Talk:Harvard Law School

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I wonder if this page should be marked as a stub to encourage building it out. After all, HLS is a major US law school, with many important activities (International Law, Negociation, Civil Rights, etc. etc. etc.) , and the only one of these activities that's mentioned is the Berkman Center. --Macrakis 17:58, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I agree. I'll mark it with a request for expansion, and maybe refer people to the talk page as to why. --Harro5 05:24, Apr 15, 2005 (UTC)
I added a list of other programs from the HLS website. Hopefully these can serve as a base for further additions by people more knowledgeable about particular programs.Frontleft 18:31, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Content migrated from the other spelling[edit]

The Berkman Center for Internet and Society is a department of Harvard Law School, which focuses on the legal study of cyberspace. The Center sponsors conferences, visiting lecturers, and residential fellows. Members of the Center do research and write books, articles, weblogs with RSS 2.0 feeds, for which the Center holds the specification, and podcasts, of which the first series took place at the Berkman Center. The Center's headquarters is a small Victorian wood-frame building next to the bigger brick-and-stone Harvard Law School buildings. Its newsletter, "The Filter", is on the Web and available by e-mail, and it hosts a blog community of Harvard faculty, students and Berkman Center affiliates. The Berkman Center is funding the Openlaw project.

Fellows have included David Weinberger, Ethan Zuckerman, Dave Winer, Jimbo Wales, Rebecca MacKinnon, John Perry Barlow, Wendy Seltzer, and Dr. James F. Moore.

Faculty have included Charles Nesson, Lawrence Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain, William "Terry" Fisher, and John Palfrey.

External links[edit]

Penn's Law School[edit]

According to the wikipedia entry for the University of Pennsylvania's Law school, it didn't officially start until well after Harvard's. I don't know which is correct, but one of them should be changed. N Vale 01:21, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Probably best to check the history's of both on the school's websites and fix the Wikipedia entries accordingly. Thanks. Harro5 02:39, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Student activities list[edit]

This doesn't need to be in an encyclopedic entry, as all the list has are the names of organisations. Unless some of them are extremely notable, and that would be hard to imagine, then I'm going to leave the list on the cutting room floor. Please discuss it here if you disagree, and state why (notability is the only argument relevant). Harro5 05:38, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Maybe the Lincoln's Inn Society? It is notable enough to have its own article, and apears to count several Supreme Court Justices among its former members. Although the article itself is out of date (I believe HL Central is absorbing it) this indicates to me at least one org worthy of inclusion. -Lciaccio (talk) 02:28, 11 January 2008 (UTC) (An HLS Student, but member of neither club)

Charles Ogletree[edit]

Tell the Wikitruth! Why was the article about Professor Charles Ogletree completely deleted?


The introductory paragraph's cheerleading for HLS borders on POV, if it doesn't cross the line. Is it really important to begin the article by emphasizing the various ways in which HLS is superior to its two closest competitors? A more objective take would focus on HLS's position in relation to law schools and the legal profession in general. I'll probably make some edits soon but wanted to give a chance for anyone to defend the current approach before doing so. Christopher M 21:31, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

From the intro "it is considered the world's most renowned law school" - I agree, this is not NPOV at all. This type of language is cheerleading. A more neutral stance would be (although still not NPOV) "it is considered one of the world's most renowned law schools." I think this section should be rewritten in a more neutral tone.


A few of the sections here look like ads for the different departments, which makes sense since they look like they were copied from the web pages. Can they be more neutral?

rankings paragraph[edit]

The ranking information on the Stanford, Harvard, & Yale (and perhaps other) law school pages seems disproportionate and over-emphasized in the early part of the article. Moreover it seems likely to encourage the kinds of disputes among afficionados of one school or the other tweaking endlessly to pull out particular rankings. I think on all these law schools that a general statement of prestigiousness & reference to the admittedly important US News rankings, historically contextualized, is useful. But comparisons b/w the different law schools are too specific for the top portion. I'm proposing to edit it down, but since it seems to be a frequently edited section in some of the articles I'm announcing for discussion here first. (Cross-posting to talk pages for SLS, HLS, YLS, maybe others.) --LQ 20:32, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

