Do you know that tired argument that there is no advantage to attending an elite university, like an Ivy League school, over a local public school? Don’t get us wrong. There are some great public schools in America — from the University of Michigan to the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Texas at Austin, etc. — but does, say, the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities really compare to attending, say, Harvard University as either an undergraduate or graduate student? We think not. Sorry, Golden Gophers!
Case in point? The recently retired United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has accepted a new position now that he’s stepped away from the court. That post? He’ll be assuming the Byrne Professor of Administrative Law and Process in a return to his alma mater, Harvard Law School. As Isabella B. Cho reports for The Harvard Crimson in a piece entitled “Former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Will Return to Harvard Law School’s Faculty this Fall,” “After 42 years as a federal judge — 27 of which were spent on the nation’s highest bench — Justice Stephen G. Breyer is coming home to Harvard. The recently retired Supreme Court justice will return to teach at Harvard as the Byrne Professor of Administrative Law and Process — a position he will hold jointly with HLS Professor Todd D. Rakoff ’67, who currently holds the chaired professorship. Breyer, 83, graduated from Harvard Law School in 1964 and served on the school’s faculty from 1967 to 1980. In his second act at HLS, Breyer will teach, pursue scholarship, and ‘participate in the intellectual life of the school and in the broader Harvard community,’ per an announcement from the Law School on Friday.”
Landing a former United States Supreme Court justice to teach at a university is a major coup for Harvard Law just as it was a major coup for the University of Pennsylvania to land then-former United States Vice President Joe Biden back in 2017. It’s indeed one of the many distinct advantages of attending one of the most prestigious institutions in the land. Congratulations to Harvard Law School on this major breaking announcement. Liberal or conservative, it really is something to be taught by someone who once served for so long on our nation’s highest court.
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