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From the Dean

  • Man in front of bookcase

    A Place of Ideas and Action

    January 7, 2020

    One of the most exciting aspects of Harvard Law School is its consistent engagement with the most important issues of the day. Often HLS will supply the leading voices on both sides of the great and urgent debates about the law and about the institutions, public and private, that structure society. The work of HLS faculty, students, staff, and alumni helps shape how policymakers understand and solve the most challenging local, national, and international problems.

  • Dean Manning in his office.

    Curricular Innovation

    June 19, 2019

    Training lawyers and leaders for the 21st century Harvard Law School has always been at the forefront of curricular and pedagogical innovation. More than a…

  • Dean Manning in his office.

    Generations of Impact

    January 29, 2019

    Harvard Law School community members are engaged in exciting and impactful work on issues of large import—work that is framing national conversations among leaders and policymakers. The stories in this Winter 2019 issue of the Bulletin reflect a sample of this influential work.

  • Dean Manning in his office.

    A Tradition of Leadership, Debate, and Service

    June 25, 2018

    It’s been a great year. Harvard Law School marked its Bicentennial not merely by bringing our community together to reconnect, make new friends, and celebrate a great institution, but by doing what we do best: engaging with hard and important issues that matter.

  • Minow named University Professor

    Imagining the future together

    October 20, 2016

    Each moment bridges past and future; moments at HLS invite reflections on the past and renewed focus for the future.

  • Where Theory Meets Practice

    Where Theory Meets Practice

    May 10, 2016

    Harvard Law School is becoming a “laboratory”—or, more accurately, a collection of laboratories—where theory meets practice. For example, we now have the Food Law Lab,…

  • Where Theory Meets Practice

    Continuity and Change through Law

    October 5, 2015

    “There is nothing so stable as change.” So said Bob Dylan (and Heraclitus, too). Yet we yearn for continuity. Chief Justice of the United States…

  • Minow named University Professor

    Law and Accountability

    May 4, 2015

    A central purpose of law is accountability. But who holds law itself to account? Law is designed to expose and sanction people, organizations, and nations…

  • Minow named University Professor

    Problem-Solvers in a Time of Change

    November 24, 2014

    What policies will ensure access for all communities to safe, high-quality food? What can help children dealing with family violence and other adverse experiences succeed…

  • Crossing Boundaries

    May 15, 2014

    Law increasingly crosses physical borders; legal work undertaken by members of the Harvard Law School community increasingly crosses borders of disciplines and professions. From 1L property law to laws of war, physical boundaries supply both facts significant to law and the metaphor of borders used in defining legal rights and concepts.

  • Dean Martha Minow

    Theory and Practice, at the Same Time

    January 9, 2014

    “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” So, we think, said Yogi Berra. He also supposedly said, “How…

  • Martha Minow

    Journeys Far and Near

    December 15, 2013

    Last summer, HLS alumni and friends welcomed me on my first journey to East Asia. I will never forget the sense of energy, spirit of gratitude, and invitations to learn from leaders in law, academia, business, the judiciary, and government.

  • Martha Minow

    Mutual Aid

    July 1, 2013

    “Mutual aid” may not be the first phrase that comes to mind in connection with law schools and lawyers, yet consider these examples. Harvard Law School’s Professor Jonathan Zittrain ’95 created a course joining HLS students with Stanford Law School students to brainstorm “Ideas for a Better Internet.” One student group tackled Internet security at Facebook, whose 1 billion users experience about 5 percent of all phishing attempts—600,000 of which succeed every day in locking users out of their accounts and compromising their personal data, including photos. The students developed an idea for improving security: allow a “cabinet” of friends to help reset a compromised account, instead of going through customer service, which has been chronically (and understandably) overloaded. The students presented the idea to Facebook—and the public—in J-term 2011, and on May 1, 2013, Facebook implemented a feature that resembled it. The approach deploys mutual aid of trusted friends—identified by each user—to veto suspicious activity. It improves on-the-ground user privacy and security without relying upon traditional regulatory approaches.

  • Dean Martha Minow

    Why Do Law School Graduates Become Leaders?

    October 1, 2012

    Why do many law school graduates become leaders? Individuals with legal training lead government, business, civic activities, and nonprofit organizations in the United States and around the world. Of course, leaders of law firms, law schools, and offices of government lawyers have legal training, but often so do leaders of companies, universities and countries. I think that a combination of self-selection, features of the law school experience, and particular elements of law itself contributes to the sizable presence across society of lawyers as leaders—and as effective ones, at that. Does this seem right to you? I offer these thoughts in hopes of prompting your suggestions.

