The Most Dangerous Branch:

Court Capture, Why It Matters, What Can Be Done About It

1/26 – 1/27/24 at Harvard Law School.


This year’s conference will focus on the harmful effects of corporate interests on the judiciary (federal and state) as well as what is being, and can be, done about it.

The conference is being organized by The [F]law and the Systemic Justice Project in collaboration with other student organizations at Harvard Law School.

The conference has several goals. First, it will highlight problems with the judiciary, including the disproportionate influence and harmful effects of corporate interests on the judiciary branch. Second, it will spotlight the work of lawyers, law professors, students, politicians, journalists, and judges whose work highlights and challenges those problems and harms. Third, it will endeavor to supplement other efforts to expand the coalitions and collaborations among those groups.

Please note: space is limited, and pre-registration is required and is open only to students.* You can review the schedule and more details about how to register at When pre-registering, students will be required to include their school information and emails and will need to show their student photo ID to check in and receive their attendee’s lanyard.  Last year we ran out of spots and had to turn people away; we encourage you to please register as soon as possible.

Tentative Schedule

Friday, 1/26/24: Pound Hall, Harvard Law School

  • 9:45 am: Registration – (pastries and coffee provided)
  • 10:15 am: Welcome Remarks — A Word about “The Most Dangerous Branch”
  • 10:35 am:  Ethics in the Supreme Court (moderated by Vinny Byju, 2L)
  • 11:25 am: Captured Court Media (moderated by Marissa López, 3L)
  • 12:30 pm: Break (lunch provided)
  • 12:45 pm: Lunch Panel: The [F]law Authors Panel (moderated by Haley Florsheim, 2L & Sarah Hart, 3L)
    • Elyssa Alfieri – 2L
    • Troy Brown – 2L 
    • Luna Floyd – 3L
    • Luke Hinrichs – 2L
  • 1:35 pm: Challenging Court Capture (moderated by Arzu Singh, 2L )
  • 2:35 pm: Learning to Think (about Courts) Like a Lawyer: the Law School Experience (introduced by Kate Lim-Shim, Reya Singh, OSU & Sarah Wang, NEU)
  • 3:30 pm: Break – (snacks and coffee provided)
  • 5:00 – 6:15 pm: If the Courts Aren’t Going to Save Us, Then What? (Jessenia Class, 2L & Micah Herskind, 1L)

Saturday, 1/27/24: Pound Hall, Harvard Law School

  • 9:30 am: Registration – (pastries and coffee provided)
  • 9:50 am: Welcome Remarks
  • 10:00 am: Corporate Capture of the Judiciary (moderated by Morgan Hurst, 3L)
  • 11:10 am: Working Within Captured Law Schools (Danny Finley, 1L):
  • 12:10  pm: Break (lunch provided)
  • 12:30 pm: Working Within Captured Courts (Michael Lavine, 2L, BULS):
  • 1:30 pm: 5-4 Podcast – How To Make the Supreme Court Not Suck (introduced by Emily Berry, 1L & Ali Medina, 1L)
  • 3:10 pm: Concluding Remarks
  • 3:30 pm: Reception

The conference will feature both in-person and virtual speakers. Some of those non-student participants include:

Some of the student participants (from HLS unless otherwise indicated) include:

  • Elyssa Alfieri, 2L
  • Emily Berry, 1L
  • Vinny Bjyu, 2L 
  • Troy Brown, 2L
  • Jessenia Class, 2L
  • Danny Finley, 1L
  • Haley Florsheim, 2L
  • Luna Floyd, 3L
  • Sarah Hart, 3L
  • Micah Herskind, 1L
  • Luke Hinrichs, 2L
  • Morgan Hurst, 3L
  • Michael Lavine, 2L, BULS
  • Chris Lester, 2L
  • Kate Lim-Shim, Harvard College
  • Marissa López, 3L
  • Ali Medina, 1L
  • Arzu Singh, 2L 
  • Reya Singh, The Ohio State University
  • Sarah Wang, Northeastern University

This webpage will be updated frequently between now and the conference.  Please check back for updates.

Note: there will be no live-streaming or online access to the conference for non-presenters.  We do, however, hope to make video recordings of most of these events available over the next couple of months on our Youtube channel.

If you have questions, please reach out to us at justice[at]law[dot]harvard[dot]edu.

*If you are not a student, but a lawyer, journalist, academic, teacher, or organizer who would like to attend this event, please reach out to the above email address and provide your name, your affiliations, the source of your interest in, and connection to, the themes of this conference, and any other information that you think might be relevant. If we are able add you to the list of registrants, we will email you with a confirmation. Otherwise, please look out for the video recording on our Youtube channel.

Find information about last year’s conference here and here.

Presented by: