Bryon Fong

Lecturer on Law

Spring 2018

Biography

Bryon Fong is the research director at the Center on the Legal Profession at Harvard University. At the Center, he manages the Center’s flagship Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies research project as well as is responsible for the framing, execution, and analysis of the Center’s other core research activities. He is the managing editor of the Center’s digital magazine The Practice. He co-edits the Center’s Research Paper Series with David B. Wilkins and manages the Legal Profession Reading Group. He is a co-author (with David B. Wilkins and Ronit Dinovitzer) of The Women and Men of Harvard Law School: Preliminary Results from the HLS Career Study. He has taught a course at the London School of Economics & Political Science on theories of nationalism. Previously he served as the senior legislative correspondent for Joseph R. Biden while he was in the Senate, handling judiciary issues, foreign affairs, and health policy.

Areas of Interest

David B. Wilkins & Bryon Fong, Harvard Law School Report on the State of Black Alumni II: 2000-2016 (HLS Ctr. Legal Profession Research Paper No. 2018-2, Jan. 27, 2018).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Race & Ethnicity
,
Legal Education
Type: Other
Abstract
On January 10, 2017, President Barack Obama delivered his formal farewell address to the country in Chicago, the city that had given him his political start. In reflecting on the achievements and challenges of his two terms in office, the president paid special attention to an issue that he knew would, for better and for worse, define his presidency: Race. In the simple, yet elegant, language that even his harshest critics have come to respect, the president said this about the state of race relations after eight years of the Age of Obama: "After my election, there was talk about a post-racial America. Such a vision, no matter how well-intended, was never realistic. For race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society. I’ve lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10, 20, 30 years ago — you can see it not just in the statistics, but in the attitudes of young Americans across the political spectrum. But we are not where we need to be. All of us have more work to do." In this Report, we offer a preliminary assessment of how much progress had been made — and how much work remains to be done — in a part of the American economy President Obama knows well: the legal profession. We do so by examining the careers of the black graduates of President Obama’s law school alma matter in the 16 years since the beginning of the new millennium. Harvard Law School provides an important lens through which to study these issues. One hundred and fifty years ago this year, the Law School enrolled George Lewis Ruffin, who would go on to be the first black person to graduate from any law school in the United States. In the intervening years, Harvard has graduated more black lawyers — over 2,700 — than any law school in the country with the exception of the great Howard University School of Law. Among their ranks are some of the most powerful and influential lawyers in the world, including the 44th President of the United States and the country’s former First Lady, Michelle Obama ’88. In 2000, the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession released a Report on the State of Black Alumni: 1869-2000 chronicling the achievements and continuing challenges of this remarkable group of lawyers on the basis of a comprehensive survey of the careers of over 650 of the school’s African American alumni. In this new Report, based on a second survey of the school’s black alumni, including those that graduated in the new millennium and matured during the Age of Obama, we both bring that history up to date and offer new perspectives for this new era. Collectively, we hope that these two reports will provide the “common baseline of facts” that President Obama identified in his farewell address as key to a civil dialogue in a functioning democracy, for a profession that will always have a central role in guaranteeing the freedom and equality that are the cornerstones of our democracy.
Ashish Nanda, David B. Wilkins & Bryon Fong, Mapping India’s Corporate Law Firm Sector, in The Indian Legal Profession in the Age of Globalization: The Rise of the Corporate Legal Sector and its Impact on Lawyers and Society 69 (David B. Wilkins, Vikramaditya S. Khanna & David M. Trubek eds., 2017).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Global Lawyering
,
Legal Services
Type: Book
Abstract
This book provides the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of globalization on the Indian legal profession.
Ashish Nanda, David B. Wilkins & Bryon Fong, Mapping India’s Corporate Law Firm Sector, in The Indian Legal Profession in the Age of Globalization: The Rise of the Corporate Legal Sector and its Impact on Lawyers and Society 69 (David B. Wilkins, Vikramaditya S. Khanna & David M. Trubek eds., 2017).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Foreign Law
,
Legal Services
Type: Book
David B. Wilkins, Bryon Fong & Ronit Dinovitzer, The Women and Men of Harvard Law School: The Preliminary Results from the HLS Career Study (Harvard Law Sch. Ctr. on the Legal Profession Research Paper No. 2015-6, May 22, 2015).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
Type: Other
Abstract
There is widespread consensus that the legal profession stands at an important inflection point. Traditional models of professional organization, practice, and education are under increasing pressure to adapt to important changes in the environments in which lawyers work. At the same time, these same forces make the profession’s commitment to its traditional ideals of equality and the rule of law more relevant and important than ever. The current status of women in the legal profession mirrors this complex duality. On the one hand, the number of women entering the profession has increased dramatically in recent decades, and women lawyers can now be found in leadership positions in virtually every major legal institution in the country, including three female justices on the United States Supreme Court. And yet, the percentage of women in these top positions remains far below their representation in the profession, even when adjusted for the fact that women did not begin to enter legal practice in significant numbers until the 1970s. To make matters worse, even women who have achieved important career success appear to be leaving their prestigious positions - and the profession as a whole - in alarming numbers. It is against this background that we offer this Preliminary Report on The Women and Men of Harvard Law School. The Preliminary Report presents the results of the Harvard Law School Career Study (HLSCS), conducted by the school’s Center on the Legal Profession (CLP). Begun with a generous grant from a visionary group of women alumnae in connection with the 55th celebration of the graduation of the school’s first female students in 1953, the study seeks to deepen the understanding of the career choices made by HLS graduates by providing for the first time systematic empirical information about the careers trajectories of graduates from different points in the school’s history. In this Preliminary Report, we offer a first look at the Study’s findings about the salient similarities and differences between the careers of the school’s female and male graduates.
Bryon Fong, People, Citizens, and Inclusion/Exclusion, in Globalization, Migration, and the Future of Europe: Insiders and Outsiders 169 (Leila Talani ed., 2011).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
European Law
Type: Book

Education History

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