NPOV tag[edit]

I've added an NPOV tag to the article, which almost reads like an ad for HLS. (I'll probably be doing the same to the YLS and SLS pages shortly, depending on what I think of them.) The intro is particularly egregious; it consists entirely of positive information about the school. See WP:NPOV Elliotreed 04:31, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Exactly what do you think the article should look like? And why are you only looking at HLS, YLS, and SLS? There are plenty of articles on Wikipedia that have don't have that much negative information - check out George Washington, for example... the intro there seems equally egregious. You might also want to look at the Martin Luther King Jr article, as well as the Gandhi one. MaskedEditor 06:58, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
What's problematic isn't so much the presence of positive information as the general presentation and the way even neutral information is downplayed in favor of positive information. For an example of a better page, look at Harvard University. If the Harvard intro were like the HLS intro, it would scrap all e.g. the historical information in favor of information about its U.S. News ranking, comparisons to Yale and Princeton, and a list of U.S. Presidents who went to Harvard. Elliotreed 15:23, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I see what you mean now, that sounds fine to me. I suspect the difference is partly due to the fact that the positive information is easier to access than historical information. MaskedEditor 18:38, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Worklife Wizzard[edit]

Is there a reason for this section's outright deletion? Cjs2111 23:58, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the whole Program section should be removed, personally MaskedEditor 12:57, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Not all of it; some (like the Berkman Center) are important. They should, however, be reduced in size. Cjs2111 21:52, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I guess... I'd rather just see mention of them if they are notable and a historical / defining part of the school (for example, the law review). For the other programs, I'd like to see links to separate articles, if they are notable enough. I don't know why I feel this way... maybe it's just because each program seems to be such a non-important part of the school. Or maybe it's that so many of them are started up and have yet to have anything to show for them... they just don't seem established enough for such an old organization. MaskedEditor 02:35, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Edits to remove cheerleading -- consider removing the NPOV warning tag[edit]

I re-worked the introduction to remove the cheerleading. The USN&WR ranking discussion is gone, as well as the alumni boasting, and the declaration that HLS is the "the most prestigious." I made follow-on changes in the body of the article to accomodate these changes. To fill out the introduction, I moved up the discussion of Dean Langdell's contributions to modern legal education, because that material seems to have legitimate signficance deserving inclusion in the opening of the article. Please consider removing the NPOV tag. Thanks.

I believe that this article no longer deserves the NPOV tag. The writing seems factual and non-cheerleading in style. Does anyone wish to speak out against removing the tag? Fuzzzone 10:48, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Since no one has objected to the proposed removal of the NPOV tag, I am going to remove it now. Fuzzzone 23:20, 14 August 2007 (UTC)


Can anyone figure out how to restore the shield image in the infobox? I can't understand why it's not working. Cjs2111 (talk) 19:01, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Harvard University Logo.PNG[edit]

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they r a very good college —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:27, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

NPOV first section[edit]

The discussion of rankings seems like a fairly clear attempt to bolster Harvard's ranking. The Gourman Report which the article currently cites was last published for law schools in 1997 - 13 years ago. The SSRN ranking is not an overall law school ranking - it is a ranking of the total number of times articles written by law school faculty have been downloaded on one specific website, the Social Science Research Network. This is a fine thing to bring up with context, and in a section describing faculty reputation (although it should be noted that Harvard's size, the largest of any US law school, will be a major factor for total downloads of faculty scholarship). One user repeatedly reverts any edits to this section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 4 July 2010 (UTC)


Harvard was Established in 1817. However, John Adams graduated Harvard in 1751. How is this possible? Am I missing something? ~ PHDrillSergeant...§ 15:17, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I see my mistake. John Adams graduated Harvard college, not Harvard Law. ~ PHDrillSergeant...§ 15:21, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Kagan's Solicitor General Appointment[edit]

