Public Interest Law Pioneer Speaks at Seattle University School of Law

Charlie Halpern, one of the founders of the Center for Law and Social Policy, will discuss his new book about “activism and the practice of wisdom,” at Seattle University School of Law on Tuesday, April 22. His talk will be at 4 p.m. in Room 109 of Sullivan Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Halpern begins his new book “Making Waves and Riding the Currents: The Practice of Law and the Practice of Wisdom,” by saying it is about “working for a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world while cultivating the wisdom that supports and deepens this work.”

He has been a public interest entrepreneur since the late ’60s. An honors graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law, he left a promising career in corporate law to establish the first public interest law firm, the Center for Law and Social Policy, in Washington D.C., and to launch the public interest law movement.

He was the founding dean of the City University of New York School of Law, a school devoted to training public interest lawyers, and a member of the faculty at Georgetown and Stanford Law Schools. As the first president of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, he developed an innovative philanthropic program that drew together support for social justice and inner exploration. His career has taken him from the inner circles of the legal establishment to the outer fringes of gritty New York politics, from vision quests in the New Mexican wilderness to the current debates about stem cell research.

During his years as a leader and innovator in academia and nonprofit organizations, Halpern has pursued a path of wisdom and inner growth, which has energized and informed his work. Currently, he leads meditation retreats for lawyers, serves as chair of The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, and consults to nonprofit groups and foundations.

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