December 20, 2011
HLS Clinical Professor Ron Sullivan ’94, who serves as director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute, was recently appointed to the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services. Sullivan joins Professor Carol Steiker ’86, who is also a member of the committee.
The 15-member committee, appointed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, “oversees the provision of legal representation to indigent persons in criminal and civil court cases,” according to the committee’s website. The committee draws on approximately 3,000 private attorneys, who are trained and certified to represent low-income clients.
Said HLS Dean Martha Minow: “Ron Sullivan’s devotion to justice is extraordinary, and I am so delighted he has been appointed to this important effort to ensure access to legal assistance for those who cannot afford to hire lawyers.”
Sullivan said: “I have dedicated much of my professional life to making the promises of Gideon real. This appointment represents an opportunity to help ensure that indigent citizens in Massachusetts receive quality legal representation. I am honored to serve the Commonwealth in this capacity.”
Sullivan, whose areas of interest include criminal law, criminal procedure, legal ethics, and race theory, joined the HLS faculty in 2007. He previously served on the faculty of Yale Law School, where, after his first year, he won the law school’s award for outstanding teaching. He is a founding fellow of The Jamestown Project, a national think-tank that champions democracy.
Prior to teaching, Sullivan served as director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and for the D.C. law firms of Baach Robinson & Lewis, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College, and of Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Black Law Students Association and as a general editor of the Harvard BlackLetter Law Review. After graduating from Harvard, Sullivan spent a year in Nairobi, Kenya, working with the Law Society of Kenya to draft a new constitution for the country. He also worked with the Kenya Human Rights Commission, documenting human rights violations throughout Kenya.
More information on the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services is available on the committee's website.