magnifyerPROFESSOR SPOTLIGHT: Professor Robert M. Bloom ’71

BOB BLOOM BACK IN HIS DAY

Bloom 1985

While a student at BC Law in the late 1960s, Bob participated in the innovative clinical program, Lawyers Assistance Bureau (LAB). He, along with other dedicated BC Law students, provided volunteer legal assistance to those in need. After graduating in 1971, Bob continued his mission to serve others by working in Georgia as a civil rights lawyer. In 1973, BC Law Dean Richard Huber called Bob and offered him a position in LAB as a supervising attorney. Combining his dedication to public interest law with teaching was the perfect union for Bob.

Over the past 44 years, Bob has enjoyed supervising BC Law students in LAB, ULL (now known as semester-in-practice), and criminal process. He has also founded and taught a program called Judicial Process where students are assigned to trial judges and appellate judges. In addition to his clinical work, Bob has taught approximately 7,000 students in criminal procedure and civil procedure and has written numerous books and articles.

bloom currentBob is proud of the strong sense of community that exists among students and credits Richard Huber, dean of the Law School from 1970 to 1985, for fostering the collegial, supportive, and generous environment. “Students are cooperative, they are kind to each other, they have formed a real network for each other.”

Likewise, there is never a shortage of BC Law students eager to help those in need, making LAB and other clinical programs very popular over the years. Bob attributes this deep interest in serving others to BC Law’s heritage as a Jesuit institution. “Even though I am not a Catholic, I find the Jesuit tradition is similar to my own religious tradition, and many students who come to BC Law want to use their education for service to others. This dedication continues to distinguish BC Law from other law schools.”Bloom in class

Bloom & awardA perennial favorite of BC Law students over the past four decades, Bob has received numerous awards for his teaching, including the Public Interest Law Foundation Faculty Member of the Year Award (2010); the Emil Slizewski Teacher of the Year Award (2009 and 2014); the Ruth-Arlene Howe Faculty Member of the Year award from the Black Law Students Association (2003); and most recently, the William Kenealy, S.J., Alumnus of the Year Award (2015).

When accepting the Alumnus of the Year award at the 2015 Law Day, Bob said “I feel as though I should not be honored, but that BC Law School should be honored for giving me, a kid from the projects of Brighton–first of my family to go to college and then law school–the opportunity to realize the American Dream.”

In his Law Day remarks, Bob acknowledged his two families. His first family, of course, includes his wife, Tina, who was the executive director of LAB which is where they met during his second year of law school, and his second family, which relationship started, he says, in September of 1968 “when I walked from my house in Brighton to BC Law School wearing a tie and jacket, and carrying a very heavy green book bag and tremendous nervousness.”

He recalls that as a student at BC Law, he learned so much more than the law. “I learned about community, humanity and justice. Father Drinan talked to us about training architects of society. He often quoted the Hammurabi Code, one of the first codification of law, and said that the purpose of law was to protect the powerless from the powerful.” Bob credits Dean Drinan with inspiring and encouraging BC Law students at the time to follow the Jesuit tradition of using their education in the service of others.

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