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Diane T. Chin To Direct The John And Terry Levin Center For Public Service And Public Interest Law At Stanford

Publication Date: 
May 08, 2009
Stanford Law School

STANFORD, Calif., May 8, 2009— Stanford Law School today announced the appointment of Diane T. Chin as director of the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law. Chin will oversee the center’s pro bono, externship, career advising and mentoring programs as well as teach and work with faculty to develop and coordinate public interest curriculum.

Chin is a renowned expert in public service and public interest careers in the law. In 2007 she co-edited Beyond the Big Firm: Profiles of Lawyers Who Want Something More, and she previously served as the Levin Center’s founding director. She will return to Stanford Law School in July, after having been director of the West Coast office of Equal Justice Works, a non-profit organization that operates the nation’s largest post-graduate public interest legal fellowships program and supports law school programming for public service students.

“We are delighted to have Diane Chin back at the helm of the Levin Center,” said Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer. “Stanford Law School is deeply committed to fostering a public service ethos among all our students, and that requires us not only to expand the programs we have, but also to devise new and innovative ways to expose students to the importance and benefits of public service and public interest law. There is no one more qualified than Diane to tackle this ambitious agenda.”

The John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law is a program at Stanford Law School that aims to make public service a pervasive part of every law student’s experience and ultimately help shape the values that students take into their careers—regardless of ideology or political persuasion and regardless of whether they work as full-time public interest lawyers or work in business, a private law firm, or elsewhere.

“All of us at Stanford Law School are committed to training lawyers who understand the imperative of public service,” said Professor Lawrence C. Marshall, who serves as the David and Stephanie Mills Director of Clinical Education and Associate Dean for Public Service and Clinical Education. “Diane Chin returns to us with a wealth of experience that will enrich our program and help us expose all our students to the values that our profession holds dear.”

During her time as founding director of the Levin Center, Chin played a vital role in designing a robust counseling and educational program within the law school. In addition, she launched a number of programs that have made Stanford Law School a national center for activities and programs relating to the public service and served as a lecturer in law.

“I am delighted to return to Stanford Law School at this fascinating moment in the history of legal practice and at a critical time in revisiting the role of law schools in training future leaders in the profession,” said Diane T. Chin. “I can think of no better way to utilize my experience, skills and passion than to continue the growth of the Levin Center’s work to inspire the next generation, instill the values of pro bono publico, and engage with leaders in the field to both make the experience more relevant to our students and to increase the law school’s influence in the field of service.”

At Equal Justice Works, Chin launched the first regional office for the national nonprofit, provided training, technical assistance and support for post-graduate legal fellows and their host non-profit legal organizations, and worked with law schools to enhance support for law students interested in pro bono experiences or in pursuing public service careers.

Prior to joining Equal Justice Works, Chin served as the Associate Director of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at University of California Berkeley School of Law. She also served as executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, a civil rights advocacy and services organization in San Francisco, and was a senior trial attorney for the Office of Citizen Complaints of the San Francisco Police Commission.

Chin earned a JD from Northeastern University School of Law and BA from Mills College. She was a member of the Skadden Fellowship Foundation’s inaugural class, representing clients in housing discrimination and hate violence cases. Chin went on to serve as a staff attorney and director of the Racial Violence Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and later was a housing attorney for Protection & Advocacy, Inc. She has been a contributor and editor for numerous published works.

Chin will replace outgoing director Susan J. Feathers, who facilitated expansion of the Levin Center’s pro bono, public interest career counseling, and professional development programs, and helped launch the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award.

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, and write books and articles for academic audiences, as well as the popular press. Along with offering traditional law school classes, the school has embraced new subjects and new ways of teaching.


Media Contact

Tayla Klein
Assistant Director of Communications
Stanford Law School
650 725.7516