Four Rutgers Law clinical professors were honored with awards for their work with the clinical program, and were celebrated by students and faculty who attended this year’s First Monday event and Eric R. Neisser Award Ceremony in October.
Professors Charles Auffant, Esther Canty-Barnes, Jack Feinstein, and Lou Raveson were all presented with Public Interest Awards in appreciation for their years of work. Auffant ‘82 works in the Community and Transactional Lawyering Clinic, Canty-Barnes ‘81 is the Director of the Educational and Health Law Clinic, Feinstein ’75 recently retired from the Civil Justice Clinic, and Raveson ‘76 started the Environmental Law Clinic and worked in the Urban Legal Clinic
“They have educated thousands of students over the decades,” said Professor Penny Venetis, before she and Professor Alexis Karteron presented each of the professors with awards. She said clinical professors were chosen as deserving honorees to coincide with the 25th anniversary of First Monday and upcoming 50th anniversary of the Rutgers Law clinical program.
“I do love this school,” said Auffant. “We’ve long stood for the belief that scholars who were shut out of the academy thrive here. Our clinics were born of struggle. It’s time to fight for justice.”
Canty-Barnes recalled her years as a municipal judge in Irvington, where she would vigorously question witnesses to ensure their testimony was accurate and fair. “My whole life is built on advocacy,” she said, Speaking about her clinic, which works on behalf of students to ensure they get a thorough and efficient education, she said, “We are still living in a world where kids are segregated” and where they are fighting against “very powerful school districts.”
Feinstein, who recently retired, talked about the enthusiasm of the Rutgers clinical students and how they learned valuable skills. “Until you take a clinic, you don’t’ know how to be a lawyer,” he advised. “Rutgers gave me the training and experience to do what I love to do.”
And Raveson shared memories of working with other professors and how his work was meaningful to him. He told the current law students, “You will be shocked as lawyers how quickly you can make a difference in the world.”
In his closing remarks, Feinstein had this advice for students, “I hope many of you go into public interest law because it’s a very rewarding thing to do.”