It was with great joy as well as nostalgia that I read the recent HLB article “A ’60s Experiment with a Ripple Effect.” I worked at CLAO, later named CASLS, from 1969 to 1972 while at Harvard Law School. I was also very fortunate to take Professor Gary Bellow’s inaugural clinical law course. Gary was the giant of clinical legal education and an amazing lawyer. Our legal services work not only was vitally important to the Cambridge and Somerville residents to whom we provided no- or low-cost representation; it was a great way to learn how to become a lawyer.
Indeed, despite missing many Evidence classes because I had to be in trial, I learned evidence on my feet in the courtroom (and managed to do quite well in the course).
My experience working at CASLS led to my first job after graduation as a staff attorney at Atlanta Legal Aid, a second job heading up a pro bono office of a large Baltimore law firm and a lifetime of supporting legal services. For the past number of years, I have taught seminars in alternative dispute resolution and environmental law at the Boston University School of Law and have had the pleasure of helping my students to learn the substance and practice of law through realistic case studies and oral and written presentations, just as I learned through representing real clients at CASLS under the supervision of lawyers and instructors. Recently, I attended the 40th anniversary celebration of the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, where I had the pleasure of seeing Jeanne Charn and many former colleagues and marveled at the magnificence of the present home for clinical legal services at HLS. Nothing at all like our former quarters! Thank you for this article.