Harold Koh

yale law school.jpgSo maybe being from Yale Law School doesn’t make you God’s gift to the legal profession (at least according to this commenter). But we still care about developments at our alma mater — and were intrigued to hear about an urgent meeting, to be held at YLS later today:

TO: The Yale Law School Community
FROM: Harold Hongju Koh
DATE: September 14, 2007


If you are in New Haven, I ask you to please attend a very important meeting of the Yale Law School Community in the Law School Auditorium at 12:30 TODAY September 14, 2007. I am sorry not to be able to give you more information at this time; that information will be provided at the meeting. Let me reiterate that this is a very important meeting, and if you are in town and are able, I would ask you please to attend.

Thank you


What might this be about? We asked our tipster to opine:

My first thought was Doe v. Ciolli. Then I started thinking positive, like someone got appointed to a high position. But Koh as AG under Bush? Nope.

Then I heard from the grapevine that something sad has happened and they need to let certain people know before they inform the whole student body. So now I think it may be a death or rape or something. Hopefully not.

Please feel free to speculate (but responsibly) in the comments. We will let you know when we have more.
Update (11:35 AM): We understand that something serious happened to a first-year law student. Please keep your comments in good taste. Thank you.
Update (12:40 PM): As noted here, a first-year student was found dead in his apartment last night. We are closing this thread to new comments. Please continue the discussion in the new post.

yale law school 2.JPGWe dropped the ball by not writing about this news when it first surfaced earlier this year. Now that it’s made Instapundit, though, the entire world knows about it. One Yalie writes:

A bit of an embarrassment for Harold Koh, though no real fault on his part. Still, it might come up if he’s nominated for the Supreme Court.

Fair enough. But we suspect that the good senators will have plenty of other things to question the outspoken dean about if he gets nominated to the SCOTUS.
This Is Kind of Embarrassing [Instapundit]
Man Posed as Yale Aide in Swindle Of Irish Immigrants, Authorities Say [New York Times]
Man accused of defrauding illegal immigrants being held in R.I. [New Haven Register]

yul kwon yul kwon survivor yule kwon yul kwan yul kwon pics pictures.JPG
“Survivor” champ and YLS grad Yul Kwon made a triumphant return to his law school alma mater last week. In a speech entitled “How I Survived Survivor and Other Professional Challenges,” Kwon, who was introduced by YLS Dean Harold Koh, spoke about breaking down negative stereotypes about Asian Americans.

At this point in his speech, Kwon suddenly went off-script and tried to bestow his wisdom on the crowd of predominantly law students.
“Make the best of it,’ he said. “Think outside the box.”

Profound. We can only hope that when he worked for McKinsey, his paying clients got a little more than that kind of “wisdom.”
Speaking of stereotypes, someone did research on how much money men of various races need to make if they’re trying to attract a woman of a different race:

For equal success with a white woman [relative to a white man], an African-American needs to earn an additional $154,000; a Hispanic man needs $77,000; an Asian needs $247,000.
For equal success with an Asian woman [relative to an Asian man], an African-American needs no additional income; a white man needs $24,000 less than average; a Hispanic man needs $28,000 more than average.

So Yul can take that $1 million he won on “Survivor” and buy four white women.
Just kidding! This serves as a good reminder that studies are all about averages. On one side of the Asian-American male spectrum you have Yul, who was in People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue, and on the other hand you have… well, let’s just say that at least one Asian-American associated with YLS is known more for his “impressive body of work” than his impressive body.
(Thanks to the VC for the survey link.)
Earlier: “Congratulations to Yul Kwon — Who Says You Don’t Learn Anything at Yale Law School?”

As reflected in the comments to our recent post, people can’t see eye to eye about Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh. To some, he’s an American hero; to others, he’s a liberal political hack.
But here are two things we believe to be non-controversial:
1. Dean Koh doesn’t look as good without his shirt as Dean Hiram Chodosh, of the S.J. Quinney Law School (University of Utah). A shirtless photo of Dean Chodosh, a nominee in our Law School Dean Hotties contest, is available here.
2. Dean Koh can’t dance as well as Dean Chodosh. Proving that NYU law students aren’t the only ones who can do fun stuff with the Michael Jackson song “Beat It,” Dean Chodosh recently strutted his stuff to that famous eighties classic:

Dean Hiram Chodosh for SCOTUS!!!
Napoleon Dean-O-Mite [YouTube]
Earlier: Should Hiram Chodosh File a Notice of Appeal?

