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Ruth Okediji

  • Ruth Okediji.

    Okediji appointed director of Center for African Studies

    August 10, 2023

    Ruth L. Okediji, the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, has been named Oppenheimer Faculty Director of the Center for African Studies (CAS).

  • Why Is It So Hard for Scholars to Launch Startups?

    August 8, 2023

    Eunice Yang first tasted entrepreneurship in her twenties, when she helped run her family’s carton manufacturing business. Five years later, after the business was acquired,…

  • Faith & Veritas ’23 event brings together Christian alumni, faculty, students

    March 2, 2023

    In an inaugural University-wide event, Faith & Veritas ’23 will bring together Harvard’s Christian alumni, faculty, and students March 30-April 2 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Faith…

  • Grid of four African women heads of state

    Training future women presidents of Africa

    April 13, 2022

    With the Women Heads of State Initiative virtual summit, Teresa Clarke J.D. ’87/M.B.A. ’88 and Professor Ruth Okediji LL.M. ’91 S.J.D. ’96 brought together four female African heads of state to explore opportunities for the continent’s future advancement.

  • image of blind folded woman holding scales and sword

    Faith in the Law

    January 31, 2022

    Four distinct programs pursue research and address current topics linked to the intersection of religion and law

  • Doctor with a woman and a baby

    Waiving COVID vaccine patent rights? It’s complicated

    December 27, 2021

    Harvard Law Today recently spoke to Professors Terry Fisher and Ruth Okediji about COVID-19 vaccine challenges in the global south, waiving drug-maker patents, and what they propose to reform the system in time for the next pandemic.

  • Susan Hendrickson

    Berkman Klein Center welcomes Susan Hendrickson as executive director

    December 1, 2021

    The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University has announced the appointment of Susan Hendrickson ’93 as its new executive director.

  • High angle shot of young people sitting at the table with books and laptops..

    ‘Talent is equally distributed; opportunity is not’

    November 30, 2021

    Future-L, a pilot collaboration between Harvard Law School and the National Education Equity Lab, introduces high-achieving high school students from historically underserved backgrounds to the legal field.

  • Group of people sitting around an illustration of Earth.

    A kaleidoscope of views on globalization

    November 23, 2021

    At a Harvard Law School book talk and discussion on “Six Faces of Globalization: Who Wins, Who Loses and Why It Matters,” panelists discussed the authors' major narratives for and against the economic phenomenon.

  • L.O. Natt Gantt

    Gantt named executive director of Program on Biblical Law and Christian Legal Studies at HLS

    September 13, 2021

    L.O. Natt Gantt, II ’94 has been appointed the inaugural executive director of the Harvard Law School Program on Biblical Law and Christian Legal Studies and a lecturer on law at HLS.

  • A group of ten students pose outside at granite bench on the Harvard Law School campus.

    Tips for law school success

    August 31, 2021

    Harvard Law School faculty and staff share what they wished they’d known about doing well and staying well in law school — useful whether you’re a first-year student just beginning your journey, an LL.M., S.J.D., or a 3L preparing to make your mark on the world.

  • Keyon Lo

    The alchemist

    May 27, 2021

    Keyon Lo LL.M. ’21 hopes to combine his legal and artistic skills to promote fairness and diversity

  • With a Covid-19 vaccine patent waiver likely, time to rethink global intellectual property rules

    May 10, 2021

    An op-ed by Ruth L. Okediji: On Wednesday May 5, the US moved to back a Covid-19 vaccine patent waiver that was being debated at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The proposal, first put forward by South Africa and India in October 2020, seeks to temporarily lift certain intellectual property rights that belong to pharmaceutical companies so that other nations can develop generic versions of the drugs. As awareness of vaccine inequality has grown, patents and other types of intellectual property have become central to how the world emerges from the pandemic. Ironically, the patent system was supposed to improve public welfare. Here's how the rationale goes: in return for disclosing her invention -- i.e. by seeking a patent -- an inventor would be able to, among other things, exclusively make, use, and sell that patented product for 20 years. This would -- as the US Constitution puts it -- "promote the progress of science and the useful arts" by incentivizing the creation and dissemination of lifesaving products. In practice however, the global patent system has enabled the creation of drugs that pharmaceutical companies can sell at high prices, to the patients who can afford them and largely for diseases prevalent in wealthy countries. Pharmaceutical companies argue that these high prices are necessary to recoup substantial research and development (R+D) expenditures, but patent rules also prevent poor countries from producing medicines locally to meet domestic needs.

  • Rep. Andy Kim and ATF police officers

    For Prof. Ruth Okediji, ‘grievous’ Capitol insurrection holds hopeful lessons

    January 19, 2021

    Harvard Law Professor Ruth Okediji believes recent events can reinvigorate American democracy and serve as a lesson for the world.

  • Illustration of an open laptop with images of four people, on a desk with a lamp, plant, cup of coffee. Laptop is connected to a cloud and work related images.

    COVID adaptation

    August 26, 2020

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the globe, affecting every aspect of human society, Harvard Law School finds itself at a pivotal moment in legal education. From the crisis, and the challenges and opportunities of remote learning, it is wresting pedagogical innovations that are transforming what it means to get a legal education.

  • Lawyering In Crisis: African Countries Among Innovation Leaders Against COVID-19

    June 5, 2020

    African innovators have shown creativity and ingenuity in finding solutions to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, but face legal barriers to safeguarding their intellectual property. There have been 192 innovations directed at COVID-19 from Nigeria alone, as well as more than 90 from South Africa, it was revealed during a webinar hosted by Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession, and digital platform “One of the things COVID-19 has done is to underscore the importance of innovation in societies that have been viewed as lacking the intellectual capacity to deploy innovation,” said Professor Ruth L. Okediji of Harvard Law School. “Many innovations in Africa lack the protection necessary to make business models scalable and meaningful.” The webinar brought together top legal minds to discuss Law and crisis management: Working with lawyers in business, government and society to manage the challenges of COVID-19...David Wilkins, Faculty Director at the Center on the Legal Profession, started off with a brief presentation on the role of lawyers in society, reminding participants that one of the continent’s greatest freedom fighters, Nelson Mandela, had been a lawyer. “We tend to think of lawyers as technical appliers of the law…Lawyers must also be counsellors to help clients make decisions that are not only legal but also right…Lawyers must also be leaders who play a critical role in leading key organizations,” Wilkins said.

  • Ruth Okediji

    Last Lecture: Ruth Okediji encourages the graduating class to cultivate the courage to try something new

    May 20, 2020

    In her Last Lecture, Ruth Okediji encouraged the graduating class to cultivate the courage to try something new.

  • Dehlia Umunna, Daphna Renan, Ruth Okediji, Naz Modirzadeh

    Harvard Law School Last Lecture Series 2020

    May 20, 2020

    The 2020 Last Lecture Series is an HLS tradition where selected faculty members impart insight, advice, and final words of wisdom to the graduating class. Speakers this year included Dehlia Umunna, Daphna Renan, Ruth Okediji, and Naz Modirzadeh.