DEAN'S VIEW: A Time to Give
As 2010 draws to a close, our students reminded me about the importance of giving back to others. Given our numerous daily tasks and stresses, it is often easy to forget that law is, by its very nature, a profession of service.
The Emory Law Student Bar Association recently partnered with its counterpart at Goizueta Business School to provide gifts and cold weather clothes, as well as a party (complete with a visit from Santa), for Ms. Paxton’s second grade class at Venetian Hills Elementary School in Atlanta. The drive was so successful that there were additional toys and clothing to donate to a local shelter. The students hope to make this an annual partnership between Emory Law and Goizueta.
This is just one small example of the generosity and willingness to serve others that is alive and well in our students. Whether they are raising money to provide toys for children, helping a public service organization through an epic grant or fighting to defend their clients in juvenile court, our students embrace the service-oriented nature of the legal profession.
At this time of year, it seems appropriate to celebrate Emory Law’s rich history and tradition of doing good in the world. From the school’s founding in 1916 to leading the fight to desegregate public schools and universities in Georgia, our alumni, students and faculty members have made a commitment to improve the communities in which they live.
This semester, we celebrated the achievements of my colleague Professor Frank S. Alexander with his investiture as the Sam Nunn Chair for Ethics and Professionalism. For years, Frank has set an example with his inspiring work focused on affordable housing, homelessness, urban redevelopment and state and local government law. Click here to read more about Frank’s investiture.
In recent years, Emory Law committed additional resources toward public interest by revivifying the Loan Repayment Assistance Program begun in the early 2000s. The program helps graduates from the class of 2004 and onward who choose to pursue public interest jobs by offsetting their educational debt through financial assistance. Emory Law’s lrap was established through the combined efforts of students, alumni, faculty and staff. The program is supported through your generous donations. To learn more or to find out how you can support the LRAP, visit www.law.emory.edu/lrap.
The Emory Public Interest Committee, one of our most active student organizations, has made a tremendous impact by providing our students with public interest work opportunities through its summer grant program. epic has not only allowed more students to pursue this important work, but also has helped to increase general interest in public service among the entire student community.
Finally, in this issue of Emory Lawyer, we focus on alumni and students who are embracing law as a service profession. We honor their commitment and their sacrifice. They remind each of us to give something back to our local, state and national communities, whether it be toys for a local school, the gift of outstanding pro bono legal assistance or expertise in housing policy.
David F. Partlett
Dean and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law