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& Equality

Columbia Law School has a history of fighting for justice and equality. That distinguished legacy continues through our scholarship, advocacy, and clinical work around the world.

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Bernard E. Harcourt

Bernard E. Harcourt’s scholarship intersects social and political theory, the sociology of punishment, and penal law and procedure. 

Harcourt directs the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought and has engaged students in the real-world practice of law in his Legal Methods course, including cases on behalf of people affected by President Trump’s travel ban.

He provides pro bono representation for death row inmates and serves as the executive director of the Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights at Columbia College, which addresses contemporary social problems through courses, public events, student internships, and fellowships for practitioners. The New Yorker previously published an extensive article about Harcourt’s decades-long efforts to reduce one client’s death sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

We face today the unprecedented situation of a new counterinsurgency paradigm of governing unmoored from the threats and dangers that gave rise to counterinsurgency theory.