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Research Programs

Harvard Law School Project on Disability

  • William Alford and Michael Ashley Stein

    Founders of Harvard Law School Project on Disability honored by the president of Ecuador

    March 18, 2021

    Visiting Professor Michael Ashley Stein ’88,  executive director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, and Professor William P. Alford ’77, who cofounded the project, known as HPOD, were awarded the National Order of Merit by the president of Ecuador on March 8, in recognition of their work on disability.

  • In

    Harvard International Law Journal honors Professor Alford

    February 5, 2021

    Scholars, alumni, and friends from around the world commemorate Alford’s legacy and impact.

  • Mark Wu and William Alford

    Passing the baton

    August 21, 2020

    As William Alford completes his tenure, Mark Wu assumes vice deanship of the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies at HLS.

  • Professor Alford smiling in the audience before his talk

    After 18 years, Professor Alford completes his tenure as vice dean for the Graduate Program and ILS

    August 17, 2020

    After 18 years as its faculty director, Professor William P. Alford ’77 completed his tenure as vice dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School on June 30.

  • On the Bookshelf: HLS Library Book Talks, Spring 2018 2

    On the Bookshelf: HLS Authors

    December 11, 2019

    This fall, the Harvard Law School Library hosted a series of book talks by Harvard Law School authors on topics ranging from forgiveness in law, transparency in health and fidelity in constitutional practice.

  • Bob Beamon

    Sports, Law and Life: Olympic long jump record holder Bob Beamon visits HLS

    October 4, 2019

    In 1968, Bob Beamon leapt into the Olympic history books with a long jump that shattered the existing record by nearly two feet. Beamon brought the historic moment to life for a crowd gathered at Harvard Law School in September, where he joined a panel to discuss his work as a Special Olympics global ambassador.

  • Melissa Joy Reilly, Michelle Kwan, Bill Alford

    Celebrating Special Olympics

    April 10, 2019

    To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics, HLS presented an inspiring conversation with Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan and Special Olympics medalist Melissa Joy Reilly.

  • Alford receives the Li Buyun Law Prize 2

    Alford receives the Li Buyun Law Prize

    March 5, 2019

    William P. Alford ’77, the Jerome A. and Joan L. Cohen Professor of East Asian Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, has received the Li Buyun Law Prize from the Shanghai Institute of Finance and Law, a leading Chinese academic society.

  • In

    In “Learning from the Past to Appreciate the Present,” Alford draws from Confucius and contemporary China

    December 19, 2018

    Professor William Alford ’77 delivered a chair lecture on the occasion of his appointment as the inaugural Jerome A. and Joan L. Cohen Professor of East Asian Legal Studies at Harvard Law School.

  • Alford receives the Li Buyun Law Prize 3

    HPOD marks the 50th Anniversary of the Special Olympics

    September 14, 2018

    On Sept. 17, the Harvard Law School Project on Disability (HPOD) will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics with Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics International Board Chairman.

  • Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology

    Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology (video)

    April 17, 2018

    Visiting Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability Michael Ashley Stein ’88 tackled the global issue of equal access to information in his book “Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology,” co-edited by Jonathan Lazar, professor of Computer and Information Sciences and Director of the Undergraduate Program in Information Systems at Towson University.

  • Mark Wu, Ruth Okediji and panelists

    HLS hosts conference on law and development

    August 10, 2017

    Legal scholars from across the globe gathered at HLS in July for a two-day conference on law and development, the latest iteration of a series of conferences held periodically by a loose consortium of schools including Harvard Law School, the University of Geneva, Renmin University of China, and the University of Sydney, Australia.

  • Steve Holmes and Chester Finn

    On the importance of self-advocacy

    March 15, 2017

    Disability rights advocates Steve Holmes and Chester Finn spoke to students at Harvard Law School on March 8, in a workshop presented by the Harvard Project on Disability, part of a series of HPOD trainings and advocacy projects supported by a three-year grant from the law firm Jones Day.

  • Honored ‘ambassadors for Harvard Law School’ reflect on long friendship

    October 22, 2015

    The Harvard Law School Association presented its highest award this past spring to William P. Alford ’77 and Charles J. Ogletree ’78 —two of Harvard Law School's most distinguished professors, mentors to generations of jurists, advisers to senators, presidents and world leaders, and celebrated doers of good works—and longtime friends.

  • HLS represented at White House event celebrating 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

    July 29, 2015

    A special reception was held at the White House on July 20 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. On hand to introduce President Barack Obama ’91 and Vice President Joe Biden was Harvard Law School graduate Haben Girma ’13, who is currently a Skadden Fellow at Disability Rights Advocates in Berkeley, Calif. Girma was the first deafblind student to graduate from HLS.

  • The Lee and Li Foundation establishes a fund for the public interest at Harvard Law School

    December 2, 2014

    Harvard Law School is pleased to announce that The Lee and Li Foundation, based in Taiwan, has made a generous gift to establish The Lee and Li Foundation Fund for the Public Interest at Harvard Law School.

  • Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology

    Michael Stein receives award from ABA Commission on Disability Rights

    September 23, 2014

    Michael A. Stein '88, co-founder and executive director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, received the American Bar Association’s Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights in August.

