Dec 3, 2021Liked by David Lat

I am not a defender of Dean Gerken and understand that you would prefer to hear from such folks. But I am a proud graduate of Yale Law School and a former Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal. I care about the place, and the extended turmoil during Dean Gerken’s tenure is difficult to observe and process. Although folks of our ilk are typically not inclined to seek instruction from Harvard Law School, I must say that the recent times at YLS remind one of the tumultuous and divisive times at HLS prior to the appointment of Robert Clark as Dean in 1989. HLS in the 1980s was being run more as a social experiment than a professional school with radiations into cognate disciplines. Dean Clark, who had earlier spent a few years at YLS and had achieved tenure in then record time, was an unlikely choice as Dean but he was widely respected as a scholar, teacher and colleague. His tenure as Dean lasted until 2003 during which time he advanced HLS on numerous fronts, healed wounds, fostered conversations between previously warring camps, and sought out continuous input from students. Is there a Robert Clark in the YLS house? If so, perhaps he or she would step forward to fill the leadership vacuum. If you are able to tolerate reading a Harvard publication for an account of Dean Clark’s appointment and Deanship, please see https://today.law.Harvard.edu/feature/man-moment/. Thanks.

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Have your views changed about whether Gerken *should be* renewed in light of the new information?

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"In fact, faculty members are not even allowed to read the Ayres Report themselves; instead, they must go to Professor Ayres's office and have it read aloud to them (which strikes me as ridiculous)."

It is indeed ridiculous. Not only is it insulting to the faculty, and onerous for Professor Ayres or his secretary (I hope Dean Gerken didn't make *him* read it out loud!), it wouldn't achieve its goal. If I were a professor treated like that, I would simply bring a recording device along, record the report on audio, use some voice-to-text software, and voila! As we know from discussion of the John and Jane Doe lawsuit, although it was illegal under Connecticut law for the Dossier Compiler to record a phone call, it was legal for Trent Colbert to record an in-person conversation.

I can think of two more effective ways Dean Gerken could have prevented leaks. I won't say them, because one of them might be misused, but intelligent and ethical law professors will be able to figure out what I'm thinking.

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