Professor Brian Glick, supervising attorney of the Community Economic Development Clinic, will be presented with the Public Interest Faculty Member of the Year Award at the PIRC Awards Dinner on April 4, 2019. Since establishing the CED Clinic nineteen years ago, Glick has worked alongside students to provide vital legal services to newly developing nonprofits, grassroots organizations, and other community-based initiatives throughout New York City’s five boroughs. He is a seasoned community activist and an expert in public interest advocacy and planning.
Some of Glick’s proudest moments in his role at Fordham Law School have been working attentively alongside students to better serve community members who were embarking on co-op ventures. In particular, he recalls a co-op restaurant in Manhattan and another co-op oriented toward caregivers for the elderly Latina community in a neighborhood in Brooklyn. Student teams worked for weeks to deliver results by advocating for these causes and offering them legal assistance.
Glick attributes much of his success to the role of “translation” in community lawyering. “Your early years of law school don’t train you how to talk about this in a way that ordinary people can understand but isn’t oversimplifying it,” he said. “You learn a technical language, but that gets in the way when a lawyer tries to talk to someone else who isn’t a lawyer. What we teach is translating this knowledge in both directions.”
Glick encourages his students to consider their purpose as intermediaries between everyday people with a powerful vision and the “gatekeepers” with the means to make those plans come into the world successfully and sustainably.