Et. Seq: The Harvard Law School Library Blog

Book Talk: Gish Jen’s The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap, Wed., Mar. 29 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Gish Jen’s recently published book titled The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap (Knopf, Feb. 28, 2017).

Copies of The Girl at the Baggage Claim will be available for sale and Gish Jen will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at noon, with lunch


Harvard Law School WCC 2019 Milstein West A/B  (Directions)

1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

The Girl at the Baggage Claim poste

More About Gish Jen

The author of six previous books, Jen has published short work in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and dozens of other periodicals and anthologies. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories four times, including The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike.  Nominated for a National Book Critics’ Circle Award, her work was featured in a PBS American Masters’ special on the American novel, and is widely taught.

Jen is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She has been awarded a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study fellowship, and numerous other awards.  An American Academy of Arts and Letters jury comprised of John Updike, Cynthia Ozick, Don DeLillo, and Joyce Carol Oates granted her a five-year Mildred and Harold Strauss Living award; Jen delivered the William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University in 2012. Her most recent book is The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap.

More About The Girl at the Baggage Claim

“A provocative and important study of the different ideas Easterners and Westerners have about the self and society and what this means for current debates in art, education, geopolitics, and business. Never have East and West come as close as they are today, yet we are still baffled by one another. Is our mantra “To thine own self be true”? Or do we believe we belong to something larger than ourselves—a family, a religion, a troop—that claims our first allegiance? Gish Jen—drawing on a treasure trove of stories and personal anecdotes, as well as cutting-edge research in cultural psychology—reveals how this difference shapes what we perceive and remember, what we say and do and make—how it shapes everything from our ideas about copying and talking in class to the difference between Apple and Alibaba. As engaging as it is illuminating, this is a book that stands to profoundly enrich our understanding of ourselves and of our world.” — Alfred A. Knopf, Penguin Random House

Panelists

Joseph W. Singer

 

 

 

 Joseph W. Singer, Bussey Professor of Law

 

Mark Wu

 

 

 

Mark Wu, Assistant Professor of Law

 

Yvonne Hao

 

 

 

Yvonne Hao, COO and CFO, PillPack

 

Reviews of The Girl at the Baggage Claim

“Gish Jen turns her novelist’s eye to the exploration of the centuries-old enigma of why people in the East and the West see themselves, others, society, and culture so differently…[As Trump] butts heads with China, it behooves us to consider just how shallow is our understanding of China…[making] this book both timely and extremely important.” –  Washington Post

“VERDICT: An excellent and engaging read, sure to appeal to readers interested in cross-cultural communication, cognitive science, and the experiences of Asian Americans in the United States” – Library Journal

“[Jen] unpacks tough subjects, such as racism and prejudice in America, with sophisticated insight [and] articulates the complexities of culture with a novelist’s command of language.” –  Publishers Weekly

Book Talk: Alexandra Lahav’s In Praise of Litigation, Mon., Mar. 27 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Alexandra Lahav’s recently published book titled In Praise of Litigation (Oxford Univ. Press, Feb. 1, 2017).  Professor Lahav is the Ellen Ash Peters Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Copies of In Praise of Litigation will be available for sale and Professor Lahav will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Monday, March 27, 2017 at noon, with lunch


Harvard Law School WCC 2019 Milstein West B  (Directions)


1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

In Praise of Litigation poster

About Alexandra Lahav

Alexandra D. Lahav is an expert on civil procedure, complex litigation and mass torts. Her research primarily focuses on procedural justice and the limits of due process in class actions and aggregate litigation and on the role of litigation in American democracy. In recent articles she has explored the justifications for innovative procedures such as statistical sampling and bellwether trials in mass tort litigation, what role principles of equality should play in litigation, and how courts can better manage multi-jurisdictional litigation. Her work has been cited in Federal Appellate and District Court opinions, academic articles and treatises and she regularly presents to academics and practitioners. She is co-author of the fifth edition of the popular civil procedure casebook, Civil Procedure: Doctrine, Practice, and Context.  Her book defending the role of litigation in American democracy, In Praise of Litigation, will be published by Oxford University Press in early 2017.

Professor Lahav received her B.A. in history from Brown University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. She clerked for Justice Alan Handler of the New Jersey Supreme Court and practiced with a boutique civil rights firm in New York City, now called Emery, Celli, Brinckerhoff & Abady LLC. She was a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School before joining the UConn faculty in 2004 and has also taught at Columbia, Harvard and Yale.

