Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren—bankruptcy expert, Wall Street reformer and consumer watch dog—has won a hard-fought race for the U.S. Senate. The Democratic nominee defeated her Republican opponent, incumbent Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.
Said HLS Dean Martha Minow: “I congratulate my colleague and friend Elizabeth Warren on her election to the Senate. Through her important work as a teacher and scholar here at Harvard Law School, she provided a strong voice for those who are too seldom heard, and she emerged as a passionate advocate for fundamental fairness. I truly believe that all of us here at the Law School can be proud that she will now bring that voice and her remarkable skills as an advocate to the floor of the U.S. Senate.”
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Warren served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, overseeing Congress’s use of the TARP money and monitoring bank bailouts. She was a strong critic of the banking industry and a plainspoken advocate for heightened financial consumer protections. (See 2009 Harvard Law Bulletin story: “Top Cop.”)
Since well before the financial crisis, Warren has advocated for the creation of an agency to protect consumers against deceptive financial products. In 2010, she helped to set up the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (see related story), which serves that function.
Warren has written more than a hundred scholarly articles and nine books, including two co-written with her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi: “The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle Class Parents Are Going Broke” (see the 2004 Harvard Law Bulletin feature) and “All Your Worth.”
She began teaching at HLS in 1992 as a visiting professor and became the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law in 1995. In 1997 and 2009, she received the Sacks-Freund Teaching Award (see related story), recognizing her teaching ability, openness to student concerns and contributions to student life at HLS. (See recent coverage in Boston Globe). Warren received her J.D. from Rutgers Law–Newark and her B.S. from the University of Houston. She is married to Harvard Law Professor and legal historian Bruce Mann.