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Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship Program Collection

Identifier: NEJL-049

Scope and Contents

The collection is arranged into five series: 1) background information on the Reginald Heber Smith Community Fellows Program, 1967-1985; 2) original rosters and current information of Reggies by class year; 3) current information about former Reggies, arranged alphabetically; 4) planning materials related to the Thirtieth Anniversary Reunion of Reggies; and 5) Reunion program materials and documentation (includes audio-visual materials, stored separately). A finding aid exists.


  • 1967 - 1998


Historical Note

The Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship Program (RHS) was established in 1967 in order to attract talented young lawyers to the field of poverty law. Initially sponsored by the Legal Services Program within the Office of Economic Opportunity and administered by the University of Pennsylvania, the program would recruit recent law school graduates, train them in various aspects of poverty law, and place them (for one or two years) in regional legal services projects throughout the country. The program was named for Reginald Heber Smith, author of Justice and the Poor (1919), a groundbreaking work that sparked the legal aid movement in the United States; and the Program's Fellows were accordingly called Reggies. The fellows were mostly recent graduates of top law schools. The competitive nature of the Program's selection process and the Program's association with the University of Pennsylvania and later Howard University made being a Reggie quite prestigious. Being young, enthusiastic, and committed to their cause, the Reggies made an immediate impact upon the regional and local projects where they were placed. After two years, in 1969, the Program was moved from the University of Pennsylvania to Howard University where greater emphasis was placed on attracting minority Fellows. When OEO was dismantled in the mid-1970's, the Reggie Program moved to the Legal Services Corporation. From 1967 to 1985, when the program ended, there were approximately 2,000 Reggies. Many went on to have careers in legal services, become educators, judges, and prominent lawyers. This collection was created in preparation for the Thirtieth Anniversary Reunion of Reggies, sponsored by the National Equal Justice Library at the Washington College of Law of American University, November 13 & 14, 1998. The Reggies Reunion was held in 1998 to bring together alumni of the Reginald Heber Smith Community Fellows Program which ran from 1967 to 1985. The 1998 reunion, held at American University's Washington College of Law on November 13 and 14, was the Thirtieth Anniversary.


3.2 linear feet (8 boxes)

Language of Materials



Box 1. Background information on the Reggie Program Box 2. Class Rosters and current information: List of all rosters and rosters for classes 1967-69 Box 3. Class Rosters and current information for classes 1970-85 Box 4. Individual former Reggies, A-M Box 5. Individual former Reggies, N-Z Box 6. Reunion planning materials and Reunion program materials and documentation


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Finding Aid for the Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship Program Papers (Coll. 49)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the National Equal Justice Library Repository

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