Why does the page list the name Jesus Delacruz instead of the correct "Barack Obama" as the president who appointed Kagan to the Solicitor General position, effecting her leave from Harvard? Corylation (talk) 16:43, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Obama's Criticism of HLS's Lack of Diversity[edit]

It seems like President Obama's criticism of the schools lack of diversity is an appropriate thing to mention in the page [1]. After all, the page features a nice big picture of him. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:50, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Obama was President of Harvard's Law Review, but not allowed to write anything. Now he's a featured alum, but not allowed to say anything. Harvard Law and Wikipedia just think of Obama as some sort of mascot that needs to been seen, but shouldn't speak. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:41, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
?Chensiyuan (talk) 15:00, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 22:51, 16 June 2012 (UTC)


The crest here (red with white field) is actually the simplified crest mainly for short-hand use on letterhead and website mastheads. The full colors are actually red with a blue field, and the wheat stalks are yellow. Since Wikipedia is trying to make a visual depiction of the actual crest, and is not displaying the crest for masthead purposes, I think it should be this: — Preceding unsigned comment added by 7ED (talkcontribs) 02:23, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Article improvement/boosterism[edit]

This article needs work. There has been a lot of boosterism going on, which I've tried to address. For instance, statistics (such as total faculty citations and total clerkships of student) are presented in a context-free light in a manner clearly intended to mislead readers as to Harvard's academic clout relative to peers (the users adding these statistics failed to note that Harvard apparently has three times the students and teachers as peers, which obviously contributes massively to their citation and clerkship advantages). Moreover, the "history" section was largely composed of original research and references to primary sources (promotional material on Harvard's website).

This boosterism is unnecessary. HLS' superb reputation is well-sourced; the attempts to exaggerate its prestige relative to peers are absurd (who could question that prestige?). Moreover, there should be plenty of reliable independent secondary sources on its history, that can be used instead of primary sources. I encourage anyone who wishes to expand the history section (which, owing to the primary source/OR problem, I had to cut down dramatically) to read up on reliable secondary sources. Steeletrap (talk) 21:37, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Agreed completely. The lengthy discussion of rankings, the specific breakdown of class sections, and comparisons to other top tier law schools JUST in the opening section are completely out of place. I relocated multiple paragraphs discussing notable alumni since there was a ton of redundancy in information, and it flat-out doesn't belong at the top of the page. Please help further clean up this page, editors! Bomberjacket5 (talk) 04:38, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Regarding U.S. Supreme Court clerkships, the size of Harvard's student body does not seem to me to give it any significant advantage. The chances of a Harvard graduate who is not magna (top 10%) or cum laude (next 30%) obtaining a SCOTUS clerkship are extremely slim. That means that the pool of Harvard students "eligible" for such clerkships is equal to or less than the graduating class size of most other law schools. Put another way, Harvard's best 200 students are competing with Yale's best 200 students, Chicago's best 200, Columbia's etc. (and actually, it's probably closer to best 50 or best 100.) So class size context is really unnecessary in fairly comparing SCOTUS clerkships. For student body size to matter, we woul need to be talking about a type of position available to more than the top 200 at Harvard. If, for example, the question were asked, which law schools place the most graduates in the top 3000 law firm associateships available, then the context of student body size would be very important, because each of the top 400 or 500 Harvard grads might well have a shot at such a position, so that Harvard naturally would be expected to have many more such placements than a law school graduating 200. (I realize that Harvard does not have class rank, but employers see transcripts and can do arithmetic.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Medwick (talkcontribs) 23:01, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Missing Law School Staff[edit]

I tried adding a link for Diane L. Rosenfeld but it was reversed.

Relevant link:

Also made a request article for her bio as a whole, there's more relevant links there: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cadenjs (talkcontribs) 19:18, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

HLS is the best in the world[edit]

Dispute on "is generally considered to be one of the most prestigious in the world" is unwarranted. HLS is the best in the world. (talk) 20:58, 9 September 2017 (UTC)

  • Thanks for your pov. But no. X4n6 (talk) 11:08, 11 September 2017 (UTC)