This summer HLAB and the greater Boston community lost a leading advocate, mentor and friend. HLAB Faculty Director David Grossman passed away on July 13, 2015, after a seven-year battle with cancer.
Congressman Joe Kennedy III, HLAB alumnus ’09,spoke on the House floor in memory of Grossman. The Boston Globe published an obituary, andHarvard Law Today touched upon some of Grossman’s many contributions to the legal world.
Even before coming to HLAB, Grossman was involved in forming the “lawyer-for-the-day” program in Boston Housing Court to provide free assistance to unrepresented tenants facing eviction. He also established a partnership between the Bureau and City Life Vida Urbana (CLVU), a community organization with a focus on tenant’s rights. In coordination with CLVU, Grossman developed a lawyering/organizing model to combat displacement of lower-income tenants, which the organizations then applied in the context of the national foreclosure crisis.
While undertaking each of these new legal strategies, Grossman continued to represent tenants, mentor student attorneys, draft legislation to protect people from foreclosure, and march on the streets in protest of the injustices he witnessed. The Bureau community is forever changed for the better because of Grossman’s leadership.