This week Harvard Law School announced that it would remove the family crest of donor and slave-owner Isaac Royall from its shield. A committee of faculty, alumni and students voted 10-2 to retire the crest, finding that given its association with slavery, the school “would not today honor Isaac Royall and his bequest by taking his crest as its official symbol.”

Day Pitney senior counsel James Bowers, a Harvard Law School graduate, served as one of two alumni committee members. He spoke to The Am Law Daily on Wednesday about the power of symbols, the lack of diversity in Big Law, and why he changed his mind about the controversial shield. (The interview has been for clarity and length.)

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