LSC Hosts Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship Program Reunion

September 29, 2020
WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) will host former fellows of the Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship Program for a virtual reunion on Thursday, October 1, from 4-5:30 p.m. EDT. 

Former “Reggie fellows” will discuss the program’s impact on their lives and careers. LSC President Ronald S. Flagg will update on recent LSC activities and National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) President and CEO Jo-Ann Wallace will share the latest on NLADA’s efforts in the area of civil legal aid. Alan W. Houseman, a former Reggie fellow, will speak briefly about the National Equal Justice Library that he heads at Georgetown Law School.

The fellowship was created with the goal of attracting talented lawyers to public interest law. Initially sponsored by the Legal Services Program within the Office of Economic Opportunity and administered first by the University of Pennsylvania and then Howard University, the program recruited, trained and placed law graduates in legal services organizations around the country. The fellowship moved to LSC when the Office of Economic Opportunity was dismantled in the mid-1980s. 

From its establishment in 1967 to 1985, when the program ended, there were close to 2,000 Reggie fellows. Many went on to have distinguished careers in legal services as educators, judges and prominent lawyers.

The fellowship was named in honor of Reginald Heber Smith, author of Justice and the Poor (1919). The book examined the unfair administration of justice and its effect on low-income Americans. This groundbreaking work is credited with sparking the legal aid movement in this country. 

Among the Reggie fellows who will speak are Judge Lora Livingston, Presiding Judge, 261st Civil District Court of Texas; Donald K. Tamaki, Partner, Minami Tamaki LLP; Arkansas State Representative Don Glover; and John Echohawk, Executive Director of Native American Rights Fund.

The event will be livestreamed on LSC’s Facebook page

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.