Oral History Interview with Hulett "Bucky" Askew conducted by Victor Geminiani (1991-07-22)
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Askew, Hulett Hall
Oral history interview with Hulett "Bucky" Askew, conducted by Victor Geminiani, July 22, 1991. Oral History Collection, National Equal Justice Library, Georgetown Law Library.
In the interview, Hulett “Bucky” Askew recalls how he first got involved with legal services during law school at Emory in Atlanta, Georgia, when he worked in the Atlanta Legal Aid Office as part of his requirements for graduation. He discusses how he went to Washington, DC, to work for the OEO Legal Services Program in early 1969 as the Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Health Affairs, which he called the “most formative and critical experience” of his life. He became friends with Dan Bradley, who had just completed the Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer program. Dan Bradley encouraged Mr. Askew to return to Atlanta with him. Mr. Askew discusses his work as Deputy Regional Director of OEO Legal Services in Atlanta, and as the first Regional Director for the Atlanta region at LSC and later Deputy Director of Field Services Mr. Askew talks about the political difficulties to secure funding in light of governors who vetoed the OEO legal programs, and discusses the concept of “snow” funding that was used to fund the Georgia Legal Services office in 1971 and other legal services offices along the way. The interview also covers the law suit challenging Howard Phillips’ appointment as head of Legal Services (LSC) (Williams v. Phillips, 482 F.2d 669 (D.C. Cir. 1973)), and the transition from the OEO to LSC. Mr. Askew details how he helped to secure additional LSC funds for underserved programs in Region 6 (southeast) during the late 1970s when the LSC budget grew significantly. Mr. Askew details conflicts with local bar associations, and recalled his work in the Office of Field Services in Washington, DC, beginning in 1978, where he worked closely with Clinton Lyons. He describes the structure of the LSC, as well as key issues of the time, including the delivery systems study, the research institute, training issues, as well as the structure of the LSC. He also discusses the crisis of the LSC during the President Reagan administration. At the end of the interview, Mr. Askew talks about his work as the Executive Director of the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism and Director of the Office of Bar Admissions of the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Hulett Hall "Bucky" Askew was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1942. He earned a B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina in 1964 and a J.D. from the Emory University School of Law in 1967. Mr. Askew's career in legal services began while he was in law school; he worked with the Atlanta Legal Aid Office while in law school. He was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1967. In 1969, Mr. Askew went to work in the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) as Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Health Affairs. In late 1970, he became Deputy Regional Director for Legal Services within OEO. He remained at OEO and later the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) until 1976. From 1976 until 1983, Mr. Askew held several positions within the Legal Services Corporation including Regional Director, Deputy Director, and Director of the Office of Field Services. Mr. Askew was the Director of the Civil Division for the National Legal Aid & Defender Association in Washington, DC from 1983 to 1990. From 1990 until 1996, he served as the Executive Director of the (Georgia Supreme Court) Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism. He was also was Director of the Office of Bar Admissions of the Supreme Court of Georgia from 1990 until 2006. In 1993, President Clinton appointed him to the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation, where he served for nine years. , Between April 1, 1998 and February 1, 1999, he served as Interim Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts for the Judicial Council of Georgia. From 2006 until 2012, he served as an adviser to the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. In addition, Mr, Askew served on the Board of Trustees of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and on the Accreditation Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. He also served on the Community Services Task Force, the Access to Justice Committee and the Standards of the Professional Committee of the State Bar of Georgia. For the National Conference of Bar Examiners, he served on the Multi-State performance Test Policy Committee. In 1995, he served as the President of the Emory Law School Alumni Association.
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