Charn steps down as head of Legal Services Center
Post Date: April 2006
The following article was published in the April 2006 issue of Harvard Law Today.
Jeanne Charn '70
After nearly three decades leading HLS’s oldest and largest clinical teaching facility—known today as the Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center—Lecturer Jeanne Charn ’70 has decided to step down. Charn, who will continue teaching at the law school, helped to start the Boston-based center in 1979 with her late husband, Professor Gary Bellow ’60, a pioneer of clinical legal education.
Since its founding, the Legal Services Center has served more than 20,000 clients in need of legal assistance. “I loved the complexities and challenges of doing the highest-quality work for our clients,” said Charn. “The [clinic’s] combined teaching and learning mission infuses the veterans and the rookies, and keeps the veterans motivated to do and demonstrate their best.”
During Charn’s tenure, the center expanded its mission beyond traditional legal aid to provide a range of legal and advocacy services to individuals, small businesses and the community. Charn also helped develop partnerships with several community-based organizations and agencies. The search for her successor will include input from a student advisory committee as well as the HLS clinical appointments committee.
As a lecturer on law, Charn will teach several courses next year that draw on her extensive experience as a teacher and practitioner. She will also continue her work on the Bellow-Sacks Access to Civil Legal Services Project, an organization that looks for new ways to offer civil legal advice and assistance to low- and moderate-income households.