Claiming Harvard Law

Sit down, Harvard Law School students. I have something to tell you, and it’s going to make you sad. You are privileged. You are as privileged as it gets. Maybe your parents, your friends, your relatives, suffered from racism, sexism, whatever -ism gets your motor racing, but not you.

You beat the system. You will graduate from Harvard Law, provided you don’t fuck it up along the way, and the world will be your oyster. You will have a job. Not just a job, but a job that will pay you oodles of money, far more than you’re worth, if you decide to go in that direction.

If you want to change the world, you’ll get a job doing whatever flavor of social justice tastes good to you. Or a clerkship! And maybe, just maybe, you will find yourself in front of the Senate some day explaining how baseball works.

Whatever. You won. You got the brass ring. You are privileged.

And then, you boneheaded infants, you went and blew it.  You call your group “Reclaim Harvard Law.” and you “explain” why you exist with pictures of kids holding white boards with slogans, as was used with the “I’m a feminist because” meme.  This pitch sucks.

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It’s not just that such insipid crap is unpersuasive, but that it tells us that Harvard Law students today are morons who can’t distinguish between sound reasons and infantile nonsense.  If you think this is persuasive, then I don’t want you in my firm. I don’t want you anywhere near my clients. You suck at persuasion.

No, no. Don’t get up. We’re not done.

That you have no clue what constitutes a sound argument is only one piece of the puzzle that goes into being a lawyer. The other is the ability to craft an effective strategy to accomplish your goals.  So Reclaim Harvard Law (and how is it “reclaim,” since there was no “claim”?) occupies the lounge at Wasserstein Hall and has “renamed” it Belinda Hall, in honor of Belinda Royall? If she was alive today, she’d smack you upside the head.

Belinda Hall is dedicated to Belinda Royall, who in 1783, at 63 years old, petitioned the Commonwealth of Massachusetts asserting her right to compensation for her years of enslavement by Isaac Royall. We want to celebrate this early radical woman of color.

Here you are, at Harvard Law School, and instead of learning to become lawyers, instead of grasping that brass ring and making the most of it, you think it’s more effective to whine about how they want to teach you law instead of critical race theory? Belinda Royall had the good sense to seek compensation, and had a lawyer there to help her.  If she were alive today, she wouldn’t want your help, because you’ve got nothing to offer. She needed someone tough and bold to represent her, not whiners complaining about their fragile feelings of oppression while enjoying (and denying) their huge privilege.

But then, lawyers’ arguments are challenged. That’s the nature of the adversary system, which might have been explained to you if Prof. Kingsfield was still the ideal of a Harvard law prof.  But being challenged is “against your wishes.”

But on Monday, there was a new message—one equating the movement with Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, claiming that both Trump and Reclaim are anti-free speech.

The signs were posted by third-year student Bill Barlow, who has been a vocal opponent of perceived censorship by Reclaim HLS. Barlow believes some of the protestors’ demands impinge on academic freedom and stifle dissent—a conviction this incident reaffirmed for him.

Barlow believes? Is this a mystery, that censoring disagreeable thoughts stifles dissent? Damn, you Harvard kids are sharp as tacks. Nothing gets past you. Well, almost nothing.

Because of Harvard’s status as a federally tax-exempt educational institution under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, it is required to refrain from engaging, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elected public office. The Trump sign, Dean Sells explained to Barlow, might run afoul of these obligations.

Okay, so the Harvard Law curriculum no longer includes tax law, because this is absolutely idiotic. It’s understandable, though, since there’s no space for tax law in a schedule of Law and Queer Gender Studies, Law and The Oppression of Pronouns and Law and Intersectional Therapeutism. Something had to give.

Sit down. I’m not done yet.

So your solution to having been outed as censors was to create a “safe space” for people to place their signs that say unpleasant things about your “cause”?

 

You made the “privileged” section too small, kids. You are the privileged. Want proof? No grown-up has come in, grabbed you by your ear, and dragged you to that gate that only goes out.

And if you want to rename the building, pass around the plate so you can give Wasserstein back the money. You may have gotten a free ride at the most privileged law school in town, but you don’t get a free ride on enjoying a donor’s largesse without appreciation.

But a little free advice. Let go of the name, because the cost of repaying Bruce Wasserstein’s estate the $25 million he donated won’t be worth it when you find out that, for the first time, nobody wants to hire Harvard Law students. Why? Because you’re going to make remarkably shitty lawyers. You don’t have the chops. You don’t have skills. You’re just not good at it, as this foray into social justice wonderland conclusively proves. Save your pennies, kids, as you’re going to need them.

Now you can go.

14 thoughts on “Claiming Harvard Law

  1. Enjoin This!

    Thank you, well done & well said.

