Carl M. Loeb University Professor Laurence H. Tribe, currently serving as the first Senior Counselor for Access to Justice in the Justice Department, will return to the Harvard Law School faculty in January and resume teaching in the 2011-12 academic year.
Recurring symptoms of a benign brain tumor first diagnosed and treated in 2008 led Tribe to inform Harvard Law School and the Justice Department in mid-September that he would be cutting short the two-year leave he took to serve in the Obama administration, in order to resume a treatment regimen at Massachusetts General Hospital.
He has remained at the Justice Department in the interim to play a key role in a public White House event to be held Nov. 19 with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. The event will announce new initiatives to help middle class and low-income families secure their legal rights, Tribe said.
“Larry has received well-deserved praise within the Justice Department and among the many outside groups with which he and his office have worked since he launched the new Access to Justice Initiative in March 2010,” said Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow. “His inspired work promoting access to justice has opened new approaches that will continue long after he returns to Harvard – and we are so grateful for his public service even as we are eager to welcome him back here.”
Margaret Marshall, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and an advocate of broader access to justice said: “With his trademark brilliant advocacy and penetrating insight, Larry Tribe brought national focus to the crisis of access to justice in our courts. The principle of equal justice for all has had no greater champion in our time. We are delighted to welcome Larry home to Massachusetts and look forward to continuing to work with him here.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will host a farewell in Tribe’s honor on Dec. 3 to celebrate his government tenure.
Tribe is a renowned professor of constitutional law. He joined the Harvard Law School faculty in 1968, received tenure in 1972, and held the Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professorship in Constitutional Law from 1982 to 2004, when he was appointed University Professor—the highest academic honor that Harvard University can bestow upon a faculty member, reserved for just a handful of professors throughout the university.
Tribe is the author of more than 100 books and articles, including “American Constitutional Law,” “On Reading the Constitution,” and, most recently, “The Invisible Constitution.” He has argued 35 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States—including the historic Bush v. Gore case in 2000 on behalf of presidential candidate Albert Gore, Jr.— and he has testified frequently before Congress on a broad range of constitutional issues.
In addition to his J.D, Tribe holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College (1962), and he has been conferred with numerous honorary degrees, including a doctor of laws in 2008 from New York University.