Rudolph Hasl is on a mission. Has been for almost 40 years. The 1964 graduate, who’s spent much of his career teaching law, has sought to develop attorneys not only with a knowledge of the law, but also with a desire for community service. He’s exposed hundreds of law school students to the world of pro bono legal work for the poor. And for that, he was honored.
Hasl was named the 2001 Outstanding Law School Dean of the Year. The award is issued annually by the National Association for Public Interest Law to the lawyer who has done the most to promote public service and improve access to legal representation for the poor.
Hasl’s accomplishments at Seattle University’s School of Law, where he became dean in 2000, are substantial. In his first year there, he founded the new student-edited Seattle Journal of Social Justice, which publishes commentary on current social issues. He increas-ed support for a summer grant program for students doing public interest work. And he developed the Access to Justice Institute and a law clinic. Both programs support the law school curriculum by providing students with pro bono legal work. More than two-thirds of the first-year class participated voluntarily.
“This gives them personal experience with poverty,” says Hasl, who also served as law school dean at St. John’s University in New York and St. Louis University, “and many may seek employment in a different direction. But I hope this kind of exposure will give them a sense of obligation to address those unmet needs.”