    Our firm has a(n unwritten) presumption against HLS grads for pretty much exactly those reasons. We don’t like smug, arrogant condescension, particularly where it’s so … naive. Give me a Suffolk Law grad any day. On the other hand, I LOVE … educating … HLS grads about lawyering when they’re on the other side of the “v”.

    The main value of a HLS degree is for the firm’s marketing department. It can justify the higher billing rates only so long as it maintains its reputational value. But the chickens are coming home to roost. Judge Saylor’s vivisection of the Doe v. Brandeis Special Examiner (a HLS grad) is just the latest example.

    -ET!

    1. SHG Post author

      I haven’t gotten to writing about Dennis Saylor’s decision yet, and here you go, sticking it in where it doesn’t belong. Are you trying to push my buttons?

  2. Corporate Tool

    As children of social media, these self-indulgent young adults seem to miss is that someday they may choose to seek a job, and most employers now do social media searches of all new hires to assess whether they’re likely to be a good and productive fit for the community they’re seeking to join. Entitled, disruptive victimhood is not productive value in most of those communities. Studying hard and getting the math right is. Smarter people than us created these institutions to educate generations to be productive, not to guarantee that they have an easy ride.

    1. tim

      most employers now do social media searches of all new hires

      Actually that is not the case. Many (if not most now) have policies forbidding the searching of social media as part of a pre-employment screenings if its not specifically part of your job (e.g. the individual in marketing who manages the company’s twitter account). That includes Facebook, twitter, etc.

      Due to the nature of my position I am background checked quite often (i’ve lost count after the twentieth time) and I always request copies (they have to per laws of the state I live in). Not a single instance was an internet search performed.

      Now individuals in companies that don’t have an HR department may do it (people are people after all) but its not advised.

      1. SHG Post author

        Yeah, well, actually, they do. It may not always be official, and it may even be against some company’s policies, or even the law, but they do. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone.

  3. John Barleycorn

    Give the children a break esteemed one just because they are deploying a  Wasserstein’s Pac Man manuver of sorts and haven’t visited Naders tort  museum yet doesn’t mean they won’t come around after they get a good wiff.

    They don’t want to hear it….nothing remarkably new there.

    What may be new is why an institution that, for some reason or another, still gets its pick of the “big brains” is seemingly so ready to play along.

    I guess it “feels” right to “them”?

    Write a post about why the scadey cat boomers meeting the scardey cat millennials is a dangerious game of Simon Says.

    Part the seas. You know you want to get your Moses on.

    These kids are just the inevitable mirror?

    Time to “break” some mirrors before everything ends up broken?

    It’s all legitimate until it’s not.

  4. Mort

    If you think this is persuasive, then I don’t want you in my firm. I don’t want you anywhere near my clients. You suck at persuasion.

    I’d say they would be free to work for the DA’s office, but that would vastly increase the chances of them becoming judges, and sweet Jesus I don’t want these people anywhere near the bench…

    1. SHG Post author

      Ironically, some will no doubt end up prosecuting the “marginalized,” and their one skill, a finely honed rationalization ability, will make them as blind to the irony as they are now to their hypocrisy.

  5. LTMG

    The snowflakes at Harvard Law, while in retreat at their safe space, might meditate at length on the Harvard motto Veritas. Of course, that motto might actually be a microaggression since delusion seems to be the order of the day among the snowflakes.

  6. Pingback: Demands and Enlightened Self-Interest | Simple Justice

  7. Erik H.

    Harvard Law School students. I have something to tell you, and it’s going to make you sad. You are privileged. You are as privileged as it gets. Maybe your parents, your friends, your relatives, suffered from racism, sexism, whatever -ism gets your motor racing, but not you.
    You have obviously failed to study “intersectionality.” I bet they teach it at Harvard, though 😉

    For amusement–don’t drink coffee while you read this–intersectionality is the “but” theory*, where the vast majority of folks** have SOME avenue on which they can claim they are unprivileged.

    The most illustrative example of this theory is “Yes, Obama is the President and is literally the most powerful and well known individual on the entire planet, but he isn’t fully privileged because he still suffers from racism.”

    Once you can argue Obama with a straight face, claiming a lack of privilege for Harvard Law students is easy cheese.

    *No, not the “butt” theory. Get your mind out of the gutter and stop thinking about yoga pants.

    ** I.e. all folks other than white men. Convenient.

    1. SHG Post author

      Ironically, I not only “get” the Obama argument, but agree with it to some extent. I’m a believer in white privilege (or, to be more accurate, black detriment). But as you point, intersectionality is such a remarkably groovy concept that it can be used to rationalize anyone, anywhere, forever and ever. At some point, we all need to get to work and actually do something. Provided our work isn’t promoting intersectionlality.

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