Articles Posted in Obligation to Promote Justice

When I read a the United States Government Accountability Office Report to Congressional Committees on HIGHER EDUCATION Issues Related to Law School Cost and Access October 2009, I was not impressed. Those drafting the report seemed to simply accept the statements of law school officials that ABA accreditation has no affect on the cost of law school but the change to a more hands-on resource-intensive approach to legal education has affected cost. The law school officials also said that competition among schools for higher rankings reportedly have affected costs. Admitting that they strive for high ranking in this defective and highly criticized magazine’s attempt to compare law schools is hard to believe.

After I read the report I drafted this Memorandum which has been forwarded by my Congressman to the above committees.


A proposal for a new public law school for Massachusetts, one of only 7 states in the country not to have a public law school, has generated an enormous amount of controversy with many saying that there is a need for a school with a reasonable tuition and others saying there is at this time no need for a school that would add more lawyers to an overcrowded field. Prominent among the opponents, shocking as that may not be, are the local law schools. What is shocking is that I find myself agreeing with the stand of the law schools.Over a week ago, I submnitted what follows as a proposed op-ed to the Boston Globe. I welcome your comments.


What’s missing from the discussion about the need for a new public law school for Massachusetts is any consideration of the failure of the existing law schools to serve not only the educational needs of their students but also the legal needs of the public.


After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1963, I worked for a large law firm, served in the US Army JAG and worked in an insurance company. After two years as an associate for a sole practitioner, I founded two small law firms representing individuals and community groups and became one of the first lawyers in the country to offer divorce mediation. Concerned about the issue of the unmet legal needs of the public, I served on the boards of legal services programs, created referral programs for the Massachusetts Bar Association and the National Lawyers Guild, started an association of legal clinics, and served as president of a family mediation association.

In 1983 I returned to Harvard Law School as its public interest adviser. On August 9, 1989, my position was eliminated by a recently appointed dean of that law school. I have reprinted below some material related to the elimination of that position.

I had the opportunity and the privilege yesterday to make a presentation entitled “Think Small: Learning About and Locating Positions in Small Law Firms” for the New York State Bar Association. About 30 who registered were “live” in the “studio” at the law office of Lauren Wachtler, the chair of the Committee on Lawyers in Transition. An additional 175 registered for the webcast



On Wednesday, September 16, 2009, from noon to 2pm (EDT), I will be doing a live webcast for the New York State Bar Association Committee on Lawyers in Transition entitled Think Small! Learning About and Locating Positions in Small Law Firms

“For many years, if not decades, there has been an intense focus on large law firms as if they represent the entire legal profession. The lack of openings within large law firms makes this a most appropriate time for lawyers and law students to realize that there are nearly unlimited options in small law firms. There are jobs; there are positions; there are openings!”

For more information and to register for this free program go to this NYSBA website..

A week ago today, I submitted the following to the New York Times with a request that it be considered for an op-ed stating, as required, that it had not been previously published. The paper’s guidelines state that if you receive no telephone call or e-mail within three business days, you should assume that the paper has decided not to print the submission.With that in mind here is the comment I sent to the paper.

The Light at the End of the Funnel

By Ronald W. Fox

Journalists of the legal media could be a force in correcting decades of law school misplacement.

I just read the most recent of the plethora of articles focusing on placement offices and what they are doing for law students during this unique “challenging” “chill” inducing situation where more and more large law firms are withdrawing from on-campus interviewing and not hiring students for summer and permanent positions.

I quickly recognized thirteen issues NOT considered in this article (to a great extent applicable to another such article.)


For law graduates, a public-service detour on road to success

By Rich Barlow, Globe Correspondent  |  April 27, 2009


Spirit means life, and both life and livelihood are about living in depth, living with meaning, purpose, joy and a sense of contributing to the greater community. A spirituality of work is about bringing life and livelihood back together again. Page 2

All work worthy of being called spiritual and worthy of being called human is in some way prophetic work. It contributes to the growth of justice and compassion in the world; it contributes to social transformation, not for its own sake but for the sake of increasing justice. Page 13

The following is from this webpage

“Matthew Fox is author of 28 books including Original Blessing, The Reinvention of Work, Creativity, and A New Reformation. He was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years. He holds a doctorate (received summa cum laude) in the History and Theology of Spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris. Seeking to establish a pedagogy that was friendly to learning spirituality, he established an Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality that operated for seven years at Mundelein College in Chicago and twelve years at Holy Names College in Oakland. For ten of those years at Holy Names College, Cardinal Ratzinger, (Ed.Note on 19 April 2005 he became Pope Benedict XVI) as chief Inquisitor and head of the Congregation of Doctrine and Faith (called the Office of the Holy Inquisition until 1965), tried to shut the program down. Ratzinger silenced Fox for one year in 1988 and forced him to step down as director. Three years later he expelled Fox from the Order and then had the program terminated at Holy Names College.

“Rather than disband his amazing and ecumenical faculty, Fox started his own University called University of Creation Spirituality nine years ago in Oakland, California. Fox was President and a member of the Board of Directors for nine years. He is currently lecturing, teaching and writing and is President of the non-profit that he created in 1984, Friends of Creation Spirituality. The principle objections from the Congregation of the Faith to Fox’s work were that he is a “feminist theologian;” that he calls God “Mother” (Fox has proven the medieval mystical tradition did exactly that); that he prefers “original blessing” to “original sin;” that he calls God “child”; that he associates too closely with Native Americans and people of the wikka tradition; that he does not condemn homosexuals; that he has replaced the naming of the spiritual journey as Purgation, Illumination and Union with the four paths of Creation Spirituality: The Via Positiva (joy, delight and awe); the Via Negativa (darkness, silence, suffering, letting go and letting be); the Via Creativa (creativity); and the Via Transformativa (justice, compassion, interdependence).”