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A Message from the President: Dean Martha Minow

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Following her announcement earlier today, I write to convey my deep gratitude for Martha Minow’s outstanding leadership as dean. Since joining the faculty more than 35 years ago, Martha has devoted her career to Harvard Law School, with an unrelenting concern for making it stronger and better, more inclusive and more intently focused on the quest for fairness, equality, opportunity, and respect for the rule of law. She has embraced her life’s work with a generative mind and a generous heart, personifying the power of legal education, scholarship, and practice to bend the arc toward justice.

With Martha’s leadership, Harvard Law School has redoubled its commitment to excellence and innovation in education, pursuing significant curricular reforms and elevating the role of clinical experience. She has guided the strengthening of a faculty whose range and depth of influence across law’s domain are second to none. She has championed public service and drawn attention to the interests and needs of underserved populations, while energizing the interplay of theory and practice during a time of profound changes in the legal profession. She has led the Law School through a transformation of its campus, enhanced its financial resources, bolstered its commitment to student aid, and charted its forward course in an era marked by globalization and digitization.

Beyond all this, she has affirmed Harvard Law School as an institution and a community firm in its dedication to free inquiry and reasoned debate, open to people remarkably diverse in their backgrounds and points of view but joined in recognizing the centrality of law to free and just societies. Her impact reaches across the University as a whole, not only through her deeply insightful contributions as a member of the Council of Deans but through an animating curiosity and a powerful intellect that point all of us toward new connections and possibilities. And while guiding Harvard Law School, she has served the broader academy and profession through prominent roles in such organizations as the Legal Services Corporation, the Association of American Law Schools, and the American Bar Association’s special commission on diversity and inclusion.

It is gratifying to know that Martha will remain a leading member of the Law School faculty once she steps down as dean, and I look forward to many more years of her service, friendship, and wisdom. I will be in further touch before long with information about the search ahead, as Provost Garber and I begin to assemble a faculty advisory group and to seek out perspectives on the Law School and the deanship from people across the School community. For now, as the search starts to take shape, please feel free to send me your confidential advice by email to or by mail to Massachusetts Hall.

Please join me in thanking Martha Minow and in helping assure that the coming semester is a fitting capstone to her distinguished tenure as dean.

Drew Faust

P.S. For more, please see the related Gazette coverage.