2013 – Leonard Rubinowitz
In his more than 40 years on the faculty at Northwestern University School of Law, Professor Leonard Rubinowitz has become a veritable institution of legal education in Chicago and a revered figure in the public interest law community. In his capacities as a lawyer, teacher and mentor, Len has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to social justice and improving the quality of life for vulnerable and underserved populations. Len is acutely aware of the central role that law professors play in the cultivation of service-minded young professionals and, consequently, in the future direction of the profession. He has embraced this position of influence by encouraging generations of Northwestern law students to incorporate pro bono and public service into their legal practices and to pursue public interest law careers.
A prolific scholar, Len has used his expertise to fight tirelessly for equal access to justice. His efforts to address systemic discrimination and inequality have resulted in vast improvements in public housing in Chicago, helping to level the playing field for untold numbers of low-income families. Len almost single-handedly created the public interest community at Northwestern through his leadership, organizing the Student Funded Public Interest Fellowship program which now bears his name. Len’s most enduring legacy is the extensive network of hundreds of former students who have matured under his guidance and achieved prominent positions in the legal field, where they continue to embody his service ideals and advocate on behalf of marginalized populations.
Known for making genuine personal investments in the success of his students, Len’s influence is evident in every corner of the Chicago legal community. Ever the consummate legal professional, his personal example has provided a template for generations of students to emulate. While he has been routinely recognized for his teaching excellence, his steadfast devotion to justice and mentorship of hundreds of socially conscious legal professionals make him a most deserving recipient of The Leonard Jay Schrager Award of Excellence.