More About In Praise of Litigation

While the right to have one’s day in court is a cherished feature of the American democratic system, alarms that the United States is hopelessly litigious and awash in frivolous claims have become so commonplace that they are now a fixture in the popular imagination. According to this view, litigation wastes precious resources, stifles innovation and productivity, and corrodes our social fabric and the national character. Calls for reform have sought, often successfully, to limit people’s access to the court system, most often by imposing technical barriers to bringing suit.

Alexandra Lahav’s In Praise of Litigation provides a much needed corrective to this flawed perspective, reminding us of the irreplaceable role of litigation in a well-functioning democracy and debunking many of the myths that cloud our understanding of this role. For example, the vast majority of lawsuits in the United States are based on contract claims, the median value of lawsuits is on a downward trend, and, on a per capita basis, many fewer lawsuits are filed today than were filed in the 19th century. Exploring cases involving freedom of speech, foodborne illness, defective cars, business competition, and more, the book shows that despite its inevitable limitations, litigation empowers citizens to challenge the most powerful public and private interests and hold them accountable for their actions.

Lawsuits change behavior, provide information to consumers and citizens, promote deliberation, and express society’s views on equality and its most treasured values. In Praise of Litigation shows how our court system protects our liberties and enables civil society to flourish, and serves as a powerful reminder of why we need to protect people’s ability to use it.

The tort reform movement has had some real successes in limiting what can reach the courts, but there have been victims too. As Alexandra Lahav shows, it has become increasingly difficult for ordinary people to enforce their rights. In the grand scale of lawsuits, actually crazy or bogus lawsuits constitute a tiny minority; in fact, most anecdotes turn out to be misrepresentations of what actually happened. In In Praise of Litigation, Lahav argues that critics are blinded to the many benefits of lawsuits. The majority of lawsuits promote equality before the law, transparency, and accountability. Our ability to go to court is a sign of our strength as a society and enables us to both participate in and reinforce the rule of law. In addition, joining lawsuits gives citizens direct access to governmental officials-judges-who can hear their arguments about issues central to our democracy, including the proper extent of police power and the ability of all people to vote. It is at least arguable that lawsuits have helped spur major social changes in arenas like race relations and marriage rights, as well as made products safer and forced wrongdoers to answer for their conduct.

In this defense, Lahav does not ignore the obvious drawbacks to litigiousness. It is expensive, stressful, and time consuming. Certainly, sensible reforms could make the system better. However, many of the proposals that have been adopted and are currently on the table seek only to solve problems that do not exist or to make it harder for citizens to defend their rights and to enforce the law. This is not the answer. In Praise of Litigation offers a level-headed and law-based assessment of the state of litigation in America as well as a number of practical steps that can be taken to ensure citizens have the right to defend themselves against wrongs while not odiously infringing on the rights of others.

Panelists

John C.P. Goldberg

 

 

 

Professor John C.P. Goldberg, Eli Goldston Professor of Law

 

Mark Tushnet

 

 

 

Professor Mark V. Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law

 

Reviews of In Praise of Litigation

“In the face of the widespread popular perception that lawsuits are inimical to American society, law professor Lahav is persuasive in demonstrating that litigation ‘is a social good and promotes democracy,’ even if it is a far from perfect tool. Her contention is bolstered by her well-reasoned analyses that perfectly balance detail with brevity, making this work fully accessible to non-lawyers and readers unversed in the debates about access to justice and tort reform.” — Publishers Weekly

“In a culture where it has become fashionable to bash lawyers and the lawsuits they file, Alexandra Lahav reminds us, in forceful, engaging, and compelling prose, that litigation plays an essential role in our democracy. Her clear-eyed analysis engages the criticisms of litigation honestly and persuasively, and makes a powerful case for its role in a justice-seeking society.” – – David Cole, Professor, Georgetown Law, National Legal Director, ACLU, and author of Engines of Liberty

“An important contribution to the ongoing debate over the role of litigation in promoting a just society. Alexandra Lahav convincingly demonstrates how and why American style litigation-‘a form of political activity’-remains critical to our Nation’s future.” — Kenneth R. Feinberg, Former Special Master of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund

“The central message of In Praise of Litigation is a powerful one: the benefits of lawsuits (and the harms from improperly restricting them) go far beyond the parties and their lawyers. The book is a tour de force in which Alexandra Lahav draws on a dazzling array of examples, from cases involving slaves seeking freedom in the 1850s to cases involving e. coli in fast-food hamburgers, and from little-noticed suits involving individuals to iconic Supreme Court decisions like Brown v. Board of Education, that stretch across both doctrinal boundaries and American history. Every law student and every lawyer should read In Praise of Litigation not just to understand more fully how litigation actually works today, but also to arm themselves better to defend equal access to the courts as a critical aspect of our democracy.” — Pamela S. Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and Co-Director, Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, Stanford Law School

Spring break hours

A quick heads up to those of you staying in town next week for Spring break–we will have shorter library hours:

Friday, March 10: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 11-Sunday, March 12: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Monday, March 13-Friday, March 17: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 18: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Our regular academic hours will resume on Sunday, March 19. For more details, visit our library hours calendar.

Book Talk: Cass Sunstein’s #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media, Wed., Mar. 22 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Cass Sunstein’s recently published book titled #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media (Princeton Univ. Press, Mar. 14, 2017).

Copies of #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media will be available for sale and Professor Sunstein will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School WCC 2019 Milstein West A/B  (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Cass Sunstein #republic poster

About Cass R. Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein is Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard University, Massachusetts. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School, and he is the author of many articles and books, including the best-selling Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008), Simpler: The Future of Government (2013), Why Nudge? (2014), Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas (2014), Wiser: Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter (2014), Valuing Life: Humanizing the Regulatory State (2014), Choosing Not to Choose: Understanding the Value of Choice (2015), Constitutional Personae: Heroes, Soldiers, Minimalists, and Mutes (2015), and The World According to Star Wars (2016).

More About #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media

“As the Internet grows more sophisticated, it is creating new threats to democracy. Social media companies such as Facebook can sort us ever more efficiently into groups of the like-minded, creating echo chambers that amplify our views. It’s no accident that on some occasions, people of different political views cannot even understand each other. It’s also no surprise that terrorist groups have been able to exploit social media to deadly effect.

Welcome to the age of #Republic.

In this revealing book, Cass Sunstein, the New York Times bestselling author of Nudge and The World According to Star Wars, shows how today’s Internet is driving political fragmentation, polarization, and even extremism–and what can be done about it.

Thoroughly rethinking the critical relationship between democracy and the Internet, Sunstein describes how the online world creates “cybercascades,” exploits “confirmation bias,” and assists “polarization entrepreneurs.” And he explains why online fragmentation endangers the shared conversations, experiences, and understandings that are the lifeblood of democracy.

In response, Sunstein proposes practical and legal changes to make the Internet friendlier to democratic deliberation. These changes would get us out of our information cocoons by increasing the frequency of unchosen, unplanned encounters and exposing us to people, places, things, and ideas that we would never have picked for our Twitter feed.

#Republic need not be an ironic term. As Sunstein shows, it can be a rallying cry for the kind of democracy that citizens of diverse societies most need.” — Princeton University Press

Reviews of #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media

“I . . . found myself shocked at how relevant Sunstein’s account was to my own life and the ways I seek out and encounter information, which is in a way the value of the book–it gets you to reflect on the role of your information habits on your view of the world around you. And if you want to know how important that is, well, you should read Sunstein’s book.”  — Annie Coreno, Publishers Weekly (staff pick)

“America’s leading legal academic gives us a way to address democracy’s leading challenge–preserving a public informed enough to govern itself. Drawing on an incredible range of scholarship and experience, this book could not be more timely. Or urgently needed.” Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School

Endorsements:

“What went wrong with social media and also with democracy? Here’s the guy who saw it coming, and yes he does have all the answers.”Tyler Cowen, author of The Great Stagnation

“The Internet has surely enhanced our democracy, with greater access to information and fewer barriers to connecting with each other. However, we’re seeing the opposite today with more narrow-minded online platforms and communities, as evidenced by the impact of fake news on this past election. #Republic pointedly captures the risks of the ongoing evolution of social media to our democratic ideals.” Stephanie Cutter, former Senior Aide to President Barack Obama and Partner, Precision Strategies

All about PLI PLUS: treatises, program transcripts, and more!

