Legal Design: a legal (R)evolution

Marco Imperiale, LL.M ’16, April 18th, Langdell 232/3, REGISTER HERE

Curious about this new and fast-growing discipline? Legal Design has environmental, social & political implications, centering the democratization of relationships between consumers, clients, & citizens and those in the legal fields.  The deliberate design of human-centric legal documents, policies, and contracts is just part of what Legal Design covers. Come learn more about the “next big thing” in legal studies with our visiting researcher & Legal Design expert, Marco Imperiale. Limited space, so please REGISTER in advance w/ dietary restrictions. Lunch will be provided.


How to Read an Empirical Paper

Professor Arevik Avedian, March 22nd, 12:30-1:30, Langdell 232/3, REGISTER HERE

Do you lack a background in math and statistics and struggle to make your way through the mathematical concepts and data used to make arguments in empirical papers? Join Professor Arevik Avedian and practice breaking down an empirical paper into digestible parts. Get a peak at the kind of math and statistics that may be important for you to understand in your future work and a preview of what is covered in her course Fundamentals of Statistical Analysis, offered in the fall. Register to receive the “workshop” paper in advance and join with others in a no pressure setting to explore the basics of approaching data and analysis in legal writing.  Space is limited so please REGISTER in advance.  The sample paper to be used for the workshop will be emailed to all registrants. Lunch will be provided.                                                                                                          Arevik Avedian  is a Lecturer on Law and Director of Empirical Research Services at HLS. She holds a Ph.D. in world politics and methods and a M.A. in economics from Claremont Graduate University, and a dual B.A/M.A. in international relations from David Anhaght University of Armenia. Some of her current methodological interests include geographic information systems (GIS), text mining and location analytics.


Why I Changed My Mind

HLS Faculty Panel, Feb 21st, 12:30-1:30, Milstein East B

Back by popular demand, a second iteration of the faculty panel Why I Changed My Mind will feature 3 HLS faculty members’ stories of professional moments of reckoning when ideas they had previously thought settled in their worldview changed. Though (ideally) academia is a place where revising one’s ideas is a constant, in reality getting something ‘wrong’ (for students and professors) can be scary. In the current cultural climate it often feels that there is less and less room for the idea that one’s ideas can (and should!) evolve over time as new arguments, information and data emerge.  Faculty speakers will demonstrate this process in action as they share their stories on a panel moderated by Jonathan Zittrain, George Bemis Professor of International Law. Lunch will be served.
Guy-Uriel Charles, Charles J. Ogletree Jr. Professor of Law & Director of the Charles Hamilton Institute for Race and Justice
Rachel Viscomi, Assistant Clinical Professor & Director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP)
Charles Fried, Beneficial Professor of Law

Read about the event in the HLS newsletter! See a recording of the event HERE.

Why I Changed My Mind: Sharing Our Own Stories of Change

Facilitated dialogues on change, Feb 27th, 12:30-1:30, Langdell 232/3 – REGISTER

We live in a time of deep division where investing energy in those who disagree with us can seem depleting at best, and futile at worst. But what if being able to understand and empathize with those who hold different views begins with exploring our own stories of growth and transformation? Are you curious about how others’ views have shifted over time? Would you like to reflect on how your own thinking has evolved? If you’d like to learn to hold space for exchange that embraces the shifting landscape of our views, come join Rachel Viscomi of last week’s faculty panel, Why I Changed My Mind and engage in small group dialogue facilitated by your peers from the Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program. Space is limited so please REGISTER in advance.  Lunch will be provided.

Rachel Viscomi is  is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard Law School and the Director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP). She runs the Harvard Dispute Systems Design Clinic, training law students to become problem-solving lawyers, while supporting clients to rethink the way they manage conflict within their organizations.


Blockchain Solutions to Socio-Political Problems: An Exploration of Current Issues in Web3

Mini-seminar with Molly White, March 6th, March 27th, & April 17th, 12:30-1:30, Langdell 232 – REGISTER

Blockchains have been proposed as a panacea for a number of technical and social problems in the world of Web3 – to fight against disinformation/incentivize accurate information in journalism, online encyclopedias, and social media, as a means of banking the un/under banked, for securing online identity, or providing  token-based alternatives to self-governing online communities via decentralized autonomous organizations (DOAs). Whether these terms and issues are already familiar to you, or if you’ve always wanted to take a bit of a deeper dive into what blockchains and Web3 are really about  –  join Molly White for this series of explorative conversations about whether blockchains live up to the hype, what the limitations and trade-offs might be, and to gain a better understanding of the implications this technology holds for the future of the web and humanity.

This 3-part series is being offered as a “mini-seminar” where participants take part in a developing exchange and exploration of these issues. We ask that only those who can commit to the entire 3-part series register.  Space is limited to 25 people so please REGISTER in advance. Lunch will be served.

Molly White is a fellow of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab. A software engineer, noted cryptocurrency skeptic and cultural commentator, she is the author of the blog Web3 Is Going Just Great.

Mastering Money with Norm Champ – A Personal Finance Series 

Thursdays, Feb 2nd, 9th, & 16th, 12:30-1:30, Seminar Room 232, Langdell Hall – REGISTER

What is your relationship to money? Are you a saver or a spender? Do you think and plan for the future or look away, thinking you’ll get to it later? Have you ever made or followed a budget? HLS Beyond has invited Norm Champ (JD ‘89), partner at Kirkland and Ellis, former Director of the Division of Investment Management of the SEC and HLS lecturer, to help you become the Spending Governor of your own life. In a three part series you will do a self analysis of your financial profile, create and learn how to keep a budget that suits your current and future life circumstances, and start planning for your future with simple tools you can access now. If you’re someone who has always wanted and needed to do this, but just never seem to have the time, join us over the course of three weeks at lunchtime.  In the words of Norm Champ, “People who are financially secure mastered money by accepting a simple hard truth: you must take charge of building your own balance sheet.” Take your first steps with this HLS Beyond series Feb 2nd, 9th, and 16th at lunchtime.

Registration required (for one or all sessions)   All registered students will receive a free copy of Norm’s book Mastering Money. Lunch will be served.


Thursday, February 2nd – Mastering Money: Tools for Personal AssessmentWhat’s YOUR financial profile?  In this session participants will fill out a variety of financial self assessments to get a clearer picture of their habits, histories, and areas for improvement. Everyone will start work on a budget document, updating relevant categories based on your life and situation, and will have the opportunity to ask questions about how to gauge their personal budget parameters. You will also be introduced to some relevant budgeting and savings apps that can help bypass common behavioral stumbling blocks to saving and budgeting. Please bring your laptop.


Thursday, Feb 9th – Mastering Money: Creating a Personal BudgetLet’s Do It!  The bulk of your budget work will be done in this session so come prepared with the budget document you worked on in Session 1 and access to any relevant documents and accounts that will be used to fill in your blanks. This session is literally a working lunch, you’ll all be in it together with the goal of getting a working budget in place before you leave as well as a plan for how and when you will maintain it’s inputs – determined by you to fit into your life and habits (the good ones AND the bad ones). Please bring your laptop.


Thursday, Feb 16th  –  Mastering Money: Savings, Debt, and InvestingThe Role of Money in your Life Cycle. This session will be devoted to a discussion and Q&A about financial issues throughout the stages of the life cycle including 1.)  the realities of debt and how best to manage it over time, 2.) the role of investing as part of a savings, retirement, or wealth-building strategy, 3.) better understanding and planning for typical financial milestones (e.g. marriage and its financial implications, home-owning,  child-rearing, financing education, etc). You will also have the opportunity to start an investment account using recommended apps to get you on the road to becoming the Spending Governor of your own life. Please bring your laptop.


The Art of Listening, Asking, & Storytelling for Advocacy & Beyond

A Three Part Series Feb 6th, 13th, & 22nd/23rd – REGISTER

Storytelling is a part of the very fabric of our lives and something we employ daily – whether it be personally, in the classroom, or in the courtroom. Storytelling with a purpose communicates not only information but selective information, shaped to illicit empathy, understanding, and at its best, action on behalf of a cause, an individual life, or a movement. But storytelling is also an acquired skill which draws on many aspects of communication – listening, interpreting, making connections, and engaging with subjects’ stories respectfully and ethically. As a skill that can be honed, it also requires practice and a thoughtful approach. Join Professor Alexander Chen (15), founding Director of the LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic at HLS where he teaches Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and the Law, and Andre Perez, founder of the Transgender Oral History Project, film director & producer, and educator for a three-part series designed to help you think about and practice this skill from start to finish. Hear from your hosts about their process in both advocacy law and documentary film making. Take part in a workshop where you will interview/be interviewed and craft/tell each other’s stories with the guidance of Andre Perez. And finally, get to know the LXT Multimedia Studio at HLS where you will get coaching on how best to present and represent in front of a camera and create a recording of the story or interview you honed during the workshop or elsewhere.

