Yale Law Dean defends theory/activist law school education

Source: OTHERWISE: Yale Law Dean defends theory/activist law school education

“At its best, a J.D. is a thinking degree, a problem-solving degree, a leadership degree. Lawyering is a job that requires an enormous number of skills and literacies. You must possess a supple mind and sound judgment. You need to have institutional sense and sharp analytics. You must be literate and numerate. You must be able to distill an unruly, messy set of materials into a coherent form. You must question everything, especially your own priors. You must possess enough critical distance to evaluate a situation but enough human empathy to understand it. Your education must be rigorous enough to breed humility rather than hubris.”Heather Gerken, Dean – Yale Law School

I thoroughly agree.  In the fall of 1970 – my first semester of law school at Rutgers-Newark – I was part of a group of students reviewing the transcript of the Chicago 7 trial.  I wrote a point in the brief on appeal, which was the work of Arthur Kinoy who soon blocked unlawful FBI surveillance, leading to the FISA court.  In my second semester Ruth Ginsburg laid out her vision for the years ahead.  Paul Trachtenberg set in motion the landmark educational equity jurisprudence of the New Jersey Supreme Court.  I could go on …and I have in the pages of the Fordham Urban Law Journal which published my essay People’s Electric -Engaged Legal Education at Rutgers-Newark in the 1960’s and 1970’s. – gwc

Submissions & Nominations – Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for PR Scholarship

Submissions and nominations of articles are being accepted for the tenth annual Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility.  To honor Fred’s memory, the committee will select from among articles in the field of Professional Responsibility with a publication date of 2019.  The prize will be awarded at the 2020 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.  Please send submissions and nominations to Professor Samuel Levine at Touro Law Center: slevine@tourolaw.edu.  The deadline for submissions and nominations is September 1, 2019.

Marty Lederman – The Vicious Entrenchment Cycle: Thoughts on a Lifetime with a Republican-Controlled Court – LEDERMAN – Balkinization


Source: OTHERWISE: The Vicious Entrenchment Cycle: Thoughts on a Lifetime with a Republican-Controlled Court – LEDERMAN – Balkinization

I had the privilege of working with Arthur Kinoy and Morton Stavis while at Rutgers Law School.  In the ’60’s and ’70’s they were the architects of a remarkable string of victories in the U.S. Supreme Court.  They worked on the assumption that every member of the Court could be reached, so confident were they of their arguments’ foundations and the good faith of the members of the court.  Today I try to take the same stance as a teacher.  But it’s getting harder to sustain. – gwc

Balkinization: The Vicious Entrenchment Cycle: Thoughts on a Lifetime with a Republican-Controlled Court

By Marty Lederman (Georgetown Law) (first published October 16, 2018)

On May 15, 1969, Justice Fortas resigned from the Supreme Court, thereby ending a seven-year period in which a 5-4 majority of the sitting Justices had been appointed by Democratic Presidents.  I had just turned eight years old.  I’m now almost 58.  And yet that day in May 1969 remains the last moment in time that a majority of the Court was appointed by Democrats.  That’s right:  By the time the Court’s current Term ends in June, it will have been more than 50 years of GOP-appointed control.

The appointment of Merrick Garland should have brought an end to that extraordinary streak.  Retaining control of the Court, however, has become an article of Republican faith–hardly surprising when it’s become a bulwark of theirs, a virtual background assumption, for fully half a century.  And now, thanks to Mitch McConnell’s deviousness, tactical brilliance and tenacity, it appears entirely possible that it might be another 50 years (or perhaps even longer) until we see another Democratic majority.  A full century of Republican control is not hard to imagine.  (And how’s this for a (related) factoid?:  In only seven of the past 108 years (1946-1953) has the Chief Justice of the United States been a Democrat who did not fight on behalf of the Confederacy.)

OTHERWISE: Harvard Drops Harvey Weinstein Lawyer as a Faculty Dean – The New York Times

Source: OTHERWISE: Harvard Drops Harvey Weinstein Lawyer as a Faculty Dean – The New York Times

Students in Winthrop House had called for the resignation of Robert S. Sullivan Jr., a law professor. He and his wife were the first African-American faculty deans in Harvard’s history.

This decision is troubling.  Robert Sullivan is a hero lawyer, in my opinion.  Closest to home for me was his role in designing and overseeing the late Brooklyn D.A. Kenneth Thompson’s Conviction Review program which scrutinized convictions to find those unjustly jailed. – gwc