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The Washington Post
Trump’s brazen self-promotion crosses the line
Someone in the Trump administration recognized that even for the Trump clan, the latest act of self-promotion went too far. As NPR spelled out: An article on a State Department website about President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort has been removed after criticism that it was an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds...This time, the administration acted not just unethically but apparently illegally. “It manifestly violates 5 CFR 2635.702,” says legal scholar and litigator Laurence Tribe
, referring to the statute that bars using public office for private gain. “Our emoluments case [challenging his receipt of foreign government monies derived from hotels] will put a stop to this sort of outrageous use of public office for private gain, which essentially puts the White House on the auction block and distorts U.S. government policy in the direction of foreign interests in ways that are opaque to public scrutiny.”
The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. Makes It Easy for Parents to Get College Loans—Repaying Them Is Another Story
Millions of U.S. parents have taken out loans from the government to help their children pay for college. Now a crushing bill is coming due. Hundreds of thousands have tumbled into delinquency and default. In the process, many have delayed retirement, put off health expenses and lost portions of Social Security checks and tax refunds to their lender, the federal government...“This credit is being extended on terms that specifically, willfully ignore their ability to repay,” says Toby Merrill
of Harvard Law School’s Legal Services Center. “You can’t avoid that we’re targeting high-cost, high-dollar-amount loans to people who we know can’t afford to repay them.”
Above the Law
The Legal Profession’s Resistance To Evidence In Addressing Access To Justice
Every day in courtrooms across the United States, lawyers rely on evidence to make their cases. But when it comes to what works in serving clients or enhancing access to justice, lawyers and judges are stubbornly resistant to evidence-based research. That, at least, is the premise underlying the Access to Justice Lab at Harvard Law School, where director and Harvard Law professor James Greiner
and his staff are working to compile rigorous evidence of what works in law and what doesn’t, using randomized control trials...In this regard, the legal profession today is roughly where the medical profession was in the 1940s, when insurers began demanding evidence of the efficacy of procedures and drugs, Greiner said at a recent showcase of the Access to Justice Lab’s work. Drug testing is a good example of why the “trust me” approach is unacceptable in medicine. Of all drugs that enter phase-one testing, only 10 percent make it to phase three. “But what do we do in law?” Jim Greiner asked. “We go from idea straight to the field. Why? Because we know. We’re professionals.”
Trump Lawyers Get Creative With First Amendment
An op-ed by Noah Feldman
. President Donald Trump’s lawyers are trying to rewrite the First Amendment. In defending a civil suit against Trump by protesters who say they were roughed up in one of his campaign rallies, Trump’s legal team has advanced two claims that either misstate or substantially overstate constitutional doctrine.
The Harvard Crimson
Report Shows Increase in Faculty Diversity Over Past Ten Years
The proportion of Harvard’s tenured faculty who are women or people of color jumped from 30.8 percent to 39.2 percent over the past decade, according to the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity’s annual report. The report, released on Monday, provides demographic statistics for each of Harvard’s schools and the four divisions of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences...Among tenure-track professors, the Divinity School and the Law School have the highest minority representation with 75 percent and 60 percent, respectively.
Former US Ambassador Samantha Power writing a memoir
Former U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power
is writing a memoir about her transition from writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning condemnation of foreign policy to becoming a leading public advocate for the government. Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it had acquired Power's "The Education of an Idealist." A release date has not yet been determined..."Making the transition from critic of U.S. foreign policy to U.S. government official was not easy, but public service proved the most gratifying experience of my life," Power, now a professor at Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School, said in a statement. "I am looking forward to stepping back to explore the highs and lows, and to share ideas for how, even in troubled times, we can each do our part to shape a more humane future."
The National Law Journal
Obama White House Counsel Neil Eggleston Returns to Kirkland
On Inauguration Day, outgoing White House counsel Neil Eggleston
visited his office in the West Wing one last time. He then went to Andrews Air Force base to say goodbye to his boss, Barack Obama, before taking a call from a former Kirkland & Ellis colleague to schedule a dinner the following week. Three months later, Eggleston has returned to private practice and to his old firm, Kirkland announced internally Monday...This time, Eggleston, who is 63, plans to build a practice similar to what he had before, plus teach at Harvard Law School and keep a calendar of public appearances and speeches. "Hopefully, I'll ramp up quickly. I've had former clients reach out and ask me when I'll be returning" to the firm, he said.
Harvard Project Outlines Pattern Of Attorney Failures In Arkansas Death Row Cases (audio)
NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Jessica Brand
of Harvard Law's Fair Punishment Project about the chronic problem of bad lawyering on capital punishment cases. All eight death row cases in Arkansas had examples of attorney failures, including drunk lawyers, a conflict of interest affair involving a judge, lawyers missing deadlines, and failure to disclose mental disorders.
NBC Los Angeles
Groups Take Aim at USDA for Animal Welfare Document Takedown
Thousands of public records about animal welfare have vanished from the internet, part of a government database that included atrocious puppy mill conditions, improper veterinary care and other mistreatment of animals. Now activists are hitting back at the USDA in the courtroom and by posting deleted records online...Delcianna Winders
, an academic fellow in the Animal Law and Policy Program at Harvard Law School, said that no new enforcement records had been posted online since 2016...Winders, who uses the documents for her own work at Harvard, sent thousands of the records she's saved to Kick to publish on his site. "The impact is huge, I don’t think it can be overstated," she said of the documents' removal.
Harvard Law School’s Moneyball Moment
Why would Harvard Law School, one of the most elite law schools in the country, decide to change the admissions criteria that it has used for the past 60 years? One would be tempted to assume that it’s a response to the plummeting number of applicants at law schools around the country: even Harvard’s number of applicants is down 18% since 2011, though it still has far fewer spots than applicants. So why Harvard, why the change and why now?...It is to Harvard’s advantage to increase access to top talent and to be able to cast a wider net. As Jessica Soban
, Harvard Law School’s Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Admissions, put it, “Harvard Law School works to eliminate barriers to legal education for top talent. We seek that talent from a variety of backgrounds: across different academic disciplines, different countries, and different socio-economic backgrounds.”
...Thirty-five videos, featuring Harvard experts in science, business, law, health, economics, engineering, public policy, design, and the arts, have been assembled over the last year and a half as a resource for members of the public who want to learn more about climate change.....While every viewer will take home different lessons from the videos, Griswold was struck by the discussion of climate change economics and public policy from Associate Professor of Public Policy Joe Aldy and Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government Robert Stavins. He also pointed to perspectives on law from Archibald Cox Professor of Law Jody Freeman
The Boston Globe
Mourners gather in Aaron Hernandez’s hometown for funeral
Family and high-profile friends of Aaron Hernandez, the convicted killer and former New England Patriots star who hanged himself in his prison cell last week, on Monday paid their final respects to the notorious felon during a private funeral service in his hometown....Hernandez’s attorneys, including Jose Baez, Ronald Sullivan
, Linda Kenney Baden, Robert Proctor, Leontire, and Michelle Medina, exited the funeral home around 4 p.m. to read a brief statement on behalf of the family. Sullivan, a Harvard Law professor, read the statement, thanking the public for “its thoughtful expressions of condolences.” “The family wishes to say goodbye to Aaron in privacy,” Sullivan. “They love him and they miss him.”