PLI PLUS logoHave you checked out PLI PLUS lately? If so, you may have noticed its clean and updated user interface. But it has great content too! We recently had a library update with our PLI rep, and I’m here to share my notes again. If you’re a student, faculty member, or practitioner, read on for some highlights to help you get (re-)acquainted.

If you haven’t used PLI PLUS before, here’s some quick background:

The PLI PLUS platform provides a comprehensive library of treatises, course handbooks, and answer books from the Practising Law Institute (PLI), a nonprofit organization known for its accredited continuing legal and professional education programs delivered by volunteer faculty including lawyers, judges, corporate counsel, regulators and other professionals. Transcripts of its webcast programs and seminars are also available on PLI PLUS.

PLI’s seminars are up-to-the minute current. For example, last month it offered two seminars on immigration, Challenging Immigration Detention with Habeas Petitions on February 2 and Immigration Executive Orders: What You and Your Clients Need to Know on February 15.

Major content in PLI PLUS:

  • Over 100 treatises
  • Answer Books: these are Q&A style, useful for students new on clinics, and they also include case studies
  • Course Handbooks: these are often available before program, and also includes case studies
  • Program Transcripts from their seminars and webcasts (available for all programs except those by government speakers)
  • Forms: search, download, and edit over 3000 forms from across the platform

Narrow your search results: there is a narrowing function to focus your search results within only the books you think might be most useful.

PDF format: All titles on the platform (with the exception of some archived program books) are available in PDF by chapter.

More about PLI PLUS forms:

  • Forms open in RTF
  • Forms include full agreements/contracts, and clauses
  • You can click through to the book that is source of a form
  • You can pull up a list of all forms contained in any chapter on the platform

General features

  • Search across platform, book, and individual chapters
  • Book overview contains update information (like e-pocket parts)
  • Permalinks to sections and content areas are available
  • Course Books: related contents lnk will give the history of a title with related transcripts and forms
  • Full archive of material to 2000, some content goes back to 1980 or its origination date
  • Practice areas on immigration and privacy & cybersecurity
  • Login accounts – doesn’t work for basic answers (requires proxy) but for remote access for facstaff this can be set up

Create your own login account within the HLS access to use additional features:

  • Ability to make notes and highlights in content (plus option to include these when sharing content via email)
  • Create your own My Bookshelf and subshelves that you can add chapters and titles to, plus share links to your shelves with others (this could be useful for faculty assigning content, students working together on projects in clinics and other settings)
  • View all your notes and marks on one page
  • Note that creating your own login doesn’t work for getting remote access to PLI PLUS–you’ll still need to authenticate with a Harvard proxy link (or remember that you can always get to it by searching for PLI PLUS in the HOLLIS catalog).

Case Studies Fellowship opportunity for recent law school grads

thecasestudiesThe Harvard Law School Case Studies Program seeks a Fellow to work with faculty to research and write case studies for the Juris Doctor (JD) curriculum. Work will include meeting with faculty to determine curricular needs, conducting primary (when possible) and secondary research on case study topics including background on topic and relevant law, drafting and editing case studies and accompanying exhibits, suggesting supplemental readings and materials, and developing teaching notes – all in close collaboration with HLS faculty. Additional responsibilities may include development of presentations, marketing materials, journal articles, multimedia content, promotion and support of case studies at HLS, and conducting secondary research and data analysis on an as-needed basis.

View and apply for the position.

This position may be a perfect fit for a recent (or soon to be recent) law school JD, SJD, or LLM grad interested in pursuing the academic track, an MBA, or someone who wants to hone their writing, research, and interviewing skills.

Join us for Notes & Comment!

Student in the Reading RoomOn Wednesday, April 5th, from 3-6pm, the normally quiet tables of the library Reading Room will become collaboration zones for student-faculty interaction on scholarly topics.* Faculty will be available to meet with students seeking guidance on their research and writing for publication — including student Notes in HLS journals, writing competitions, and other extra-curricular publishing opportunities.

The event will be set up so that students can meet individually or in small groups with faculty members and librarians. “It’s sort of a collective office hours, where a referral from one faculty member to another can be as simple as walking two tables down in the Reading Room,” said Jonathan Zittrain, Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources in his invitation to faculty.

