August 23, 2010
Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren continues to gain support for serving as director of the newly created Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Last month, one hundred and sixty-two graduates of HLS wrote to President Barack Obama ’91 urging the president to nominate Warren for the top spot at the bureau. Now, current HLS students are also going to bat for her.
In a letter to the Oval Office, HLS students from the classes of 2011 and 2012 wrote, “No one could wear the “expert” hat better than Professor Warren… No matter the topic, Professor Warren always knew the existing empirical and non-empirical research relevant to our studies. And since Professor Warren wrote three of the leading commercial law casebooks, her expertise took center stage in some of our other classes at HLS.”
The letter was signed by 67 current students who have taken either Warren’s Contracts or Empirical Legal Studies course, or both, in the last two years.
Based on their experience in the classroom, the students believe Warren would display “the same even-handedness and respect for differing opinions” as director of the bureau. They wrote: “Ideological diversity filled our classrooms, yet Professor Warren impressed us with her openness to varied viewpoints. We learned to question our assumptions, and when necessary, she persuaded skeptics with evidence instead of rhetoric. Professor Warren taught us the art of weighing the policy implications of legal decisions and approaches. We learned from her that the best solutions emerge only after considering all the viewpoints of the legal and non-legal players in a system. Professor Warren would expect nothing less than such fairness and careful decision-making from herself and the CFPB staff.”
Warren is the chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel, which was created in the wake of the recent financial crisis to oversee Congress’s use of the TARP money and investigate the bank bailout. In that role, she has made headlines for her criticism of the banking industry and in her vocal support of consumer protection.
Since 2007, Warren has advocated for the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. She was recently named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2010. She was also named one of “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers” by The National Law Journal in the category of Legal Education.