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Jon Hanson

  • Jon Hanson

    ‘Do justice, Class of ’22, do justice!’

    May 26, 2022

    The Class of 2022 made Professor Jon Hanson a four-time winner of the Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence at Class Day. The award recognizes teaching ability, attentiveness to student concerns and general contributions to student life.

  • Two women smiling

    Gallery: Harvard Law School Class Day 2022

    May 25, 2022

    Read more: Harvard Law School celebrates the Class of 2022 View full gallery (23 images)…

  • Collage of the 2022 last lecture speakers

    Words from the wise

    May 3, 2022

    The Last Lecture Series, sponsored annually by the 3L and LL.M. class marshals, is a Harvard Law School tradition in which selected faculty members impart…

  • Jon Hanson speaking.

    ‘Recommit to your childhood dreams of justice’

    April 27, 2022

    In the first of this year’s Last Lectures, Professor Jon Hanson challenged students to think about what justice really means — and whether it’s truly provided by the American legal system or even taught in law school.

  • Black and white portrait of a man in his office

    Remembering Alan Stone 1929–2022

    February 4, 2022

    Alan A. Stone, the Touroff- Glueck Professor of Law and Psychiatry Emeritus in the faculty of law and the faculty of medicine at Harvard, died Jan. 23. He was 92.

  • Man and woman wearing face masks, standing on stage at a microphone, looking at a cellular phone and gesturing.

    The Tortys return

    November 24, 2021

    Oscars-style event back in person for its fifth year, celebrating student short films on tort law and justice.

  • Colorful silhouettes of overweight people

    The shape of discrimination

    March 10, 2021

    Harvard Law alum Daniel Aaron ’20 thinks high obesity rates among people of color may be another legacy of ongoing racism in America.

  • The Justice Initiative logo

    Harvard Law School’s Systemic Justice Project and Howard University School of Law’s Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center Launch ‘The Justice Initiative’

    October 2, 2020

    This Saturday, October 3, 2020, the Systemic Justice Project at Harvard Law School and the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University School of Law will launch a year-long pilot project called “The Justice Initiative” with the first of 10, three-hour programming sessions.

  • Multicolored hands layered over each other

    How can law students help in the midst of COVID-19?

    April 29, 2020

    Lee Mestre helped to coordinate Harvard Law School student aid efforts after natural disasters in New Orleans and Puerto Rico. Now she's using that experience to help law students support people in Massachusetts affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

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    Students showcase films on tort law and justice

    December 19, 2019

    A night of glamour at HLS to celebrate student films on tort law and justice.

  • Love and Law: Recent Mergers in 1L, Section 6

    January 22, 2019

    Two couples in the wedding announcements, Hannah Diamond and Sam Feldman, and Lindsay Church and Andrew Ellis, who were all in the same Harvard Law School section, were married this weekend. Two other classmates, Habin Chung and Mark Jia, were also married (in 2017) after connecting in the class. The couples were in the same first-year section (similar to a homeroom period) called 1L, Section 6. Jon D. Hanson, their torts professor, who is also responsible for supervising and orchestrating intellectual and social activities, leads the section. Professor Hanson, who has taught at the university for 26 years, weighed in on the romances with three theories. “One, there is nothing to see here,” he said, explaining that 560 students in 1L are divided into sections of 80 students each. “It’s just probability. They are arriving at a certain stage of their life. They are thinking of long-term plans and are young enough not to be committed. Love connections emerge from interaction. It happens to everyone in every section.”

  • The Tortys, take two

    The Tortys, take two

    December 7, 2018

    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.

  • 25 Harvard Law Profs Sign NYT Op-Ed Demanding Senate Reject Kavanaugh

    October 4, 2018

    Roughly two dozen Harvard Law School professors have signed a New York Times editorial arguing that the United States Senate should not confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Harvard affiliates — including former Law School Dean Martha L. Minow and Laurence Tribe — joined more than 1,000 law professors across the country in signing the editorial, published online Wednesday. The professors wrote that Kavanaugh displayed a lack of “impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land” in the heated testimony he gave during a nationally televised hearing held Sept. 27 in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee....As of late Wednesday, the letter had been signed by the following: Sabi Ardalan, Christopher T. Bavitz, Elizabeth Bartholet, Christine Desan, Susan H. Farbstein, Nancy Gertner, Robert Greenwald, Michael Gregory, Janet Halley, Jon Hanson, Adriaan Lanni, Bruce H. Mann, Frank Michelman, Martha Minow, Robert H. Mnookin, Intisar Rabb, Daphna Renan, David L. Shapiro, Joseph William Singer, Carol S. Steiker, Matthew C. Stephenson, Laurence Tribe, Lucie White, Alex Whiting, Jonathan Zittrain

  • And the 'Torty' goes to...

    And the ‘Torty’ goes to…

    December 13, 2017

    This year, Jon Hanson challenged his torts students to create short documentaries about how tort law might apply to social issues and problems on the edge of the law’s reach. This challenge culminated in the inaugural Torty Awards--a screening and ceremony celebrating their inventive films on climate change, driverless cars, and the Flint water crisis.

  • Diversity in the 1L curriculum explored in spring seminar and lecture series

    February 7, 2017

    During this year’s spring semester, Mark Tushnet, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, is teaching a novel seminar called “Diversity and Social Justice in First Year Classes.” It combines classroom teaching with an eight-part public lecture series examining how issues of diversity and social justice can be integrated into the core 1L classes.

  • Diversity and U.S. Legal History

    December 7, 2016

    During the fall 2016 semester, a group of leading scholars came together at Harvard Law School for the lecture series, "Diversity and US Legal History," which was sponsored by Dean Martha Minow and organized by Professor Mark Tushnet, who also designed a reading group to complement the lectures.

  • Harvard Gazette: The costs of inequality — A goal of justice, a reality of unfairness

    March 2, 2016

    Fifth in a Harvard Gazette series on what Harvard scholars are doing to identify and understand inequality, in seeking solutions to one of America’s most vexing problems.

  • The costs of inequality: A goal of justice, a reality of unfairness

    March 1, 2016

    When starting a semester, Harvard Law School (HLS) Professor Carol Steiker likes to ask her first-year criminal law students to describe what they think are the biggest societal changes of the past 40 years. The students often cite the rise of social media, or global warming, or same-sex marriage. Then it’s Steiker’s turn. “I show them the statistics,” said Steiker, the School’s Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law, “and they are stunned.” Her numbers show mass incarceration in the United States...The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, part of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, enacted a sweeping revision of the criminal code. The legislation established the U.S. Sentencing Commission and tasked it with providing guidelines to federal courts — a radical shift in policy, since judges previously had wide discretion in sentencing. The commission introduced mandatory sentencing for various crimes and eliminated federal parole for some cases, immediately boosting prison rolls. Instead of improving fairness in sentencing, as was intended, the new system wound up promoting inequality, says HLS lecturer Nancy Gertner, herself a former federal judge. Judges suddenly had to hand down standard sentences to those convicted of some specified crimes who had particular criminal histories...In addition, court systems around the country increasingly are outsourcing their probation operations to private firms that make money by charging offenders extra fees. “The private company may have little or no interest in achieving justice,” said Jacob Lipton, who leads Harvard’s Systemic Justice Project along with HLS Professor Jon Hanson.