There are more than 2 million people imprisoned in the U.S. today. One hundred years from now, historians are likely to be fascinated by this carceral state: How did we get here? Are there better options for society? Some of the answers—or, at least, possible alternatives—may lie in an examination of medieval England. As a Harvard undergrad, Assistant Professor Elizabeth Papp Kamali ’07 fell in love with medieval legal history. After graduating from HLS, she got her Ph.D. in history at the University of Michigan, then joined the HLS faculty in 2015.
Assistant Professor Anna Lvovsky ’13, who joined the HLS faculty in 2017, always planned to teach. A legal historian – she holds a Ph.D. from Harvard – with a focus on the administration of criminal justice, she teaches a seminar on the history of policing in the U.S. as well as courses on evidence and criminal law that invite students to focus on the systemic effects of seemingly neutral legal rules.
It was Thursday night and the Ames Courtroom was decked out for a Hollywood-style awards ceremony–1Ls and their dates arrived in tuxes and ball gowns while a jazz combo played, and anticipation was in the air. The winter’s first snow was falling outside, but in Austin Hall, the Tortys had come to town.
On a March evening, Michael Thomas Jr. gave a tour of Gannett House to his dad and two brothers, who were visiting to see where Barack Obama first made headlines as the first black leader of the Harvard Law Review. But they were also there to celebrate Thomas, who had recently been elected the journal’s third African-American president.
“Tough Cases,” a new book in which 13 trial judges from criminal, civil, probate, and family courts write candid and poignant firsthand accounts of the trials they can’t forget, was the subject of a lively discussion at a panel sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library, which drew a packed house at Wasserstein Hall in October.
With the Supreme Court divided ideologically along partisan lines for the first time in history, the Solicitor General—no matter the administration—has become more political. How did this post, long regarded as the keel keeping the government balanced, come to contribute to forceful tacks one way or the other, to the Court’s seeming indifference?