HLS students have made headlines throughout 2008 – from winning prestigious fellowships to participating in historic litigation to having real-world impact through their clinical work. Here are some highlights:
Six From HLS Win Prestigious Skadden Fellowships
For the second straight year, six Harvard Law School students and recent graduates have been chosen to receive Skadden Fellowships to support their work in public service. This marks the seventh consecutive year that HLS students and recent graduates have won more of the prestigious Skadden fellowships than their competitors from other law schools.
97th Ames Moot Court final
The final round of Harvard Law School’s 97th Ames Moot Court Competition was held on November 18 in the Ames Courtroom in Austin Hall, with the Honorable Stephen Breyer ’64 presiding.
Far and wide: Three spif-fy summers
This year, Summer Public Interest Funding enabled HLS students to explore public service in 27 states and 35 countries around the world. More than $1.8 million Summer Public Interest Funding was awarded to 373 students.
Student Spotlight: A young entrepreneur builds a startup to aid the neediest
Last January, Andrew Klaber ’09 was invited to Davos, Switzerland, to participate in the World Economic Forum with the world’s elite business, political and intellectual leaders. In a panel discussion about innovation in leadership, Klaber brought his message of social entrepreneurship to the world stage.
Students participate in historic apartheid litigation
Last term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a case that nearly 20 Harvard Law School Human Rights Program clinical students have worked on over the last three years. The students assisted with the case — American Isuzu Motors v. Ntsebeza — on behalf of a group of South African apartheid victims, who brought claims against over 50 top multinational corporations for doing business with the apartheid regime.
HLS students travel to Auschwitz to teach diplomats about negotiation in the face of genocide
On May 16th, two HLS students, René A. Pfromm LL.M. ’08 and Ines Wu ’09, together with Stephan Sonnenberg ’06, Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Program (HNMCP) clinical fellow and lecturer on law, delivered a one-day workshop on negotiation in the context of genocide and mass atrocities. The workshop, part of a two-week program for government officials, was conducted at the Raphael Lemkin Seminar on Genocide Prevention in Auschwitz, Poland.
Eric Nguyen publishes paper in leading bankruptcy law journal
Eric Nguyen ’09 had a paper published in the American Bankruptcy Law Journal about how hard parents fight to keep their family homes in times of economic distress.
HLS students win $54K verdict against foreclosing bank
In the first post-foreclosure case to be tried in Boston in the current foreclosure crisis, two Harvard Law students landed a $54,000 verdict against the Bank of New York for cutting off the water and heat of a Dorchester man it was trying to force out of the home he rented, which had been foreclosed on after the owner failed to make mortgage payments.
Offering comfort – legal and otherwise – to prisoners with nowhere else to turn
“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”Those words, written by noted death penalty lawyer Bryan Stevenson ’85, were very much on the mind of Katie Wozencraft ’09 this summer, when she made the four-hour drive from Atlanta to an Alabama prison where condemned prisoners are executed. “Going to death row,” says Wozencraft, who spent the summer working at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, “you realize that they’re not necessarily bad people, they’re not necessarily good people. They’re people.”
Clinical students assist in Supreme Court gun case
When the U.S. Supreme Court took up a landmark case on the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban in March, a trio of Harvard Law students could claim modest credit for helping shape the argument. The students assisted lawyers arguing for preserving the ban in the gun-control case—D.C. v. Heller—as part of their work in a new clinical course this year, Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation.
Third-year student argues case before First Circuit
On May 7, Lena Konanova ’08 capped off her law school experience by representing a client in a case of employment discrimination before the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. The opportunity arose as part of her clinical placement in the Employment Civil Rights Clinic at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center.
Harvard Law Review elects Robert Allen as president
The Harvard Law Review elected Robert Allen ’09 as its 122nd president. “The Law Review is going to have a fantastic year with Bob as president,” said outgoing president Andrew Crespo ’08. “Bob is a warm and caring leader who is deeply respected by all of our editors. Through his dedication to the Law Review and his insightful approach to legal scholarship, he will make a real contribution to our organization and to the pieces we publish. I am excited to see the Law Review flourish under Bob’s leadership this coming year.”
HLS students win national ABA moot court competition
Phil Telfeyan ’08 and Elizabeth Barchas ’08 won the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, finishing in first place as national champions. The ABA competition is the largest and most competitive moot court tournament in the country, with a field of 179 teams representing law schools from across the nation. The competition began last November, when each team received the materials and began writing a brief for a hypothetical appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
Harvard’s BLSA chapter selected as national chapter of the year
On March 30, the Harvard Law School chapter of the Black Law Students Association (HBLSA) received the Chapter of the Year award from the National Black Law Students Association. Given to one chapter out of over 200 in the country, the award was presented during the 40th annual national convention in Detroit. HLS Professor and faculty advisor to the HBLSA Charles Ogletree ’78 was a keynote speaker at the event.
Clinical students, staff take part in U.S. Conference on AIDS
Staff and students from the WilmerHale Legal Services Center’s Health Law Clinic attended this year’s United States Conference on AIDS last month, where they introduced and described their new program to educate the public about the current state of health care law.
HLS Crew breaks team record at 44th Head of the Charles
On October 18th, the Harvard Law School crew raced in the 44th Head of the Charles Regatta, competing against over 60 club eights from around the country. Flying down the course in a blistering 17 minutes and 4 seconds, HLS shattered last year’s team course record by more than 25 seconds, handily beating the Harvard Business School by two and a half minutes, as well as besting crews from a number of schools, including the United States Naval Academy, the University of North Carolina, MIT and Amherst.
Chris Rogers ’09, advocate for a ban on cluster weapons
Christopher Rogers ’09 spent the better part of the past year in HLS’s International Human Rights Clinic working on issues related to cluster munitions, particularly surrounding the creation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In December, in Oslo, Norway, he witnessed the results of his and others’ hard work when 94 states signed the new convention, which bans cluster munitions.
A new clinic lets students step up to environmental challenges—and onto the first rungs of their careers
In October 2007, Kansas Secretary of Health and Environment Roderick L. Bremby denied an application for two new coal-fired power plants, basing the decision explicitly on concerns about carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. It was the first time that a high-level government official in the U.S. has denied such a permit on those grounds.
When Wendy B. Jacobs ’81, director of the HLS Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, heard about Bremby’s decision, she knew what would come next: lawsuits. It was just the kind of novel opportunity she was seeking for her students. So she phoned Bremby’s office and said she had an offer he couldn’t refuse: “We at the Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Clinic want to help defend you.” Bremby accepted, and was soon receiving advice and briefs from Jacobs and the Harvard Law students working in the clinic.