Margo Greenfield ’77 left a career in city government for Northeastern Law in 1974, in the post-Vietnam, Watergate, Serpico era, when Northeastern Law’s innovative approach to legal education offered an inspirational and constructive pathway to social justice. “The spirit of engagement and the climate of urgency among both students and professors at Northeastern Law shaped the type of law that I practiced and the type of lawyer that I became,” says Margo.
From Northeastern to New Jersey, Margo has prioritized giving back to, and connecting with, her communities. After 35 years of litigating for workplace justice at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Margo served as special counsel to the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice on a project leveraging anchor institutions to spur creation of sustainable jobs in New Jersey’s cities. Following the 2016 election, she launched Impact100 Essex, a giving circle of Essex County women providing high-impact grants to local nonprofits supporting underrepresented communities. Decades of hearing and telling stories in her workplace life and a Bennington MFA, spurred a sideline as a writer, including “Faithful Translation,” a story sparked by a sequence of cases involving abuses of immigrant workers.
Margo’s impact at Northeastern Law has made a difference in the lives of our students and graduates – including serving on four consecutive Reunion Committees, encouraging classmates to attend events and support the school financially. For close to 45 years, Margo has been a loyal donor — from her first gift in 1978 to her decision to include the law school in her estate planning. At her last reunion, Margo chose to make a revocable bequest to Northeastern Law. Because she made this bequest now, she is able to tell us what she wants the funds to support.
Inspired by a fellow classmate, Margo and her siblings created a fund to support the law school’s Loan Deferral and Forgiveness Program, which provides debt relief to graduates who are in public interest jobs. (Two siblings, a daughter and son-in-law also attended Northeastern Law — Liz Rodgers in the class of 1976, Bill Rodgers in 1982, and Sarah and Jeff Harris in 2010).
When we asked if we could profile her, Margo was initially reluctant, but recalled the impact of her classmate’s example. “If I can do a planned gift, others might as well,” says Margo. “I was lucky that tuition was proportionally so much lower in the 1970s that I wasn’t burned by substantial law school debt. I have had a rich and satisfying career at the intersection of work, opportunity, and justice. It’s a great feeling to fund programs that support and encourage students who are dedicated to public interest careers.”
Doing the right thing has always been top of mind for Randolph “Randy” Knepper ’77. He came to Northeastern Law in the post-Vietnam era after running a half-way house in Minnesota. Randy says he was drawn to Northeastern Law because the school seemed to embody a desire for change and because of the co-op program. Randy’s pockets were far from deep when he attended law school, and the money he earned from his co-ops made a real dent in his tuition cost.
After graduating from Northeastern, Randy moved to Baltimore City, where he has worked for 25 years as general counsel to the Gay and Lesbian Community Center. Beyond his day job, he has served for two decades on the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of Baltimore City and one term on the Board of Governors of the Maryland State Bar. Community-based nonprofits have been a consistent focus of his volunteer time throughout his career; he credits both Northeastern Law and his undergraduate college, Macalester, with instilling in him the importance of giving back.
Access to education for all has long been one of Randy’s priorities, so he decided to create a scholarship at the law school, both now and through his estate planning. “I am happy to include Northeastern Law in my estate plans and to be able to pay it forward for future law students. I’ve always been proud to say that I attended Northeastern Law and I hope to make that possible for others in the future.”