Follow HLS on
Law Schools Should Have to Be Really Honest
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. You’ll be forgiven for chuckling at the story that a former law student is suing her law school because she didn’t get a job she liked after graduation. What could be more measure for measure? The Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego taught Anna Alaburda to sue. Now she’s suing it. Alaburda’s suit essentially alleges false advertising: She says the school misrepresented the employment record of its graduates, inducing her to attend and amass debt.
Reversing the legacy of junk science in the courtroom
...The committee’s report sent shockwaves through the legal system, and forensic science is now grinding toward reform. A series of expert working groups, assembled by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Justice, has begun to gather and endorse standards for collecting and evaluating different kinds of evidence...Some judges are already pretty savvy about statistics. In the Boston racketeering case, federal district court judge Nancy Gertner
found the detective’s conclusion that only one gun on the entire planet could have produced the imprints on the bullet cartridges “preposterous.” She believed the evidence should have been excluded completely. But Gertner—now a professor at Harvard University—feared that an appeals court would reverse that move, so she “reluctantly” ruled that the detective could describe ways in which the bullet casings looked similar, but not conclude that they came from the same pistol. Ultimately, a jury said there was no evidence of a racketeering operation; Gertner cleared the defendants of the more serious federal charges and their cases were moved to state court.
Williamsburg Yorktown Daily
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian Joins Colonial Williamsburg Board of Trustees
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s board of trustees recently elected historian and scholar Annette Gordon-Reed
to the board. Gordon-Reed was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for History with the publication of her book The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family in 2009. More than a decade earlier, Gordon-Reed broke onto the scene with the publication of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy. That book challenged previous research suggesting Jefferson was not the father of Hemings’ children and came a year ahead of the DNA tests that confirmed a genetic match between Jefferson and Hemings descendants. “Annette’s work illustrates that one scholar’s research can change how we see fundamental individuals and events of that history, and with it our shared American identity,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman of Colonial Williamsburg’s board of trustees and the chairman, president and CEO of Dominion Resources.
The New York Times
Elizabeth Garrett, First Female President of Cornell, Dies at 52
, a lawyer and scholar who was the first woman to be president of Cornell University, died on Sunday at her home in Manhattan, only eight months after starting the post. She was 52...She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Oklahoma, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1985, and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1988. After graduating, she was a clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court and a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. She also taught law as a visiting professor at the University of Virginia Law School and Harvard Law School, and in Budapest and Israel.
The Harvard Crimson
Law School Affiliates Unsurprised, But Divided Over Seal Recommendation
A months-long debate over Harvard Law School's controversial seal came to an uncertain close Friday, when a committee recommend the University replace it. But in the wake of the committee's lofty suggestion to retire the seal, alumni and affiliates responded with range of opinions...“I have found from the responses that I’ve received that many people...respect the care and respect with which the committee conducted itself, and often compliment us on having handled a difficult task in a fair and open and reasoned fashion,” committee chair and Law School professor Bruce H. Mann
said. Not all of the feedback Mann has received has been supportive of the change. He said he has received responses on both sides of the issue and called disagreement "inevitable."...For activists, the committee’s recommendation was an unsurprising victory. “It was exactly what I expected all along,” President of the Black Law Students Association Leland S. Shelton
said...However, activists said they were disappointed the letter from Minow accompanying the report did not mention their efforts. “It totally elides over all of the tireless hard work that student activists, staff members, faculty members from across the University have been putting in day in and day out to make this happen,” Aparna Gokhale
, a member of the group Reclaim Harvard Law, said...While students with dissenting opinions also commended administrators’ open approach, third-year Law student William H. Barlow
, who has publicly decried activism at the school, said activists have created an environment that silences opposing voices. “There’s tremendous amounts of social pressure, especially in a university that leans heavily left, to not say anything that could be perceived as offensive or hurtful. A lot of people have chosen to stay out of the debate because they don’t want to be called a racist,” Barlow said...By no means did our charge close the chapter on Isaac Royall and racial inclusion at the Law School,” [Janet] Halley
said. “Those discussions need to continue.”
A Little Too Much Free Speech on the Crosstown Bus
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. Can the government limit nasty political ads on public buses? Great question. Just not one the Supreme Court will be answering this year. On Monday the justices refused to address it in a case arising from ads considered Islamophobic by the Seattle public transit authority. Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Samuel Alito, dissented from the court's refusal to hear the case. His reasoning -- and the implicit logic behind the denial of certiorari by the court -- sheds light on a truly fascinating and important problem in free-speech law.