Wednesday, December 21, 2011

National Service CEO Driven Out By Politics

In my law teaching, I find that students who have had some work experience between their undergraduate studies and law school tend to be more focused and mature.  Among that cohort, I particularly enjoy working with former Americorps volunteers.  Often, they have worked in or been exposed to under-resourced communities, and they understand that 1) law (including nonprofit and community development law) has a role to play in improving conditions those communities, and 2) there are precious few lawyers willing and able to help.  The former Americorps students tend to arrive at law school hungry to learn so that they can lend a hand, whether they are headed for careers at Legal Aid or in big-city corporate law firms.

Now comes word that the CEO of the Corporation on National and Community Service, the agency that oversees Americorps and similar programs, resigned because he and his agency were under political attack.  According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Patrick Covington left because "the corporation was under assault by House Republicans who have been trying to slash the agency's budget and kill Americorps. . . ." 


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