Harvard Law Students Are Taking on Forced Arbitration

An article by Sejal Singh ’20: …As of 2017, more than 60 million American workers have signed forced-arbitration agreements in their employment contracts, and 81 of the largest 100 US companies have forced-arbitration clauses in contracts with their customers for financial products, cell phones, and more. The game was always rigged against working people—now, they might not get to play at all. That’s why we launched the Pipeline Parity Project, a grassroots campaign of law students fighting to end forced arbitration, stop workplace discrimination, and unrig the legal system. …When we started Pipeline Parity Project last spring, we were just a small group of Harvard Law School students furious about a rigged justice system. Just one year later, organized students have secured unprecedented disclosure of forced arbitration in the legal profession and forced some of the country’s largest firms to drop arbitration agreements. Now, we’re building a national network of law students who are trying to rewrite the rules that protect the powerful at the expense of the little guy.

Case Against Julian Assange Raises Press Freedom Questions

When U.S. prosecutors unsealed a March 2018 indictment accusing Julian Assange of conspiring to illegally access a Department of Defense computer system, they sparked more than just an examination of the case and the accused. …Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler has written about the legal implications of prosecuting WikiLeaks. He told The Guardian he believes the indictment contained “dangerous elements that pose a significant risk to national security reporting. Sections of the indictment are vastly overbroad and could have a significant chilling effect.”

Can you be a mother and a senior law firm partner?

It is a question that thousands of lawyers have faced for decades: can you be a mother and still make partner? Last year, just over half of entrants to law school in the US were women; in Britain, it was two-thirds. Yet in 2018 women made up just 19 per cent of equity partners in British law firms, according to PwC, the consultancy, while a McKinsey study from 2017 showed the same figure. The generally accepted issue is the choice many women face between partnership — on call 24/7 and under pressure to generate business — or starting a family. At the same time, says David Wilkins, director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School, there are limited equity partnership positions as many firms look to cut costs. These factors combine to have “a disproportionate impact on women because they still bear the majority burden of childcare and childraising, and the sole burden of childbearing,” he says.

Harvard Professor Cass Sunstein explains how social change happens

Brian talks to Cass Sunstein, the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School. Sunstein served in the Obama administration as the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs from 2009 to 2012. In his conversation with Brian, he discusses his new book, “How Change Happens,” which answers the question of how social change happens and how change is impacted by social norms.

Death Penalty Dust-Ups at the High Court

Dahlia Lithwick is joined by Harvard Law School professor Carol Steiker, co-author of Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment, to explore recent death penalty cases before the Supreme Court and why the Eighth Amendment has raised tensions among the justices.

This Editorial Is Not About Designer Babies

Leigh syndrome is a terrible disease. In the worst cases, it emerges shortly after birth and claims one major organ after another. Movement becomes difficult, and then impossible. A tracheotomy and feeding tube are often necessary by toddlerhood, and as the disease progresses, lungs frequently have to be suctioned manually. Most children with the condition die by the age of 5 or 6. …On Wednesday, the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School will host a round-table discussion, during which the scientists, ethicists and families at the center of this issue will make the first significant attempt to reconcile the federal ban with the federally commissioned report.

The mob-boss presidency

A normal president confronted with a news story suggesting he ordered underlings to illegally transport asylum seekers to so-called sanctuary cities in order to retaliate against political enemies would deny knowledge of such a heinous plot. If need be, he’d make light of it, portray it as if it were idle chatter or a joke. That’s what President Trump’s devoted prevaricators (White Houses staffers) did following The Post account. … Constitutional scholar Laurence H. Tribe tells me, “If carried out, this offer to pardon high immigration officials if they will break the law on his behalf is the most obviously impeachable action President Trump has taken to date: It would mean this president has seized the power to put not just himself but all who do his bidding beyond the reach of law.” He continues, “That doing so is a high crime and misdemeanor is beyond dispute. Any president guilty of such conduct cannot be permitted to remain in office.”

DealBook Briefing: Everything You Need to Know About the Pinterest I.P.O.

Good Sunday morning, and welcome to a special edition of the DealBook Briefing, where we’ll take a deep dive into Pinterest’s upcoming public offering. It’s the second of many decacorns — $10 billion-plus start-ups — to go public this year. And it could be an indicator of what’s to come during the rest of 2019. … But the practice is increasingly controversial among governance experts. And Kobi Kastiel and Lucian Bebchuk from Harvard Law School have warned that the dual-class structure may “significantly decrease the economic value of Pinterest’s low-voting shares.”

Putting compassion into action

“Reaching out to others is how you find out who you really are,” said Daniel Nagin, vice dean of experiential and clinical education and faculty director of the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School (HLS). He was quoting the late HLS Professor Gary Bellow, LL.B. ’60, who in 1979 co-founded the Jamaica Plain center with his wife, senior lecturer in law Jeanne Charn, J.D. ’70. On April 5, Nagin and others celebrated the center’s 40th anniversary, and the quote strikes at the heart of the center’s mission of improving the legal profession through experiential learning while working with community organizations to enact real and lasting change.

Journalist, whistleblower, or dangerous security leak?

Nearly a decade after Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning shared classified materials illegally downloaded from Defense Department computers with WikiLeaks, the site’s founder, Julian Assange, was arrested in London for his role in the 2010-11 disclosures. … To better understand the legal, national security, and journalistic tensions at issue, the Gazette spoke with Harvard faculty members Yochai Benkler, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, and Nicco Mele.