harold koh harold hongju koh.jpgThat’s the prospect repeatedly pushed in a two-part profile of Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh, from the Yale Daily News. The profile has been discussed extensively in the legal blogsophere (see links below).
Oh goodness. We could say something snarky and dismissive (e.g., “Hell to the N-O”). But we will comport ourselves with the dignity you expect from a leading gossip blogger.
We will merely refer you to what others have already said on the subject. E.g., Professor Stephen Bainbridge (“Koh’s appointment to the SCOTUS would be an unmitigated disaster.”); Professor David Bernstein (Koh is “a highly partisan liberal Democrat under whose tenure as dean conservative and libertarian students have felt increasingly uncomfortable”); and commenters at the WSJ Law Blog (“a severe narcissist,” “a political zealot,” and “[Harvard Dean] Elena Kagan would be a better choice”).
(Our favorite comment, from a WSJ Law Blog reader: “Other than that he’d be a sure vote for declaring Gitmo detainees have a constitutional right to Social Security benefits, I do not see the appeal.”)
So we’re holding our tongue. We do not want to have our YLS degree revoked after the fact.
A few more thoughts, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Justice Harold Hongju Koh?”

Yale Law School dinner 5.JPG
Last Friday night, we attended a Yale Law School alumni dinner here in Washington, at Acadiana restaurant. It was timed to coincide with the big AALS conference of law professors in DC, since so many YLS alums are in legal academia.
The keynote speaker at the dinner was Professor Heather Gerken, who was snatched up from Harvard by Yale last year. She gave an interesting talk about her proposal for a “Democracy Index,” a national system for ranking the election-law practices of the different states. (We won’t repeat her remarks here, since Professor Gerken’s proposal is laid out in detail in her Legal Times commentary.)
Before Professor Gerken spoke, the audience was addressed by Dean Harold Hongju Koh. He updated us about recent developments at the law school, and gave the standard spiel about the brilliance and diversity of Yale’s first-year class.
(In case you’re wondering, the Yale 1Ls have a median GPA of 3.91. Their ranks include oodles of Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars… and a massage therapist. You can have the Rhodies, the whole lot of ‘em; just give us the massage therapist.)
Dean Koh also delivered remarks that could be viewed as part of his new charm offensive: an attempt to reach out to YLS conservatives, in the wake of some criticism on that front.
Some random photos — plus very surprising news about Justice Clarence Thomas and Yale Law School, the alma mater he’s had a rocky relationship with — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Yale Dean Harold Koh Hearts Conservatives”

Harold Koh Harold Hongju Koh Harold H Koh Yale Law School Above the Law.jpgWe received an interesting tip last week from a Yale Law School source:

I thought you might be interested in this email, which just went out to the Yale Federalist Society email list. It seems you may have struck some fear into Harold Koh with your recent coverage of his ideological tendencies.

Here’s the email (which we were asked not to publish until after the meeting in question had taken place):

From: Eugene Nardelli, Jr.
Date: Dec 13, 2006 4:52 PM
Subject: Fed Soc: Lunch With Dean Koh
To: [Yale Federalist Society mailing list]


This Tuesday, the 19th, Dean Koh will be hosting lunch with some of our members. Lunch will take place from 12:30 to 1:30 or so in the Dean’s office. Dean Koh has called this meeting for the the specific purpose of giving an opportunity for students to voice their concerns, if any, about the way the school and the Dean treat conservative voices of students, guests, and alumni.

We welcome you to join us and share your thoughts with the Dean, however, the office is small and can only seat a limited number of students. Please email me if you would like to attend.

[President of the Yale Federalist Society*]

Our tipster added:

I imagine most people will have left New Haven for break by lunchtime next Tuesday… It makes one wonder about Koh’s sincerity (if there wasn’t already enough reason to wonder).

Fair enough. But we’re willing to give Dean Koh the benefit of the doubt. His hosting of a luncheon with the Yale Fed Soc is welcome news. If you were at the meeting and can give us a report on what transpired, we’d love to hear from you.
And here’s a postscript from New Haven:

Hadley Arkes** came to YLS last week to give a lecture sponsored by the newly-formed Yale Law Students for Life group. Koh stopped by the reception beforehand — something he has never in the past done for a conservative speaker invited by FedSoc or similar — and chatted with Prof. Arkes. So apparently he’s making more of an effort to reach out to conservatives these days.

Again, we’re pleased to learn of Harold Koh’s recent outreach to right-of-center folks (and we hope that it continues into the new year). Efforts by a law school dean to develop an academic environment that welcomes different points of view are all for the good.
* We’re guessing that Eugene Nardelli Sr. would be the New York State appellate judge, Eugene L. Nardelli.
** You may recall Professor Arkes from his participation in this wacky panel discussion.
Earlier: Attention, Concerned Alumni of Yale: Justice Alito Gets (Green)housed
Harold and Linda, Sittin’ in a Tree…
An Addendum on Nino in New Haven

