The Gary Bellow Public Service Award was created in 2001 to recognize excellence in public interest work at HLS and to honor Professor Bellow (’60). The awards are given annually by the student body of Harvard Law School to a student and alumnus/a for their commitment to social justice.
The three student finalists for the 2013 Gary Bellow Public Service Award are all HLS clinical students. Their involvement spans a range of HLS clinics and SPOs.
Stephanie Davidson: Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.
Gary Bellow was the founder and former faculty director of Harvard Law School’s Clinical Programs, and a pioneering public interest lawyer. His career was dedicated to providing legal services to the poor and to teaching law students practical skills. Commenting about his time from 1962-1965, when he was serving as deputy director of the Legal Aid Agency for the District of Columbia, and when he and his colleagues faced an enormous caseload with no job training, Professor Bellow told the Harvard Law Bulletin, “We discovered the best legal education America had to offer didn’t teach us how to get someone out of a cell block.”
Professor Bellow co-founded the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, the school’s major legal clinic, located in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston.