A transcript of the oral history interview with Brooksley Born, conducted by Alan Houseman in June 2015, is now available online. In the interview, Brooksley Born, retired partner at Arnold & Porter, discusses her public service and pro bono work, which she pursued using the firm as a base. Together with Marna Tucker, she started teaching the pioneering “Women and the Law” course at Catholic University in 1972, while also being involved in the formation of the Women’s Legal Defense Fund. In 1973, she helped to launch the Women’s Rights Project at CLASP, which later became the National Women’s Law Center. Other topics include her extensive work with the ABA, where she has chaired the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, and the Consortium on Legal Services and the Public. Born was the first woman to be appointed to the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary, and, with Marna Tucker, founded the ABA Women’s Caucus. She also discusses her tenure as the chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 1996-1999, where she urged that the over-the-counter derivatives market should be subject to federal oversight and regulation. The government’s failure to regulate that market was later criticized as a major cause of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. “What was important to me,” she said, “was always trying to look clearly at a situation and see the dangers for people who were not represented or spoken for, and I think I was doing the same thing at the CFTC as I was doing on SCLAID or the National Women’s Law Center. It was the American public that was endangered by the over-the-counter derivatives, and I felt I should voice their interests and try to represent them…The lesson that I’ve learned throughout my life is that you can’t be silent about the needs of others that you see.” (Transcript, p. 30) Ms. Born has received many awards recognizing her work in the areas of women’s rights, legal aid, public interest law, and her public service. In 2009, Born was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in recognition of her political courage to sound early warnings about the dangers of the unregulated derivatives market. Born has overseen ABA’s Women Trailblazers in the Law oral history project, capturing the experiences of women pioneers in the legal profession.
The NEJL Oral History Project continues. This week, Alan Houseman conducted a series of eight interviews with long-time staff attorneys at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Stay tuned for more details.
The digitized report can be downloaded from Digital Georgetown:
Announcement cross-posted from H-DC
When: Saturday, April 2, 2016, 2 – 4 PM
Where: Anacostia Community Museum, Program Room
Related Exhibition: Twelve Years That Shook and Shaped Washington, 1963-1974
Program description: Join in on this discussion that looks at the history of this influential school that would eventually become the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. Panelists include Antioch School of Law Co-Dean and Co-Founder, Edgar Cahn, Sandra Mattavous-Frye, Antioch graduate and current People’s Counsel in DC, and Shelley Broderick, Dean, David A. Clarke School of Law at UDC. Antioch alum, Jonathan Smith will be the panel moderator.
The Antioch School of Law supported an “open-admissions” policy which afforded many low-income African American students in the district the opportunity to obtain a quality post-secondary education during the 1970s.
Sara Mayeux. Review of Batlan, Felice, Women and Justice for the Poor: A History of Legal Aid, 1863-1945. H-Law, H-Net Reviews. March, 2016.
The NEJL Newsletter, vol. 2, no. 1 (winter 2015-2016) is now available for download:
Mayeux, Sara, What Gideon Did (2016). Columbia Law Review, Vol. 116, Pg. 15, 2016; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 16-2. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2724830
U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice and Office for Access to Justice with the National Science Foundation. White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable: Civil Legal Aid Research Workshop Report . By Maha Jweied and Allie Yang-Green. NCJ 249776. Washington, D.C. Retrieved February 2016, https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/249776.pdf
Henry Freedman retired in 2014 after serving as the Executive Director of the National Center for Law and Economic Justice in New York City for more than four decades. In this interview, which Alan Houseman conducted as part of the NEJL oral history project in October of 2013, Henry Freedman recalls his career at the Center, while reflecting on the development of the legal services movement in the United States. Freedman began his career with the Center on Social Welfare Policy and the Law – which had been established by Ed Sparer at Columbia University in 1965 – in 1967, as a Reginald Heber Smith fellow, and continued on the staff until 1970. After teaching at Catholic University, he returned as the Center’s executive director in 1971. The NCLEJ has been a pioneer legal services organization — first as a model “national support center” for legal services lawyers, then launching a high impact litigation program to protect Medicaid, food stamps and cash assistance for low-income families, and later introducing disability rights law into the area of public benefits.
Freedman has chaired the Committee on Legal Assistance of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; he was in the first class of Reginald Heber Smith fellows; and chaired the Organization of Legal Services Back-up Centers. His awards include the NLADA’s Reginald Heber Smith Award for Dedicated Service and the New York State Bar Association’s Public Interest Law Award. Freedman is a 1962 graduate of Amherst College and 1965 graduate of Yale Law School where he served as president of the Legal Aid Association.
The NEJL collections also include the Henry Freedman papers (NEJL 014).
New Report: Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, “Pathways State of the Union: Poverty and Inequality Report 2016” (2016).
[Cross-posted from the Poverty Law blog]