Oral history interview with Henry Freedman
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Henry Freedman retired in 2014 after serving as the Executive Director of the National Center for Law and Economic Justice in New York City for more than four decades. The Center emerged from the Center on Social Welfare Policy and Law, founded by Ed Sparer in 1965. The NCLEJ has been a pioneer legal services organization -- first as a model "national support center” for legal services lawyers, then launching a high impact litigation program to protect Medicaid, food stamps and cash assistance for low-income families, and later introducing disability rights law into the area of public benefits. While accomplishing all of this, NCLEJ was able to reinvent itself after a sudden loss of federal funding by attracting diverse private support. Freedman has chaired the Committee on Legal Assistance of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; he was in the first class of Reginald Heber Smith fellows; and chaired the Organization of Legal Services Back-up Centers. His many awards include the NLADA's Reginald Heber Smith Award for Dedicated Service and the New York State Bar Association's Public Interest Law Award. Freedman is a 1962 graduate of Amherst College and 1965 graduate of Yale Law School where he served as president of the Legal Aid Association.
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