Responding to a petition from the Association of Black Law Students, led by chairperson Lennox Hinds, to “re-examine the effectiveness of the relationship between a legal education and all segments of society,” Rutgers held a schoolwide convocation in 1969 to consider the proper role of an urban law school. The convocation resulted in the formation of a commission comprised of professors, students, and administrators to create an extensive clinical program that “would utilize the reality of ongoing problems as fundamental pedagogic tools.”
Lennox Hinds ’72, founder of the National Conference of Black Lawyers and former counsel for the Government of South Africa and the African National Congress, teaches in the Criminal Justice Program at Rutgers University.
In 1970, the faculty unanimously approved the adoption of a mission statement with a goal of producing a “new breed of lawyers characterized by their compassion, competence and commitment to the cause of equal justice and positive social change” with “deep roots in the honored past of the profession who [we] would characterize as people’s lawyers” (quoting Professor Arthur Kinoy, “The Present Crisis in Legal Education,” 24 Rutgers L. Rev. 1, 1970).
A prominent civil rights attorney for more than 50 years, Arthur Kinoy joined Rutgers School of Law–Newark in 1964 and remained a member of the faculty until his death in 2003. He became professor emeritus in 1991.
Professor (now United States Supreme Court Justice) Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a tenured member of the faculty that unanimously approved the recommendation to establish an extensive clinical program. She helped create the Women’s Rights Litigation Clinic. In 1985 Justice Ginsburg was honored by the law school at a program entitled “Rutgers Women and Public Policy.”