Registration required (for one or all sessions)

Monday, February 6th, 12:30-1:30pm, Storytelling and Advocacy: A Screening and Intimate Conversation – Watch the Boston premiere of an episode from America in Transition (AIT), a Sundance-backed series by and about BIPOC trans people. Afterward, get a behind-the-scenes peek via a conversation between AIT Director Andre Perez, and the Director of the LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic, Alexander Chen. They will draw on their combined 20 years of experience to discuss the role of storytelling in advocacy in their respective professions. They will share ethical, strategic, and practical complexities that accompany sharing real-life stories for social change. Langdell 232/3. Lunch will be provided


Monday, February 13th, 4-5:30pm – Shaping Stories through Listening and Sharing – We tell stories all the time – whether we are trying to make friends, find jobs, or entertain ourselves – but how often do we really listen? Oral historian and documentary filmmaker, Andre Perez, will lead an interactive presentation follow-up with a hands-on workshop where you will get to craft your own story and interview others about theirs. Langdell 232/3. Snacks will be provided.


Wednesday/Thursday Feb 22/23rd, 12:00-1:30 – Live Interviewing and Storytelling on camera w/ LXT (Learning Experience & Technology) Multi-Media Studio  – Get to know the HLS LXT Multimedia Studio. Spend a session with LXT staff, telling your story or practicing an interview on camera. Get advice on staying calm and engaging with a remote audience, clear speaking and positioning, speaking from memory and off the cuff. You will have the opportunity to watch back, critique, and try again. After the session, you’ll receive a recorded snippet of your interview or story from the Shaping Stories workshop or elsewhere.


Web3 is Going Just Where? A Fireside Chat with Molly White and Jonathan Zittrain

Thursday, January 12th, 12:30-1:30pm, Webinar Recording

In the wake of the FTX collapse, what impact have cryptocurrencies had on the world and what can we learn from them about the next generation of the internet we want to build? Join Molly White of Web3 is Going Just Great fame and internet and society professor Jonathan Zittrain for a wide-ranging fireside chat to ring in the new year — and a taste of the discussion series Molly will lead for HLS Beyond in the spring.

Molly White is a fellow of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab. A software engineer, noted cryptocurrency skeptic and cultural commentator, she is the author of the blog Web3 Is Going Just Great.

Jonathan Zittrain is a professor of law and professor of computer science at Harvard University, where he co-founded the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. He wrote The Future of the Internet—And How to Stop It, and is working on its sequel, Well, We Tried.

Brownbag “Playshop”: Getting Hands on with ChatGPT

Wednesday, January 11th, 12:30-1:30pm, Seminar Rooms 232, Langdell Hall

(ChatGPT wrote this event description) Join us at the Harvard Law School Library’s HLS Beyond J-term series for a hands-on event with ChatGPT. As legal research and writing teachers and students, staying up-to-date on the latest developments in AI is crucial. This “playshop” will provide a deep dive into ChatGPT and its capabilities, preparing you for the present and future of AI in legal research and writing. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stay informed and ahead of the curve. 
Please bring your laptop and lunch and be prepared to play with ChatGPT alongside a guided discussion of current and future issues in AI with Debbie Ginsberg (HLSL Faculty Research & Scholarly Support Services) and Jack Cushman (Director of HLSL Innovation Lab). No registration required.


Spring 2020:

Comparative Digital Privacy Teach-In

April 10, 2020

Collecting Data and Conducting Research through Interviewing, Part 1: Scoping Your Inquiry

March 10, 2020

Get set up for interview research! Instructors April Faith Slaker (HLS Access to Justice Lab) and Ramona Crawford (Harvard Library, Services for Academic Programs) will help you decide what role interviews might play in your practice, whether as sources of empirical research data or preparation for randomized control trials. You will leave with a conceptual basis for scoping your inquiry, including how to meaningfully align questions in terms of your project and setting, strategies for phrasing questions effectively, and tips on recruiting participants.

