In response to a recent scandal at Harvard Law School, some students and alumni have launched a grassroots movement called “Reclaim Harvard Law School.” This group, led by a group of black students, calls for the law school to drop its “corporate liberalism” crest based on the crest of the slaveholding family that endowed its first professorship. The movement’s advocacy helped the movement gain public legitimacy, and its full list of demands enlivened the debate on HLS’s moral duties.
While Harvard Law School produced the largest graduating class in U.S. history, many reformers see it as an impractical school. This approach to legal education has been criticized for years, but it has yet to yield any significant change. This approach to law school is far from unique. Most law schools today have begun to view the experience of attending law school as unnecessary and even counterproductive. The school is attempting to remedy the situation, but it is unlikely that it will do so.
In addition to President Barack Obama, other notable alumni of Harvard Law School include former Vice President Annette Lu and former Taiwan Governor Ma Ying-jeou. Others have also received law degrees from the school, including Antonin Scalia, who served as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Others are notable, including former World Bank Group president Robert Zoellick and Attorney General Janet Reno. In addition, Stephen Breyer is a member of the Class of 1964. And Dean Derek Curtis Bok served for nine years, from 1968 to 1971.