It's worth noting that that article is about Harvard College, which is only tangentially related to Harvard Law School. The culture at each campus is at least somewhat different; the median student at HBS is probably a good deal more conservative than the median student at HLS or HKS, for example. So news about the College isn't necessarily reflective of other campuses.
lunixer wrote:I think my question may be a little bit misinterpreted. I think it's more about institutional bias. For example, suppose that I really really want to work with professor X to study something completely non political -- say administrative procedure. Or librarianship. Whatever.
In general do you think that X will care about my outside political views if they are irrelevant to the topic of study? Would it reflect negatively on me?
Even if it did (and it probably wouldn't, unless you were trying to work for Duncan Kennedy or something), there are sufficiently many conservative profs at HLS that it wouldn't preclude you from working with someone excellent on something of interest to you.
More generally, I agree with others that there is a significant conservative community at HLS. I didn't have a lot of direct experience with the conservative community as a community (just with individual conservatives), but I was a hanger-on to ACS, and ACS and Fed Soc have events together pretty regularly, so I had at least some interaction with the conservative community as such. They didn't seem isolated or as though they were struggling (like, at all — they looked more like they had taken classes on how to present themselves exceptionally well).
It's also of some significance that "liberal" and "conservative" are pretty broad brushes, as far as legal scholars (which the profs who run the school are) go. I can think of a few profs who are more or less on the same side of the liberal/conservative line and work on the same topics but still are not particularly close in their core legal philosophies. (Adrian Vermeule and John Manning — two of my favorite profs in law school! — come to mind.)