Christmas tree.jpg* The holiday season is here, and you know what that means: year-end bonuses for law firm associates. On Friday, Milbank Tweed made the first big bonus announcement. And this time it wasn’t fake.
* They talk a lot about “due process” over at Yale Law School. But questions have been raised concerning the process by which Linda Greenhouse, SCOTUS reporter for the New York Times, was selected over Justice Samuel Alito for the school’s prestigious Award of Merit.
* If Greenhouse benefited from preferential treatment from YLS Dean Harold Koh, it wouldn’t have been the first time.
* Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer: not just geniuses, but also an inspired comedic duo.
* Speaking of great legal minds, Professor Noah Feldman is leaving NYU for Harvard Law School.
* And speaking of NYU Law School, if you haven’t already voted in the 3L hotties contest, there’s still some time left. Polls close tomorrow at 3PM (Eastern time).
* Finally, we have a new little sibling. Please extend a warm welcome to Supermogul: The View From the Top.

samuel alito harold koh linda greenhouse.JPGWe’re delighted that our scoop about Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh pushing Linda Greenhouse over Justice Samuel Alito for the YLS Award of Merit has been picked up so widely. It even made the pages of the Holy Trinity of the Right-of-Center Blawgosphere: Instapundit, Volokh Conspiracy (Jonathan Adler), and Althouse.
As noted, our transcript of the deliberations was fictionalized and satirical. But it is based upon what we’ve learned about the process by which Greenhouse was selected.
If you disbelieve our account in its entirety, allow us to share with you some supporting information. This isn’t the first time that Dean Koh has been accused of showing favoritism towards Linda Greenhouse. Consider the case of the Harry Blackmun papers.
Koh, a former law clerk to Justice Blackmun and advisor to his daughter Sally, played a major role in giving Linda Greenhouse exclusive, early access to Blackmun’s papers — much to the chagrin of other news organizations. As reported at the time by Tony Mauro:

Blackmun’s daughter Sally, the executor for the papers, said in an interview last week that Linda Greenhouse, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, and Nina Totenberg, longtime Court correspondent for National Public Radio, have been given exclusive pre-release access to the papers for their respective media of print and broadcast journalism….

The Washington Post asked for early access before the exclusive arrangement was made, but was denied. Editors at the Post were described by one knowledgeable source outside the newspaper as “livid” over the favored treatment granted to the Times.

Executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. and Post attorney David Kendall of Williams & Connolly repeatedly sought reconsideration of the exclusive deal, without success, according to sources at the Post. The Post petitioned Sally Blackmun and Yale Law School professor Harold Koh, a former clerk to the justice and now an adviser to Blackmun.

A Post source says that Koh invited the newspaper to make a proposal for early access last July, but did not mention a deadline. According to the source, by the time the Post replied in September with a plan for non-exclusive early access, the decision had already been made to give the Times exclusive access.

Say it ain’t so! Dean Koh had already made up his mind, in favor of La Greenhouse? Quelle surprise!

For her part, Greenhouse says she began talking with Koh last July, but did not seek exclusivity. The offer to give the Times the only print media preview “fell in my lap,” she says….

Koh declined to comment on why Greenhouse and Totenberg were selected.

So what is the origin of Linda Greenhouse’s Svengali-like power over Harold Koh?
We have a theory. Check it out, along with a bunch of interesting links, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Harold and Linda, Sittin’ in a Tree…”

samuel alito harold koh linda greenhouse.JPGChristmas is less than three weeks away. Are you stumped about what to get for your liberal lawyer friends?
Assuming they’re okay with Christmas gifts — maybe they object to even personal celebration of the holiday — have we got an idea for you: Harold Hongju Koh Bobblehead Dolls!!!
Harold Koh is the dean of Yale Law School. And he’s an unapologetic liberal, regarded by some YLS students and alumni as allowing his personal political beliefs to affect his work as dean (not for the better). It’s only natural for the Yale chapter of the ACS, a leading liberal organization, to honor him with a bobblehead doll.
Above the Law has just learned of another manifestation of Dean Koh’s alleged political hackery. One of his deanly duties is to preside over the committee that selects a recipient for the Yale Law School Award of Merit. This prestigious and prominent honor is presented each year to an outstanding graduate or longtime faculty member of YLS.
We’ve heard that Dean Koh, short-circuiting any real discussion, essentially ordered that the 2007 Award of Merit would go to Linda Greenhouse — the left-leaning Supreme Court correspondent of the New York Times. Other committee members proposed Justice Samuel Alito ’75, confirmed earlier this year to the U.S. Supreme Court, as the most natural and appropriate choice. But Dean Koh squelched their support for the conservative jurist. He cut short the deliberations, declaring by fiat that Greenhouse — who did a one-year master’s program at Yale — would receive the award.
Does this strike you as outrageous? It gets worse. The reasoning employed by Dean Koh — to the extent that he employed reasoning, as opposed to simply forcing his pick upon the committee — was pretty dubious.
Based on what we’ve heard, we’ve created a fictionalized transcript of the committee meeting. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Attention, Concerned Alumni of Yale: Justice Alito Gets (Green)housed”

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