BOSTON (JTA) — Alan Dershowitz, one of the country’s most prominent lawyers and a passionate, sometimes controversial, advocate for Israel, is retiring from Harvard Law School.
75-year-old lawyer, who is known for taking on high profile and often
unpopular causes and clients, has taught at Harvard Law for half a
century. His retirement is official at the end of the week.
1967, he became the youngest full professor in the school’s history. An
expert in criminal and constitutional law, Dershowitz has served on the
defense team of celebrities including O.J. Simpson and Claus von Bulow
and, more recently, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
speaking from a conference in Israel, said last week according to the
Boston Globe: “Yeah, I’m really retiring. …My retirement consists of
reducing my schedule down to only about 10 things at any given time.”
a Brooklyn native who has written and spoken often on his Orthodox
Jewish upbringing and education, has used his prominence to defend
Israel over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Among his harshest critics
is Noam Chomsky, the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology
linguist with whom he has had a long-running public feud over Israel.
2006, Dershowitz publicly challenged former U.S. President Jimmy
Carter, for the views he expressed in his book “Palestine: Peace Not
Apartheid,” calling the book biased.
While “proud to be Jewish
and engaged with Israel’s future,” Dershowitz also assisted Palestinian
students when they sought inclusion of the Palestinian flag in a campus
display, Harvard Law School dean Martha Minow told JTA.
described Dershowitz as a devoted teacher of 50 years. “We look forward
to his continuing vibrancy, wit, and wisdom,” she said in an email to