Contemplations and Conversations on the 2016 Presidential Election

Following a long and contentious campaign, the passionate debate over the presidential election has continued to dominate conversations at universities and law schools across the country. The Columbia Law School community has come together on numerous occasions, in different forums, since November 8 to share reactions to the election results, and to discuss the future. In small seminar rooms and overflowing lecture halls throughout Jerome Greene Hall, students, faculty, and administrators have shared their views on the new administration and discussed ways in which key areas of law and policy might change over the next four years.

A number of events were held as part of the Dean’s Office’s Lawyers, Community and Impact Series, including an early morning breakfast gathering the day after the election that offered the community the chance to process and reflect on the results, as well as share experiences from campaign and service activities. Later that afternoon, to a standing-room only audience, faculty members presented facts and figures about the election returns and the electoral process, and answered questions from students and staff.

In addition to examining a range of legal issues related to health care, financial regulation, taxes, immigration, climate change, and national security, the Law School community has also focused on practical ways law students can engage in the political process. For example, a lunchtime event focused on post-election political activism and engagement, as a large group of students, activists, staff, and faculty brainstormed strategies to effect change, including opportunities to shape both public policy and the public narrative.

On November 18, members of the faculty spoke to lawyers and business executives from across the New York metropolitan area on the likely impact of a Trump presidency and a Republican-controlled Congress on law and policy. The session, offered through the Law School’s Executive Education program, was designed to provide insights that help practicing lawyers advise clients and devise effective legal strategies.

Law School professors have also shared their views with the news media, both before and after the election, offering expert commentary and analysis on a host of election-related issues. Read what experts like Michael B. Gerrard, Elora Mukherjee, Bernard E. Harcourt, and Carol Sanger had to say in our comprehensive election coverage round-up.


# # #

Posted November 18, 2016

Updated on January 26, 2017

Homepage image courtesy of ash_crow on Flickr.