Members of the student board of directors of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau have been forced to close all operations of the organization because of the repeal of certain sections of the State general law under which the Bureau operated.
For the past 21 years the Legal aid has given free counselery advice to the poor of Cambridge and has provided a practical training ground for Honor Students of the Law School. Last year was the most successful in the history of the bureau, assistance being given to 1,000 people and many thousands of dollars collected for clients.
In announcing the closing of the bureau, the student officers urged amendment of the general laws so as to permit resumption of the bureau.
A resolution, passed by the board of directors and approved by the thirty-two Harvard Law School students who comprise the bureau, reads:
"Whereas the Massachusetts Legislature has by an amendment to the general laws, chapter 221, cast doubts upon the propriety of the operations of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, now therefore be it resolved that:
"The bureau shall suspend all further activity in the reception of applicants, until such time as judicial... or legislative sanction can be secured, and that all cases now pending shall be turned over to the Boston Legal Aid Society or to such other attorneys or agencies as each case may require."
The directors of the bureau are Reece A. Gardner '33, president, of Kansas City, Mo.; Marshall K. Skadden, Vice-president, New York City; Joseph H. Moran, secretary, New York City; Joe J. Straburger Jr., Galesburg, Ill.; Alexander L. Keyes, New York City; George A. Teitz, Newport, R. I.; and Carl Tangeman, Columbus, O.
A statement of Gardner's states, "We have maintained a strict policy of helping only those persons who are absolutely unable to pay a fee to a practicing attorney.
"It has often been said of legal aid societies that, not only do they not compete with members of the Bar, but rather they render them a service, for they relieve attorneys from the moral duty of caring for persons who are unable to give a reasonable compensation for the services rendered.
"In our dealings with the members of the Bar we have always been met with friendliness and courtesy; they all seem in sympathy with our purpose.
"In recent years, legal aid services have been developed throughout the United States, so that people in financial need may have the same opportunities for learning their legal rights and obtaining justice as their more wealthy fellow-citizens."
The Legal Aid Bureau has been financed by the University, has been advised by the University, has been advised by the Law School faculty, and has cooperated with the Boston Legal Aid and the Family Welfare Society of Cambridge. The Phillips Brooks House Association also has assisted the bureau