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William Simon, analyst of ethics in the courtroom and boardroom, named to Law School's endowed Montgomery professorship
STANFORD -- William H. Simon of the Stanford Law School faculty has been named to the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professorship in Public Interest Law, effective April 11.
An advocate of higher ethical standards in the legal and business world, Simon has published articles in leading American law reviews.
"Bill Simon came to Stanford with experience in community legal service and clinical teaching, and I had the good fortune to learn from him as his co-teacher in Stanford Law School's first course in lawyering process and our first seminar with field placements at the East Palo Alto Community Law Project," said Dean Paul Brest, who announced Simon's appointment.
"The combination of Bill's deep commitment to public interest and to ethics and professional responsibility makes him a most appropriate recipient of this honor."
Simon currently is writing a book offering a theory of legal ethics, an undertaking that won him a 1994 Guggenheim fellowship.
In May 1993 he began a series of 10 articles titled "Perspectives on the American Legal Profession" in China Lawyer (Zhongguo lu-shih), China's counterpart to the ABA Journal. Written in Chinese with Qing Feng, the articles are well placed to influence legal thought in the world's most populous nation.
Other recent work by Simon analyzes ethical questions and issues concerning the defense of accused criminals.
The Kenneth and Harle Montgomery professorship in law was established in 1980 through a gift by Kenneth and Harle Montgomery of Northbrook, Ill., and La Jolla, Calif.
Mrs. Montgomery, the former Harle Garth, is an alumnus of Stanford University, as were her father and brother. A nephew, Bryant Garth, is a 1975 graduate of Stanford Law School and current head of the American Bar Foundation.
Kenneth Montgomery is a veteran attorney and graduate of Harvard Law School. He is now of counsel to Wilson & McIlvaine, the Chicago law firm with which he has been associated since 1928, and an honorary director of Seaway Bank. A member of Stanford Law School's board of visitors for the past 18 years, he has served as friend and adviser to three deans.
Over the years, the Montgomerys have made significant gifts to Stanford University, mainly designated for the law school. These provide needed support for public interest law coursework, for clinical legal education focused on the East Palo Alto Community Law Project, and for financial aid to law students doing summer work in the field of public interest law. In addition, the couple has made substantial contributions to the school's program that eases the education debt load of graduates choosing to work in the public interest or public service sector.
The Montgomery professorship at Stanford was originally designated for clinical legal education, with Anthony Amsterdam as its first holder (1980-81). Paul Brest held the chair from 1983 until becoming dean in 1987. In 1988, the Montgomerys approved changing the title of the chair to emphasize the subject area of public interest law. For the next six years, Gerald López held the Montgomery professorship.
Simon earned his undergraduate degree with high honors from Princeton University in 1969, and his law degree, also with honors, from Harvard in 1974.
Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1981, he worked in the law firm of Foley, Hoag & Eliot in Boston (1974-77), taught at Northeastern and Harvard law schools (1977-79), served as a staff attorney to the Legal Services Institute in Jamaica Plain, Mass. (1979-81), and taught as a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School (1980-81).
While at Stanford, he has won a John M. Olin Foundation fellowship for research on the influence of law firm economics on professional ethics (1991), served as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School (1987-88), and been a visiting expert at the National Economic Development and Law Center (1989).
Simon also worked closely with the Stanford Law students who founded the East Palo Alto Community Law Project, a legal aid clinic serving mainly minority, low-income clients.
At the same time he has written more than 20 scholarly articles for publication in the Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Wisconsin, UCLA, Michigan, Northwestern and other law reviews. The subjects he has examined include the fairness and administration of the welfare system, inequities in pension funding, the ethical code and responsibilities of lawyers, and the responsibilities of corporate directors.
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