After graduating from BC Law in 1971, Bob Bloom went to work in Georgia as a civil rights lawyer. Two years later, then 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 seemed like a perfect union for Bob. 40 years later, he is still at BC Law teaching criminal and civil procedure and supervising students clerking for trial judges in BC Law’s ever-growing experiential learning programs.
Bob has the unique experience of participating in LAB as both a student and a teacher, and is intimately familiar with its evolution over the past four decades. According to Bob, the primary purpose of LAB in its early years was to provide needed legal services to clients who could not afford them. Its secondary goal was to educate the student. Back then it was not unusual for a student to have more than 20 cases. By the early 1980s there was a shift in LAB’s mission, with education becoming the primary motivation. The caseload per student drastically decreased, with students rarely having more than four cases.
Bob has enjoyed supervising BC Law students in LAB, ULL, and other clinical programs over the past 40 years. He notes the strong sense of community that exists among the students. He credits Richard Huber, dean of the Law School from 1970 to 1985, for fostering a collegial, supportive, and generous environment. â€œStudents are cooperative, they are kind to each other, they have formed a real network for each other.â€
Likewise, there never is 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. â€œEven though I am not a Catholic, 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.â€
BobÂ has received the Public Interest Law Foundation Faculty Member of the Year Award (2010); the Emil Slizewski Teacher of the Year Award (2009 and 2014); and the Ruth-Arlene Howe Faculty Member of the Year award from the Black Law Students Association (2003).