  • Stein receives inaugural Ruderman Family Foundation award

    January 27, 2014

    Harvard Law School Visiting Professor Michael Stein '88, an internationally recognized expert on disability rights, received the inaugural Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion from the Ruderman Family Foundation. The award recognizes an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Jewish world and the greater public.

  • William P. Alford, Alonzo Emery, Robert C. Bordone, Michael Stein, Matthew Bugher, Tyler Giannini, Noah Feldman, Vicki Jackson, Howell E. Jackson, David Kennedy, J. Mark Ramseyer, Hal Scott, Matthew C. Stephenson, Jeannie Suk, David Wilkins, and Mark Wu

    HLS Focus on Asia: Faculty and clinical highlights

    January 1, 2014

    Some recent faculty and clinical highlights—from research on anti-corruption efforts to conferences on financial regulation.

  • HLS hosts annual meeting of Special Olympics board of directors

    November 25, 2013

    In November, the Harvard Law School Project on Disability hosted the fall meeting of the Special Olympics International (SOI) Board of Directors, under the direction of board member and Harvard Law School Professor William Alford, who has worked for more than two decades with SOI.

  • A Self-Advocate Is Now Also a Legal Advocate

    A Self-Advocate Is Now Also a Legal Advocate

    July 1, 2013

    As a deaf-blind student with very limited sight and hearing, Haben Girma '13 learned that you must be a self-advocate and come up with creative solutions to the problems you face. If that fails, she says, then the law can be a strong ally.

  • William P. Alford

    From 2013 World Winter Games to Global Development Summit, Alford plays major role in Special Olympics International

    April 8, 2013

    As an enthusiastic supporter of the Special Olympics who has worked for more than two decades with Special Olympics International, Harvard Law School Professor William P. Alford welcomed the opportunity to help bring about the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, held in PyeongChang, Korea earlier this year. “One of the major messages of the Special Olympics is that having a disability need not be seen as being as limiting or disqualifying as some people might assume,” says Alford, director of East Asian Legal Studies and chair of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability (HPOD).

  • Stein receives Viscardi Award for work on disability rights

    March 6, 2013

    Harvard Law School Visiting Professor Michael Ashley Stein ’88 was awarded the 2013 Viscardi Award, which honors people living with disabilities for their work and influence in the global disability community.

  • S.J.D. Candidate János Fiala-Butora LL.M. ’10

    Disability rights victories in European Court of Human Rights won by HLS advocate

    November 15, 2012

    In October, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg issued two rulings bolstering the rights of persons with psycho-social disabilities. Both cases were brought by Hungarian-Slovakian disability rights activist János Fiala-Butora LL.M. ’10, an S.J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School and an associate of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, known as HPOD.

  • Visiting Professor Michael Stein

    Bostonians changing the world: Michael Stein

    July 17, 2012

    Michael Stein ‘88, Harvard Law School visiting professor and executive director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, was one of a dozen people featured in the July 15, 2012, Boston Globe Magazine article, “12 Bostonians Changing the World.”

  • William Alford, Na Kyung-won, Ban Ki-moon, and Timothy Shriver

    Alford meets with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

    December 23, 2011

    HLS Professor William Alford ’77, a member of the executive committee of the board of directors of Special Olympics International and chair of its research and policy committee, met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in November to discuss disability issues. Alford was a participant in the meeting at the invitation of Timothy Shriver, chairman of Special Olympics, and Na Kyung-won, a member of the South Korean Congress who has been at the forefront of disability rights legislation.

  • Summer 2011

    Able Lawyering

    August 10, 2011

    A Harvard Law School program with 675 million clients

  • Summer 2011, Jan Fiala

    Our Man in Central Europe

    July 1, 2011

    A few weeks before he received his LL.M. from Harvard Law last year, János Fiala was handed a victory by the European Court of Human Rights.

  • Alford in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Special Olympics still conveys the right kind of U.S. diplomacy

    April 19, 2011

    In an April 18 op-ed published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Harvard Law School Professor William Alford ’77 addresses how budget cutting in Congress threatens to undermine the Special Olympics—an organization whose history, according to Alford, “is one of how civil society and government working together can create results that neither could wholly attain on its own.”

  • Jan Fiala LL.M. ’10

    Disability rights victory in Europe won by alum with help from HPOD

    June 22, 2010

    On May 20, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that blanket disenfranchisement of people with disabilities is contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights.

  • Samuel Bagenstos ’93

    Deputy A.G for civil rights, on enforcing the promise of the ADA, and beyond

    September 14, 2009

    Samuel Bagenstos ’93, deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights, U.S. Department of Justice, spoke last week at HLS on the Obama administration’s focus on enforcing disability rights at home and supporting them abroad.

  • Michael Stein ’88

    Treaty fostered by HLS Project on Disability to be signed by the U.S.

    July 29, 2009

    On Friday July 24, President Barack Obama ’91 announced that the United States will sign the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, joining more than 100 other nations. The Harvard Law School Project on Disability played a prominent role in the negotiations leading up to the convention, which is the first global human rights treaty of the 21st century.