Campus & Community

New HLS professorship dedicated to accounting and statistics

2 min read

James S. Reid Jr. of Cleveland has made a gift to Harvard Law School (HLS) to endow a professorship dedicated to the teaching of accounting, statistics, and related subjects. Income generated from the gift – which totals $3 million and includes funds given by Reid and others – will support the salary, benefits, and research endeavors of a tenured HLS professor.

“The Reid Professorship is a terrific example of a graduate helping the law school prepare students for success in today’s world,” said Dean Elena Kagan, who met with Reid and members of his family on campus on Oct. 1. “Knowledge of accounting and statistics is vital for those pursuing careers in law, business, and the nonprofit world. Generations of Harvard Law students will benefit from Jim Reid’s wisdom and generosity.”

The first James S. Reid Jr. Professor of Law is Howell Jackson, an expert in financial institutions, budget policy, and other business-related issues. A member of the Harvard Law faculty since 1989, Jackson is a graduate of Harvard’s joint J.D./M.B.A. program. He also serves as the School’s vice dean for budget.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be chosen as the inaugural holder of the Reid chair and to know that the Law School will be able to continue supporting faculty committed to research and teaching in the fields of accounting and statistics in the years ahead,” said Jackson. “I’m extremely grateful to Mr. Reid and his family.”

Last year, Jackson, along with several other members of the Law School faculty, published “Analytical Methods for Lawyers,” a new textbook designed to introduce law students the fundamentals of quantitative skills, including accounting and statistics. Their “Analytical Methods” course will reach nearly 200 students at Harvard this year, and the book has already been adopted at more than a dozen other law schools across the country.

A 1951 HLS graduate, Reid is the retired CEO of Standard Products, a rubber and plastic manufacturing company. He has long believed that law students need basic training in accounting and statistics, and cites an accounting class taught by Professor Robert Amory Jr. as one of the most valuable courses he took at Harvard Law School.