Alfred H. Corbett Papers

Identifier: NEJL-043

Scope and Contents

The Alfred Corbett Papers is arranged in five series.

Most of the materials in the first series (Oregon), were collected during Corbett's service as Oregon State Representative and later as State Senator from 1956 until 1965.

The second series documents his work with the Office of Economic Opportunity/Legal Services Program (OEO/LSP), and includes reports and evaluations of several Community Action Agencies and planning and budgeting for nation-wide and regional programs. It also includes The National Anti-Poverty Plan: Report of OEO for years 1968-1972, as well as extensive documentation on the transition from the OEO-LSP to the LSC.

Transition materials are also part of the third series, which documents Corbett's years working for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). This series contains reports and evaluations as well as drafts and letters concerning financing and project management. There are also records on alternative uses of Investment Income, one a plan to increase the involvement of the private bar, and another raising private money to finance comprehensive plans for persons of "Lower and Middle Income Brackets" and the "Near Poor". This series also includes several copies of Corbett's thesis "The Last Miles...," which contains long range goals above the minimum access level and approaches for the development of those long range goals. Finally, it includes what is likely to be Corbett's achievement, an ABA/LSC Pro-Bono project dated 1979. Series two and three include handwritten notes, memos, newspaper clippings, and letters, and there is a folder about Corbett's retirement.

The fourth series includes five unique photo albums capturing legal services scenes from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s.

The fifth series includes documentation, research, and miscellanous materials.


  • 1965-1977, 1993


Biographical Note

Alfred Hoyt Corbett (1915-2000) was born in Portland, Oregon. He received his B.S. from Harvard University and his LL.B. from Yale University, and was admitted to the Bar in 1940.

When he finished law school he worked for the firm Koemer, Young, McColloch & Dezendorf, and during World War II he served for two years as a sergeant in Mountain Troops (a combat support unit).

After the war, Corbett was the first Commissioner of the Portland Housing Authority, and in 1951 he became Assistant General Counsel to the Defense Electrical Power Administration in Washington DC.

Corbett was elected Oregon State Representative in 1956, and later State Senator, and he served in that capacity until 1965. During that time he was Chairman of the oversight committee having responsibility for the entire budget for the State of Oregon. For OEO/LSP Corbett designed the basic grant procedures that were used by the agency to fund and monitor the legal services programs. In 1967 he became Director of the Operation Division of Community Action Program of the OEO, and in 1968 he became Deputy Associate Director for Program Policy of the CAP. In 1969 he was Director of the Budget & Fiscal Management Division. He worked with Senior Staff and Policy officials in developing policy, and coordinating nation-wide programs with various regional offices. Corbett played a critical role in the transition from the OEO/LSP to the LSC, and coordinated responses to information requests from transition team members. Corbett was one of the key strategists of the legal services program managed by the LSC.

In 1974, Corbett became Chairman of the Project Review Board, where he reviewed applications for funding and refunding of all (263) LSC-funded programs. In 1976, he became Director of Program Planning in the Corporation, where he was critical in developing the minimum access strategy, as well as the annual reports. In July 1977 he announced his retirement, effective in September of the same year.

Alfred Corbett was a passionate and talented photographer, and his papers include five unique photo albums capturing legal services scenes from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s. Several of his photographs were also used in the first LSC annual reports.

In 1975, he was nominated by OEO for the National Civil Service League's Career Service Award.


8.6 linear feet (11 boxes)

Language of Materials


Finding Aid for the Alfred H. Corbett Papers (Coll. 43)
Finding aid by Anne Mar and Katharina Hering
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the National Equal Justice Library Repository

Georgetown University Law Library
111 G. Street NW
Washington D.C. 20001