if I recall correctly, several women, including Diana Lorenz (married to another section mate, Jim Lorenz) and Ann Cronkhite (subsequently married to another Harvard Law graduate, Stanford Goldblatt). Mrs. Richards Hope’s picture of the treatment of women, at least as described in the Bulletin article, is exaggerated, distorted and wrong. All of us, male and female alike, considered ourselves privileged to be at HLS and equally privileged to associate with such bright, engaging and sometimes even attractive peers. There was no distinction made between men and women in the classroom, study groups or otherwise. Nor was there any derogation or condescension directed particularly at women. Rather, we all felt the brunt of professional sarcasm, disdain and put-downs.

The article on “Pinstripes & Pearls” seems to me to be yet another sad example of Harvard’s descent into glib political correctness and historical revisionism.

The mystery of the picture

I have TWO COMMENTS about the Summer 2003 issue:

  1. Although looking carefully through the entire issue several times, I can find no descriptions of the photos inside the front cover and on the back of the back cover. I’m particularly intrigued by the back cover photo.
  2. I’ve read “The Woman in the Picture” story on page 40 three or four times, and each time it says, to me anyhow, that Warren Seavey was sitting on the platform in 1991 when the “acceptance and dedication” of the painting occurred. As a student, I had the good fortune to come to know Mr. Seavey fairly well, and I know he was born in 1880. Accordingly, he could have been 111 years old if sitting on the platform in 1991. Besides, I was fairly sure he’s died a number of years ago. Did HLS get his ghost for the 1991 dedication?

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Bulletin is always superbly done and fascinating.

Editor’s Note: Mr. Atcheson is correct: Professor Seavey died in 1966. Harold Putnam, the author of the essay “The Woman in the Picture,” tells us that the man sitting on the platform looked like Professor Seavey. Other people who attended the ceremony were unable to identify him. Perhaps a reader can.
As to Mr. Atcheson’s first question, we’ve recently included a photo of a campus scene on each edition’s inside front cover. We eschew a photo caption and leave the description to the viewer’s imagination. On the back cover of the summer edition is a photo taken in 1934 that depicts a group of employees at the Great Western Railway’s signal works in Reading, England, testing and repairing the company’s clocks. We hoped it would remind alumni that it was “time” to send in a Class Note.

Another View of Another View

Given the devastating comments of the California Court of Appeal (quoted in Mr. Judd’s letter concerning Alex Cushing in the summer ’03 issue) and the Bulletin’s otherwise lack of a sense of editorial responsibility, you might have titled Mr. Judd’s letter “Oops” instead of “Another View.”

New Dean Has Much To Do

In your most recent edition, there was an article written by Lewis Rice on the performance of Dean Clark. While he held the reigns of power for over a decade, what he left undone speaks louder than what he accomplished. Here is a litany of his lesser priorities, those matters that linger onward and which will be inhaled by the new dean upon her first breath when entering her office:

  1. HLS continues to have rising tuition costs – often over the rate of general inflation – that leave many graduates little more than indentured servants for a decade after their graduation. This despite the fact that HLS sits upon one of the largest endowments that has ever graced a bank account.
  2. HLS continues to have overall poor-quality student housing and an inadequate quality of life for many students. Those that live in the dorms at HLS may someday know a better living environment … if they ever get sent to prison.
  3. HLS continues to lack a single course on military law, even though it offers courses on arcane subjects like Islamic law. Graduates who practice military law must learn it after they put on their uniforms to serve their country.
  4. HLS continues to have a growing disparity between prosperous professors and increasingly debt-burdened students. Check on who drives the best cars and on who gets the best parking spaces at HLS, and you will know quickly who is serving whom.

Will statues be built to honor this man? Will buildings, roads and bridges be given in his name? What is his lasting legacy? Wasn’t a decade enough time? His record is mixed at best – not terrible, but far from visionary. Can the next dean do better? Will she demand greatness and lead forcefully; or will she tread water and pass the time away? What further supplications are necesaary?

The stage is set; the lights are dimmed. Enter the new dean.

Fitting Tribute, Right Values

I was very touched by Michael Weston’s tribute to Helge Boes. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there are a few among us who recognize that defending our country and way of life is more important than most other things.

Found: A Clarification

In at least three places in the summer issue of the Bulletin, Judith Richards Hope ’64 is described as a “founder” of Paul Hastings. I have a very high regard for my classmate Judy Richards, but as we are essentially the same age, can you please explain how she could have founded a law firm that was established in 1951?

Editor’s note: The references to Ms. Richards Hope should have made clear that she is a founder of the Washington, D.C., office of Paul Hastings, not the firm itself.

Justices Called For in Story on 50 Alumnae

In reading you article “50” (Summer 2003), I was disappointed by its omissions. I am perhaps somewhat biased, but I believe two members of my Class of 1968 certainly deserved inclusion: Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey of the Colorado Supreme Court and Justice (former Chief Justice) Pamela B. Minzner of the New Mexico Supreme Court.

Speaking of Women …

The articles in the summer issue about the history of women at HLS indicate that the school has made great progress toward offering equal opportunities for women. That impression made it all the more jarring to see in the same issue that all nine speakers in the spring’s Traphagen Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series were men. As the biographies of the 50 remarkable alumnae make clear, there is no shortage of distinguished women who could have been included in the program. I hope future programs will be more inclusive.

Soliciting for Another “Nifty” Alumna

I was surprised that Preeta Bansal ’89, the former solicitor general of the state of New York, did not make the list of “Nifty 50” female graduates of the law school.

Preeta and I initially met while I was president of the Harvard South Asian Law School Association. I know at a minimum, the members of that group drew inspiration back then from her list of accomplishments.

Since that time, she has continued to impress, serving the public and the community in substantial ways. I believe that she certainly qualifies for any list of our current “nifty” graduates, male or female.