Law Faculty Gives Tenure To Ogletree

The Law School faculty unanimously voted to offer tenure to Assistant Professor of Law Charles J. Ogletree Jr. late last month, a move that has drawn widespread approval on campus, amidst persistent calls for greater faculty diversity.

An Ogletree appointment would increase to four the number of tenured Black professors currently at the Law School. One of those four, Professor of Law Christopher F. Edley Jr., is currently on leave as Associate Director of the Office of Budget and Management in the Clinton administration.

Ogletree, a specialist in criminal law, is best known outside the Law School for being Anita Hill's counsel during the confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas.

Within the Law School, Ogletree is immensely popular. Recently, the graduating class chose him to receive the 1993 Albert M. Sacks-Paul A. Freund Award for Teaching Excellence.

In an interview last night, Ogletree said he would be extremely pleased if he receives an official offer.


"It will be a very refreshing and positive culmination of a long process of struggle," he said.

But Ogletree said he "won't have an offer until the governing board approves the faculty's recommendation."

In an interview soon after the faculty's vote, Law School Dean Robert C. Clark said that it was almost certain that the governing board would approve the offer.

Ogletree was hired by the Law School in 1989 as an assistant professor--specializing in clinical legal practice--after four years as a visiting professor.

His scholarship focuses on the role of public defend- ers in society, and he has been concerned more with the practice of law than with legal theory. Ogletree also has considerable experience with the use of DNA fingerprinting for identification purposes in criminal trials.

His promotion was based on a resolution passed by the faculty of the Law School in May 1988, which set down criteria to be used in making tenure decisions for primarily clinical faculty members like Ogletree.

Clark said that Ogletree has fulfilled "superbly" both criteria in the 1988 resolution--providing clinical teaching and developing a clinical program.

Clark, who has come under fire in recent years from people who say he has not moved quickly enough on the issue of diversity on the Law School's faculty, said he was "really happy" about the decision to offer Ogletree tenure.

Student Support

Student support for Ogletree has been overwhelming. Those interviewed praises him for his contributions to the clinical programs as well as the general atmosphere at the Law School.

Graduating Class Marshall Viet Dinh, who will present the Sacks-Freund award to Ogletree during the Class Day ceremonies on June 9, said, "Harvard Law School has greatly benefited from his 'Introduction to Trial Advocacy' class, his Saturday School speaker program, and his warm and receptive presence."