The library has already received commitments to attend from Professors Zittrain, Singer, Kamali, Bavitz, Desan, Fried, Gasser, Sachs, Steiker, and many others.

A networking reception with food and drink will also be available throughout the event in the Caspersen Room and library staff will be on hand to showcase resources for scholarly publishing available to faculty and students.

Participants should RSVP by visiting http://bit.ly/notesandcomment so that the event coordinators can work to plan appropriate student-faculty partnerships in advance.

 

*Note that students looking for quiet study space during the event will be directed to the Reference Room.

How Leadership Library can help you track people in government

Are you tracking the latest staffing changes in Congress and the White House? Following Senate confirmation hearings?

Last week, a couple of our staff tuned into a webinar by Leadership Directories to learn more about how LDI’s Leadership Library database can be used to keep up with the presidential staff, new members of Congress and their staff (including office locations and contact details!), and a number of other helpful features.

The webinar video is only 17 minutes and well worth the time to watch if you want some tips on following the changes in Washington. Below the video, I’m including some highlights from my own notes.

Notes:

  • Right now, Leadership Library’s front page defaults to its pre-built lists that relate to the outcome of the 2016 elections. New members of Congress, updated rosters of all members of Congress, new presidential staff and transition team members, and state legislators and executive staff. The list of all the new president’s staff contains about 1600 people.
  • The Election 2016 lists are great places to start and you can customize your views, selecting which columns to view and in what order they appear. The lists can be exported to Excel and CSV files and also have a variety of alert options–all changes, appointed, promoted, and departing staff.
  • Use the build a list option to create a list of presidential appointees requiring Senate confirmation: click Build a List>Job Function>expand the Appointed Official option and select Presidential Appointee Requiring Senate Confirmation. Again, you can use options to organize, export, and get alerts on your data.
  • Use the Explore Organizations link to look at federal org charts, including the Executive Office of the President and federal agencies.
  • Data in the Leadership Library is updated daily by a team of 40.
  • If you need help, live chat support and a contact form are available.

There’s a lot more that Leadership Library can help you with, including researching potential employers and getting very detailed info about Congressional offices for interviewing, or just to find the most relevant staff member to share a concern with. To learn more, check out my colleague AJ Blechner’s Guide to Employer Research and Guide to Congressional Information Searching or Ask a Librarian.

Canadian Law Research in HeinOnline

Most people know that the HeinOnline subscription database is a great source of legal research materials from all over the world.  HeinOnline’s collection of legal primary and secondary sources from Canada is especially strong, and it is growing all the time.

JustinIn addition to the Canada Supreme Court Reports (date coverage: 1876-2016) and the Revised Statutes of Canada (all six revisions, from 1886 through 1985), Hein recently added a new library: Provincial Statutes of Canada.

Hein describes this new library as follows:

“The Provincial Statutes of Canada contain public and private acts passed by Canadian provincial governments. Current, revised, and historical content is available for Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. Historical and revised content only is available for Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.”

HeinOnline also has a collection of more than 100 Canadian law journals. To access this collection from the HeinOnline homepage, click Law Journal Library > Country > Canada.

In addition to HeinOnline, the Law Library also subscribes to QuickLaw: LexisNexis Canada. This source provides access to Canadian court cases, legislation, journal articles, commentary, and more.

If you would like to read more the intricacies of Canadian legal research, the 4th edition of The Practical Guide to Canadian Legal Research, edited by Nancy McCormick, was published in 2015.

Photo Credit: Justin Trudeau, the leader of Canada’s Liberal Party, was sworn in as the country’s 23rd Prime Minister on November 4, 2015. This photo was taken during a debate in Toronto on February 16, 2013 by Adam Scotti.  https://flic.kr/p/dW2m9a.

852 RARE: Guest Blog – Molding the Legal Mind: The Notebooks of Harvard Law Students

Many of us would shudder to imagine a researcher 100 years from now poring over our college lecture notes, scribbled in spiral-bound notebooks or, more likely, typed up in hundreds of sporadically organized .docx files. Historical & Special Collections at the Harvard Law School Library has been doing just that, cataloging a collection of over 250 students’ class notebooks amounting to hundreds of volumes. Dating from approximately 1860 to 1970, the collection represents an era that encompassed some of the most formative decades of the Law School’s curriculum and reputation. The Class Notes Collection, now fully cataloged for the first time, should be of great interest to anyone working on legal history, legal education, or the history of Harvard Law School itself.

