Laurence Tribe speaks on his career in constitutional law

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 18:10 in Mathematics & Economics

When he first arrived at Harvard College in 1958, the precocious but awkward 16-year-old was certain that mathematics was where he would make his name in the world. He appeared to be well on his way, blazing beyond his undergraduate coursework and finishing with top academic honors. But as the long-awaited door to a math Ph.D. swung open, the young immigrant, whose Russian Jewish family had left China for California right after World War II, found himself dissatisfied and inexplicably drawn to the study of law, specifically to the U.S. Constitution. Now, 62 years later, Laurence H. Tribe ’62, J.D. ’66, retires from Harvard Law School (HLS), where he has taught since 1968. A popular and beloved teacher, Tribe’s courses have influenced generations of students, including Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts ’76, J.D. ’79, Justice and former HLS Dean Elena Kagan J.D. ’86, and former President Barack Obama, J.D. ’91....

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