From the Dean:

Problem-Solvers in a Time of Change

What policies will ensure access for all communities to safe, high-quality food? What can help children dealing with family violence and other adverse experiences succeed in school? What legal rules can reduce the chances that companies currently incorporated in the United States will reincorporate elsewhere to ease their tax burdens and avoid stringent corporate governance requirements? How can the constitutional guarantee of free exercise of religion be realized in contemporary society? Which goals of the 1964 Civil Rights Act remain unrealized in practice? How can law firms adapt to changing economic pressures while increasing the quality of professional services?

Harvard Law School faculty, students, and alumni are pursuing intriguing approaches to these and other problems, as explored in this issue of the Bulletin.

A few years ago, a second-year student at Harvard Law School asked, “If you can ‘think’ like a lawyer, does that mean you can ‘act’ like a lawyer?” This very good question helped animate our development of the Problem-Solving Workshop, the Trial Advocacy Workshop, simulation exercises across many courses, and practice opportunities in our 37 clinics and student practice organizations.

Meanwhile, HLS is delighted to welcome terrific new faculty members reflecting a broad range of fields, methods and perspectives:

Professor Oren Bar-Gill LL.M. ’01 S.J.D. ’05, who specializes in the law and economics of contracts and contracting

Clinical Professor Christopher Bavitz, an expert on intellectual property and media law and managing director of HLS’s Cyberlaw Clinic, which he first joined in 2008 as a clinical instructor

Tom Brennan ’01, a professor at Northwestern University School of Law specializing in tax and finance, who will join the HLS faculty in July

Clinical Professor Esme Caramello ’99, deputy director of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, where she began as clinical instructor in 2009

Professor of Empirical Practice Alma Cohen, an applied empirical economist, who has done influential work in the areas of law and economics, risk and uncertainty, regulation and corporate governance

Andrew Crespo ’08, a staff attorney in the Trial Division of the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., who will become an assistant professor at HLS in January, focusing on criminal justice issues

Professor Samuel Moyn ’01, a leading historian and award-winning author

Professor Intisar Rabb, an expert on Islamic law, legal history and statutory interpretation, who joined us at the start of 2014

Kristen Stilt, an expert on Islamic law and society, property law, and also animal law

Assistant Professor Crystal Yang ’13, a scholar specializing in criminal law and consumer finance

Future Bulletins will profile the work of these talented individuals.

It is a time of transition, after longtime colleagues Alan Dershowitz and Lloyd Weinreb ’62 took emeritus status. We mourn the passing of John Mansfield ’56, marked by tributes in this issue of the Bulletin and in the Harvard Law Review. And we salute our colleague David Barron ’94, now confirmed as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.

As we strengthen our own communities, tackle individual and societal problems, and pursue justice, the words of biochemist and science fiction author Isaac Asimov are worth remembering:

“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.”

Martha Minow is Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor at Harvard Law School