About HLTF

The Harvard Legal Theory Forum provides a venue for students at Harvard Law School, graduate students at other schools in Harvard, and other scholars, to discuss legal theory and provide feedback to each other on their ideas about legal theory. The Forum provides a home for legal theory that does not fit neatly within other legal fields and is open to anyone interested in discussing or learning about legal theory.

“Legal theory” is an ecumenical term. The terminology of law and philosophy is often used in Anglo-American academia to connote a very methodologically narrow field. Many people are not particularly interested in “philosophy of law” in this sense but are interested in meta-accounts of law that draw from Continental philosophy, feminist or queer theory, literary theory and criticism, history, political science, economics, or of other fields. The Forum hopes to accommodate these approaches to legal theory, as well as “law and philosophy.”

What we do:
• Legal Theory Reading Groups: We meet biweekly to discuss law review articles on legal theory. These meetings are open to the entire Harvard community. Last year, we read articles from David Kennedy and Terry Fisher’s The Canon of American Legal Thought. This year, we will be selecting articles on an ad hoc basis with a focus on more contemporary legal theory and philosophy. This semester, meetings will be held at 7:30 PM on Wednesdays.
• Workshopping Papers: We provide a venue for researchers or students to workshop papers that they are working on that are related to legal theory. Two authors presented papers last year, and we hope that more students will wish to do so this year.
• Faculty Speakers: We arrange talks by faculty members on topics in legal theory. Last year, Cass Sunstein gave a talk on extremism and Christine Desan spoke about the history of money. This year, we also plan to invite one more speakers from outside Boston to come and talk about legal theory.
• Social Theory Discussions: From time to time, we will hold discussions on social theory with a more tangential relationship to law.

If you would like to join HLTF, wish to receive our emails, or have a paper that you would like to present, please contact us.

The Harvard Legal Theory Forum Board:

Marlon Arias

Jonathan Bruno

Kurt Chauviere Carrie DeCell

Danielle D’Onfro

Jonathan Gingerich

Anthony Kammer

James Maguire

Daniel Rosenthal

Gustavo Ribeiro

Board positions are available–if you are interested in joining the board, please contact us.