  • Environment and Community

    July 1, 2012

    Our environment—all that surrounds us—crucially affects growth and development. Never has this been more apparent at HLS.

  • Martha Minow

    Committed to Law’s Promise

    December 6, 2011

    President Andrew Jackson once said, “All the rights secured to the citizens under the Constitution are worth nothing, and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent and virtuous Judiciary.” Harvard Law School has long educated advocates and counselors about the judiciary but has also prepared individuals to serve as judges committed to law’s promise. When our graduates accept the invitation and responsibility of becoming judges, it is a cause for celebration and hope—celebration of individual achievement and hope for the vitality of the rule of law.

  • Martha Minow

    Fostering Innovation

    July 1, 2011

    Our cover story features students and alumni who are launching their own ventures, and the school’s growing efforts to assist such endeavors.

  • Martha Minow

    Solving Problems, Locally and Globally

    July 1, 2010

    Creative problem-solving is the hallmark of superb lawyering. The stories in this Bulletin include a profile of Rebecca Onie ’03, whose questions about how best…

  • Martha Minow

    Raise High the Roof Beam

    January 1, 2010

    The magic of education lies in the interactions between people. In this age of the virtual, we celebrate digital possibilities but we cherish the unique connections among professors, students, alumni, faculty and staff.

  • Rising to New Challenges

    July 1, 2009

    For the past five and a half years, Elena Kagan ’86 used this space to update you on exciting happenings at Harvard Law School, including…

  • Elena Kagan

    A Curriculum Without Borders

    October 1, 2008

    A great law school must constantly re-assess how it can best prepare its students for the complex challenges they will face as lawyers and leaders. What should we be teaching students, and at what stage in their legal education will it be most helpful for them to learn it?

  • Elena Kagan

    Two Campaigns

    September 1, 2008

    As I write, two campaigns have just ended. The first, of course, is the historic and successful bid for the presidency by a graduate of…

  • Elena Kagan

    The Changing Climate of Environmental Law

    July 1, 2008

    In this issue of the Bulletin, you will see how hard Harvard Law School has been working to ensure that it has an environmental law program truly worthy of its students and alumni—and how this program is fast becoming an international leader in showing how law schools (and lawyers) can actively shape a field that will in many ways determine the world’s future.

  • Elena Kagan

    Con Law Takes Center Stage

    July 1, 2007

    With the ongoing war in Iraq and fight against terrorism, questions involving the balance to strike among values of security, liberty and privacy are more pronounced today than at any time in recent memory. At such moments, the work of constitutional law scholars gains special urgency—a fact reflected in the number of HLS faculty members now on the front lines in critical national debates.

  • Elena Kagan

    Corporate governance in the new global economy

    April 1, 2007

    During the past year alone, our professors have made headlines on issues ranging from executive compensation to shareholder rights to the Sarbanes-Oxley reforms—and as you’ll…

  • Elena Kagan

    Connecting to Practice

    September 1, 2006

    This issue of the Bulletin is dedicated to the fast-changing face of the legal profession, which is evolving in ways unimaginable even a decade ago.

  • Elena Kagan

    Asian Journeys

    July 1, 2006

    As East Asia takes center stage in world affairs, it seems like the right time to dedicate an issue of the Bulletin to exploring the…

  • Elena Kagan

    Views from Chambers

    April 23, 2006

    Recent events have reminded us all of the importance of the judiciary in shaping legal rights and responsibilities. With the confirmation of two new Supreme…

  • Elena Kagan

    Negotiation, Advanced

    September 1, 2005

    Negotiation is, and must be, at the heart of modern legal practice. From the Middle East to Massachusetts, from corporate offices to war zones, negotiators…

  • Elena Kagan

    Criminal Law in Flux

    April 1, 2005

    Criminal law is standard fare for every Harvard 1L. There’s a reason for this, of course: The laws that determine when and how individuals should…

  • Elena Kagan

    A Call to Public Service

    April 1, 2005

    One of my highest priorities as dean is to instill in all Harvard Law students a genuine enthusiasm for public service. Public service should not…

  • Law on the Front Lines

    September 1, 2004

    One of the most important responsibilities of educational institutions is to aid in the understanding and resolution of the world’s most pressing problems. Harvard Law…