View of spines of volumes of class notes.

Miscellaneous class notes volumes

Page of class notes in black and red ink taken during lectures on trusts

Page from the class notes of Eliot Harlow Robinson taken from lectures on trusts given at the Harvard Law School by James Barr Ames, 1907-1908
HOLLIS 14778115

The bulk of the collection takes the form of neatly homogeneous, crimson-leather-bound notebooks purchased from the Harvard Coop and inscribed on the inner cover with students’ names, local addresses, and desk numbers. “Louis L. Jaffe, 3 Perkins Hall,” one notebook reads. “3L, 1927-28. Property.” Many of the students’ names sound antiquated and (to this author’s ear) aristocratic; with a single exception, all are male. Case law is written on transparent onionskin sheets the size and shape of Post-Its and pasted in on top of lecture notes; red ink is typically used to underline and summarize key arguments in the margins. One gets the impression of a disciplined and uniform method of note-taking, taught from an early age, which gradually fell away after the Second World War and was abandoned as standard practice by the 1960s.

 

 

 

Detail of page of handwritten notes in blue and red ink. At the top of the page is written "Wolf vs the American Trust and Savings Bank

Detail of a page of class notes of Paul Cleveland
taken during the second year course “Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes” taught by Morton Campbell, 1931-1932
HOLLIS 14453392

While the notebooks have the outward appearance of uniformity, within, they attest to rich personal histories. Exam prompts, holiday cards, and even the occasional love letter are tucked between their pages. Current law students may find comfort in the near ubiquity of question marks and crossed-out phrases (as well as large splotches of ink). Some are covered in doodles, caricatures, and exhortations (“To hell with Beale!” writes Chauncey Craven Hackett (LL.B. 1906) in his 1905 notes on Equity, taught by Beale), while others suggest great discipline and organization, such as the tidy script and thorough indexing of future HLS professor Austin Wakeman Scott (1884-1981). Many of the notebooks were donated to the library by graduates’ children and grandchildren, and some have been carefully typed up and bound in display volumes. Notable legal minds represented in this collection include Zechariah Chafee (1885-1957), E. Merrick Dodd (1888-1951), Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965), Paul Freund (1908-1992), and David Charny (1955-2000). Their class notes provide valuable and perhaps otherwise inaccessible windows into their formative years as students and thinkers.

Open volume of handwritten notes in blue and black ink. On the right side is printed advertisement from Burke & Co. Tailors

Detail of a page of class notes of Manley Ottmer Hudson, 1907-1910
HOLLIS 2004707

The collection should also be very useful to the study of legal curriculum and its development across the twentieth century. While the 1L course load of Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law has remained largely unchanged since the nineteenth century, a proliferation of electives can be observed beginning in the 1960s, yielding Soviet Law, Antitrust Law, Psychoanalytic Theory and Legal Assumptions, even a class taught by Henry Kissinger on National Security Policy in 1967. From this collection one can learn how Justice Stephen Breyer taught his class on Antitrust Law, or how Derek Bok taught Economic Regulation, through the eyes of their students. The pressures of US history are also apparent, from the cluster of deaths, withdrawals, and hastily rearranged course schedules during World War II, to notes on segregation, the KKK, and Communism in the 1940s and 1950s.

Detail of handwritten page of notes at top of page is written "Commentaries on the Laws of England Book 2nd"

Detail of a page of class notes of John Willard Bickford, 1864-1865
HOLLIS 2594561
Bickford was from Hillsborough, New Hampshire. He entered Harvard Law School in 1865 but his career was ended when he drowned in the Charles River on June 26, 1866.

It is the otherwise anonymous, little-heard voices of HLS students across the years that form the bulk of the collection—studying for their exams, trying to remember their locker codes, and forging the opinions that have shaped legal discourse across the last two centuries. We encourage students, faculty, and researchers to come see for themselves what has changed—and what has remained the same—about the studying and teaching of law at Harvard since the late nineteenth century.

Georgia Henley is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, finishing a dissertation on the transmission of historical texts and manuscripts between England and Wales in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. She works part-time in Historical & Special Collections at the Harvard Law School Library.

Note: For now, the easiest way to see the entire collection is in HOLLIS Classic. Under search type select “Other call number” and search for “Class Notes Collection”.

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