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HLS Worldwide Alumni Congress in D.C.


I had the great pleasure to speak today at Harvard Law School’s Worldwide Alumni Congress here in Washington D.C. Together with my friend John Palfrey, Executive Director of the Berkman Center and Clinical Professor of Law, and my colleague James L. Cavallaro, Executive Director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard and also Clinical Professor, we were presenting research in progress on Internet filtering and human rights issues. In this thematic context, we also had a very interesting discussion about internationalization and the question whether an academic institution like Harvard should focus solely on research, or as to what extent it should also engage in advocacy. Not surprisingly, the alumni in the audience had different views on the topic. However, there emerged some sort of consensus that advocacy is less of an issue in cases where academia – for instance as part of a clinical program –represents a client, because that’s ultimately the thing lawyers are supposed to do.

The line-up of speakers is fantastic as you can take from the website, and so is the social and cultural program. Once again I’m impressed how much effort this wonderful school puts into relationship management – in the best sense of the word. At least some of us at the Univ. of St. Gallen could learn a great deal from our colleagues and friends on this side of the Atlantic – not only in terms of professionalism, but also with regard to personal commitment of faculty members and University staff. For me personally, yet another rewarding experience, both professionally and personally (with thanks to the Alumni office and JP for making it possible.)

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