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Since the joint J.D./M.B.A. program’s creation 43 years ago, about 450 people in the world have participated, presidential candidate Mitt Romney J.D./M.B.A. ’75 among them. Others include criminal defense attorney Ted Wells J.D./M.B.A. ’76 and the late investment banker Bruce Wasserstein J.D./M.B.A. ’71.
For students interested in the confluence of business and law, there is one group on campus that has taken the lead in connecting them with business figures for career advice. Led for the past two years by Matthew Schoenfeld ’12, the Harvard Association for Law and Business has grown from an organization of 50 to one of more than 700 members—drawn by a robust weekly speaker series as well as other events that promote networking and mentoring, among other benefits.
At the airport in New York one day last year, Alex Dimitrief ’85 was on a call regarding a problem that his company, General Electric, faced in China. When his plane landed in London, he took a call on a different matter in Vietnam. And late that night, when he arrived in Lagos, he fielded yet another call, dealing with an issue back in the U.S. “It was an incredibly complicated day,” recalls Dimitrief ... It’s a day that illustrates the emerging role of today’s global general counsel, who may deal with issues ranging from corrupt regimes and rule of law matters in developing nations to concerns about corporate reputation, sweatshop labor among suppliers, piracy, and safety threats to executives and other employees.
Exactly how far does an agent need to go to keep a professional athlete happy? Just ask Jeff Schwartz, who represents Boston Celtics all-star player Paul Pierce. “[Paul] sometimes calls me at 4 in the morning, just to see if I’ll answer my phone, which I don’t do anymore,” Schwartz recently told Harvard Law School students. “First thing in the morning, I call him back and he says, ‘too late, I’m dead.’ ” Harvard Law School students enjoyed this and other behind-the-scenes tidbits from the world of professional athlete representation in a recent two-hour Q&A hosted by HLS Lecturer Peter Carfagna ’79 for his class, “Sports and the Law: Representing the Professional Athlete.”
An article by Harvard Law School S.J.D. candidate Andrew Tuch has been voted by the nation’s corporate and securities law professors as one of the top ten corporate and securities law papers of 2011. The article, “Multiple Gatekeepers,” was originally published in the Virginia Law Review.
Nine Harvard Law School students recently participated in the 2012 Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competitions in Vienna and Hong Kong. Nearly 400 law school teams from around the world participated in the Vis Competition, which aims to train future leaders in methods of alternative dispute resolution.
A new HLS clinic, in its first year of operation, has already contributed to significant governance reforms in numerous S&P 500 companies. The Harvard Law School Shareholder Rights Project (SRP) is a clinical program at Harvard Law School through which faculty and students assist public pension funds and charitable organizations to improve corporate governance at publicly traded companies in which they are shareowners.
Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Carter and Reagan, and former chairman of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, was on campus in early April as a guest of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics series on institutional corruption. The Center’s director, Professor Lawrence Lessig, introduced him to an at-capacity crowd in Ames Courtroom before yielding the floor to Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus Malcolm Salter, who moderated a conversation with Volcker on the historical context of today’s financial crisis and current efforts to thwart future crises.
"The Alternative to Shareholder Class Actions," an op-ed by Harvard Law School Professor Hal Scott and Leslie N. Silverman, appeared in the Apr. 1 edition of The Wall Street Journal.
On Feb. 15, Harvard Law School Professor Lucian Bebchuk testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection at a hearing entitled “Pay for Performance: Incentive Compensation at Large Financial Institutions.”
Since Matthew Schoenfeld ’12 became president of the Harvard Association of Law and Business last year, it has attracted an impressive array of alumni mentors for students interested in business-related careers. This year, he launched an initiative to raise funds to mentor another group—abused children. This January, Schoenfeld arranged for a partnership between the HALB and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts, to raise money for children in need of mentorship due to abusive situations and child welfare intervention.
Whether owners of limited liability companies should be subject to personal liability has been the subject of much controversy lately, in the U.S. and around the world. On Jan. 25, Bruno Salama, spoke to an HLS audience on the topic in the context of his research project and book “The End of Limited Liability in Brazil” tracing the status of corporate limited liability and veil piercing in Brazil. A professor of law at the Fundação Getulio Vargas in Sao Paulo, Salama was joined by HLS Professors Reinier Kraakman and Mark Roe ’75 at an event organized by the Harvard Law School Brazilian Studies Association.
At an event sponsored by the Harvard Law School American Constitution Society on Jan. 31, HLS Professor Lawrence Lessig, author of “Republic Lost,” and Jeff Clements, author of “Corporations Are Not People,” reviewed the impact that Citizens United has had on the political process.
Harvard Law School’s faculty and fellows earned the top ranking for the total number of citations of their work on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), according to cumulative statistics released for 2011. HLS faculty members captured five out of the top 10 slots – including the number one slot – among law school faculty in all legal fields.
On Wednesday, Dec. 14, Harvard Law School Professor John Coates testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment at an open-session hearing titled “Examining Investor Risks in Capital Raising.”
Appearing at Harvard Law School a year and a half after being released from federal prison, a contrite Jack Abramoff expressed a desire to thwart the political corruption he once infamously practiced. The event on Dec. 6 was sponsored by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, whose director, HLS Professor Lawrence Lessig, interviewed Abramoff, a former lobbyist who pleaded guilty in 2006 to charges of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials. “His experience,” said Lessig, “has an enormous amount to teach us.”
Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow has appointed Boston entrepreneur John Williams ’79 as the Law School’s inaugural Expert in Residence (EIR).
At the 2011 annual meeting of the International Corporate Governance Network held in Paris, Professor Lucian Bebchuk was awarded an ICGN award for excellence in corporate governance. ICGN awards are given annually in recognition of “exceptional achievements in the corporate governance field.”
In a recently released report, HLS Professor John C Coates and Taylor Lincoln, research director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, provide evidence that publicly held companies that disclose their electoral spending are more valuable than the politically active companies that fail to disclose their donors.
Mihir A. Desai, who currently serves as the Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance, the Senior Associate Dean for Planning and University Affairs, and the Chair of Doctoral Programs at Harvard Business School, has accepted a joint appointment to the faculty of Harvard Law School as a tenured Professor of Law.
Holger Spamann L.L.M. ’01 S.J.D. ’09, an expert in corporate governance and finance, will join the Harvard Law School faculty in July as an Assistant Professor of Law.
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