Pick the Wrong Client, Lose Your Faculty Dean Position?
While lawyers are free to represent whomever they choose, a pair of Harvard professors are now dealing with fallout related to a decision by one of them to join Harvey Weinstein’s defense team.
Two Harvard Faculty Deans at a dormitory have apparently been forced out of their roles, though they both remain active as professors. The professors are actually a married couple, and it seems the deeds, or perhaps the representation, of the husband also doomed the wife. Apparently, if you represent a guy like Weinstein, students are likely to not want you to be their faculty dean, which as Vox explains, is basically a glorified RA or resident advisor.
If you think that students don’t have any power, then you haven’t been paying attention to the students at Harvard. These kids really are getting things accomplished. The ousted faculty deans were facing rather vocal student protests against them serving due to Ronald Sullivan’s decision to join Harvey Weinstein’s defense team.
For the students, it makes some sense given the faculty dean’s duties to serve as a student counselor, and the fact that sexual misconduct is a serious matter on college campuses. Representing a person who has been shown to be such a villain, publicly, has repercussions. And it seems that Harvard agrees, as both deans were removed despite Sullivan withdrawing from Weinstein's team.
Harvard Students Killing It
This isn’t the first big, #MeToo movement news that Harvard students have inspired. Not too long ago, the Pipeline Parity Project was successful in motivating various BigLaw firms to get rid of mandatory arbitration for claims involving gender discrimination and sexual harassment.
- Law Students Boycotting Firms Requiring Mandatory Arbitration (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Justice Kagan's Advice for Harvard 1Ls (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
- Students Pledge to Improve Mental Health (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)