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Habit, Story, Delight: Essential Tools for the Public Service Advocate, 7 Washington University Journal of Law and Policy 17 (2001)


It is truly a joy to be at Washington University School of Law. I am especially honored to visit Washington University, whose clinical faculty is second to none in their national contributions to the clinical law teaching movement. From my point of view, a student-centered law school with a client-centered clinic is truly nirvana.

This speech is a compilation of stories and reflections about the life of a public service lawyer. I imagine that past speakers came to this series to exhort you to join the ranks of public interest lawyers. I am not here for that purpose. Instead, I want to tell you about the life of a public service lawyer and to offer you solutions that some of my colleagues and I have developed for the challenges encountered in the daily life of a public service lawyer.

I use the term "public service lawyer" to describe lawyers who represent individual, often poor clients. Such lawyers usually represent a great number of clients, unless they are, like me, lucky enough to be a clinical teacher (in which case they may represent a smaller number of clients with the help of very able law students). I would like to offer you some skills that will stand you in good stead for such a career.

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