Posted: May 6, 2003 — 9:15 a.m.

Harvard Law School Dean Robert Clark has announced the creation of the L. Anthony Sutin Public Service Summer Fellowship. Named in honor of the late dean of the Appalachian School of Law, the fellowship will provide funding each summer for a HLS student to conduct public interest work.

“This fellowship is an appropriate way to remember a Harvard Law graduate who represented the best values that we try to instill in our students,” said Clark. “Though his life was tragically cut short, we will always remember Tony for his dedication and commitment to the community and public service.”

A 1984 graduate of HLS, Sutin began his career at the Washington law firm of Hogan and Hartson where he worked on a number of civil rights cases and rose to the level of partner. He later joined the Department of Justice, first as general counsel and then as deputy director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services program. He eventually rose to the level of acting assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration, but left to become an assistant professor at the Appalachian School of Law, a small public service-focused school in rural southwest Virginia.

After two years as an assistant professor, Sutin was named dean of the Appalachian School of Law and guided the school to provisional ABA accreditation. On Jan. 16, 2002, Sutin, along with an Appalachian professor and student, were tragically killed by a former ASL student who had not succeeded at the school despite the efforts of Sutin and others to assist him.

“I appreciate that Harvard Law School has established this very fitting tribute to Tony and his life’s work,” said Sutin’s widow, Margaret Lawton, a professor at the Appalachian School of Law. “Tony was committed to public service throughout his life, and this fellowship will enable other students with similar commitments to pursue their own dreams.”

Currently, 9 to 12 percent of the HLS graduating class takes public service jobs immediately upon graduation or after a clerkship. Additionally, the school’s Bernard Koteen Office of Public Service Advising helps support a large number of students–including more than 300 last year–who engage in public service work each summer.