Advertisement

Law School Adds Five Professors

Hirings bring the HLSFaculty number to 82 and add new programs

In a continuing effort to revitalize an aging and arguably homogeneous faculty, Harvard Law School (HLS) last month announced the appointment of five new professors.

This fall, professors Jody Freeman, Daryl J. Levinson ’90, and assistant professors Adriaan M. Lanni, Jed H. Shugerman, and Matthew C. Stephenson ’97, have joined the ranks of the HLS faculty.

“They’re terrific people who are both great teachers and great scholars and several of them fill very critical needs for us,” HLS Dean Elena Kagan said. “I think everyone here is just as pleased as they can be with these new hires.”

The latest additions come as HLS enters the third year of a decade-long initiative to expand its total faculty by 15 members. The HLS faculty currently includes 82 scholars.

HLS has historically struggled to maintain a reliable core of assistant professors, who are often prime recruits for competing law schools. Kagan says she hopes that will change, particularly because the school is expecting a number of retirements over the next two years.

“We’re going to have to work hard just to stay in the same place,” Kagan said. “If we do what we did last year and keep on bringing in new people, we’re on our way to achieving our goal.”

Advertisement

Kagan said the five additions will help compensate for the retirements of Professors Henry J. Steiner ’51 and Detlev F. Vagts ’48 last year.

Kagan said that five assistant professors are currently on the track to tenure: three white males, a white female, and a black male.

According to Kagan, HLS continues to monitor the number of female and minority professors it brings inside its gates.

“I think there is plenty of room for improvement, but at the same time there have been real strides,” Kagan said. “It’s just a matter of keeping on paying attention and making sure that the issue stays front-and-center in our minds.”

MEET THE PROFESSORS

Kagan says she is particularly enthusiastic about the appointment of Freeman, who will be the school’s first “premier” environmental-law faculty member in more than a decade.

A graduate of HLS, Freeman will teach courses on natural-resources law and administrative law. Freeman says she hopes to strengthen the school’s environmental-law curriculum and clinical program.

“The thing about environmental law is that it’s an area full of creativity and innovation,” she said. “It’s a very dynamic field and a very problem-focused field that I enjoy very much.”

Levinson is an expert on constitutional law and theory from the New York University School of Law. He says he is especially interested in the relationships between institutional structures and the mechanisms of public and private law. He will teach a course titled “Remedies” in the spring.

Lanni studies the law courts from classical Athens, site of the world’s first juries. This year, she will teach classes on ancient and criminal law.

“There aren’t that many law schools that teach Athenian law,” she said. “I’m excited to introduce that subject to Harvard Law students.”

Boasting two degrees from Yale and on his way to completing a third, bulldog-blooded Shugerman will teach a course on tort law in the spring.

“I know where my roots are,” he joked. “But I’ve been thrilled with how warm the Law School has been in the few weeks that I’ve been here and how intellectually and socially engaged I find the community here.”

Just two years ago, Stephenson was a student at HLS and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Now, he is an assistant professor of law. Stephenson was appointed to the faculty one year ago, but spent the past year as a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. This year, he will teach administrative and environmental law.

—Staff writer Javier C. Hernandez can be reached at jhernand@fas.harvard.edu.

Advertisement