On Saturday, April 14, the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review awarded two HLS instructors and a juvenile justice advocate for their work in public service. Hosted by Dean Elena Kagan ’86, the event honored Robert Greenwald, Patricia Puritz, and Jimmy Klein.
Each honoree spoke about the future of public interest law and encouraged students to follow in their footsteps.
“On the one hand, public interest law is, in many respects, the same as it has always been — rooted in systemic inequalities and a significant unmet need for legal service,” said Greenwald, founder of the HLS Legal Services Center’s Health and LGBT Law Clinical Programs. “On the other hand, I think it is more dynamic and innovative than ever, fueled by a still small, yet ever-growing, collection of committed individuals.”
Greenwald joined the clinical teaching staff at HLS in 1987 and currently serves as a senior clinical instructor and lecturer on law at the Legal Services Center. He has spent his career advocating on behalf of individuals living with HIV and AIDS, the terminally ill and disabled, survivors of domestic violence, and the LGBT community.
Since joining the Trial Division at the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia in 1978, Klein has worked tirelessly as an advocate for indigent defendants. Currently the chief of the Appellate Division, he has litigated thousands of cases in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Klein has been a faculty member of Harvard’s Trial Advocacy Workshop since 1995.
Puritz spoke about her 30-year career creating, implementing, and monitoring programs designed to reform the juvenile justice system, deliver effective legal services to children, and improve the conditions under which children are confined. As founder and executive director of the National Juvenile Defender Center, Puritz is currently working to ensure that children have adequate access to competent legal counsel.