Improv and Storytelling Workshop with expert improviser Courtney Pong

February 25, 2020

Immerse yourself in an activity that will energize and empower you to take on the challenges and opportunities that come with your unique role as a lawyer! What will you do in this workshop?

  • Up-level communication and leadership skills
  • Practice improv as an iterative process in a supportive environment
  • Experience the power of collaboration

Receive instruction, real-time coaching, have chances to practice application of skills learned, and then reflect. (It’s also really fun.) Leave this engaging, active session with tools and skills you can practice such as:

  • Reframing any situation as an opportunity to make connections and gain momentum
  • Telling meaningful, impactful stories
  • Speaking to the needs and knowledge of your audience
  • Decision-making under pressure
  • How to communicate effectively with both clients and team members in any situation, while keeping the big picture in mind

Fall 2019:

Tech Explorations Part 1: Data and How to be Skeptical

November 21, 2019

Great data analysts know what to look for in data to uncover the hidden stories – come explore ideas for extracting information from data. Explore how to have a critical eye for patterns and anomalies by exploring visuals and jointly looking for patterns, discuss what it means to have domain expertise when looking at data (what happened in a minor car crash involving a semi-autonomous vehicle?), see some tools for data analysis, help uncover the story behind a data set, see how visualizations can help share a story with others.

The instructor, David Homa, is the Harvard Business School’s Digital Initiatives director. He has built a career out of integrating business and technology with experiences in enterprise software, ecommerce, and internet media, and spent several years designing sound systems for pro sports stadiums.

Managing a Project

November 7, 2019

Working on a project at HLS? Gearing up to start a new project? Project management strategies can help you set and achieve your goals. Come learn the basics, including a few strategies to help you succeed: 1) identifying the stages of your project and setting a timeline, 2) mapping your project’s stakeholders, and 3) managing their expectations. We’ll do a few exercises together, so come with a current or future project in mind.

Hilary Ross is the Project Manager for the Assembly: Disinformation program at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center. Prior to joining the Berkman Klein Center, Hilary worked in communications at a think tank in DC, managed a program at a non-profit in Boston, taught as a Fulbright Fellow in Vietnam, and was a 2017 State of the Net Fellow.

Plain Language in the Law

October 29, 2019

A growing sentiment exists that plain language must be incorporated into the law. This includes not only legal resources intended for self-represented litigants, but also legal documents and forms submitted to or coming from the court and other justice system actors. In this session participants will learn what is an effective plain language resource, the landscape of tools to create those resources, and how the A2J Lab is embarking on empirical evaluation of created resources. During this session, participants will review actual samples of effective resources and create their own before and after samples.

Drawing on her knowledge of justice system operations and the pressures on the justice system, Ms. Danser joined the Access to Justice Lab at Harvard Law School to incorporate rigorous research into improving access to justice. Ms. Danser believes that for our research to be impactful, we must recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the communities reviewing and incorporating it. Using her court management and non-profit leadership experience, Ms. Danser encourages courts and the justice community to think about their needs and the needs of their users and how to successfully balance those interests. Reach Ms. Danser at [email protected]

Spring 2019:

“Why I Changed my Mind”

March 4, 2019

Unlike many other professions — including trial advocacy in an adversarial system — academics often represent that they aspire to “get it right,” whatever that means, and being shown new data or arguments that undermine or negate a previously-held conclusion is an occasion for excitement and joy, an opportunity to revise and refine one’s sense of the world, more than a source of embarrassment for having gotten anything wrong to begin with. The panel of speakers at “Why I Changed My Mind” will demonstrate this process in action as they share a a long-held professional view that they’d embraced and perhaps advocated for, and then how it came about that they no longer believe it.

The faculty discussion will be moderated by Jonathan Zittrain, George Bemis Professor of International Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources and will include: Kendra Albert, Lecturer on Law; Jeannie Suk Gersen, John W. Watson, Jr. Professor of Law; Jill Lepore, David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History; Michael Moffitt, Roger D. Fisher Visiting Professor in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution; and Laurence Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor.

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