On Recent Events

Dear HLS Alums in Los Angeles, 

I, along with the undersigned board members of the Harvard Law School Association of Los Angeles, offer our deepest condolences to the families of George Floyd and countless other Black men and women who have lost their lives as a result of police brutality. Their lives were taken in utter disregard by those tasked to keep us all safe. The tragic loss of Mr. Floyd has brought to the forefront of our city and nation the hard, raw, and necessary discussions around the African American experience in our country today. Such discussions are not easy, and they require honest introspection, reflection, and commitment.  

I encourage us all to authentically engage in these discussions and to think broadly about the kind of country and society we choose to create, and then turn discussion and thought into action. As lawyers, and especially Harvard lawyers, we have a privilege and a responsibility, regardless of where we work or what type of law we practice, to think about the impact we can have and the opportunities we are given to take a stand, and to improve the lives of others. To facilitate such discussion and reflection, we are providing links to the recent emails of HLS Dean John Manning and Harvard President Lawrence Bacow regarding the recent tragic events. As lawyers, we have a unique opportunity to “do justice,” and to ensure that all are treated equally under the law. It is truly a gift. We each have a voice and ability to empower others who have not been as lucky. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

The Harvard Law School Association of Los Angeles is part of a particularly diverse community, in the  especially diverse state of California. HLSA-LA stands together proudly with our fellow African Americans, other communities of color, Angelenos, and Americans at large for the proposition that all Americans should be able to live in this country, without fear or discrimination, and with the expectation that we are equal in the eyes of the law, regardless of the color of our skin. Please feel free to reach out to me or any of our board members in furtherance of this discussion.


Sherry A. William, President

Lana Barnett, Public Interest Co-Chair

Byron G. Stier, Co-Vice President

Kelly Shapiro, Diversity and Communications Co-Chair

Angela Sousa, Co-Vice President

David Thomas, Liaison Co-Chair

Jon Walls, Treasurer and Diversity Co-Chair

Amber Melius, Liaison Co-Chair

Sabra Sellers, Co-Secretary

Ariel Shpigel, Membership Chair

Marina Shvarts, Co-Secretary 

Danielle E. Simmons, Marketing Co-Chair

Jason Harrow, Technology Co-Chair

Zachary Elsea, Social Networking Co-Chair

Melissa M. Mikail, Technology and Communications Co-Chair

Steve Feldman, Board Member

Taylor Parks, Social Networking Co-Chair

Mark Shinderman, Board Member

Monica Johnson, Mentorship Co-Chair

Pantea Yashar, past President, HLSA of LA

Nader Rousta, Mentorship Co-Chair 

James A. Hinds, past President, HLSA of Southern California

Antony Gordon, Speakers Co-Chair


* * *

HLS Dean John Manning's statement is here.

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow's statement is here.