When I arrived in New Haven in 1985 1 was shocked. I would go running near the campus and find myself in the middle of public housing projects. This was the first time I ever saw housing projects. I grew up in New Jersey suburbs and had never before seen a housing project. Now I was confronted with people on street comers asking for money. This experience was very upsetting. About the same time as this was occurring, I was attending first semester classes; my brain was being twisted in these courses in ways I never expected. As the semester went on I found myself questioning whether I wanted to be a lawyer because there was simply no connection between what we were reading about in cases and the world of reality I was seeing on the streets. Fortunately, and with fortuitous timing, at the end of the first semester a group of students decided to go to a homeless shelter for men. Over the next two and a half years I did a wide variety of things I would have never imagined myself doing. My theme is how law schools can foster outreach activities for their students and how the experience of doing outreach work can affect students, namely how it affected me.


The Justice Mission of American Law Schools