Honorable Louis H. Pollak Champion of the Public Interest Award
The Honorable Louis H. Pollak Champion of the Public Interest Award will be presented by the Philadelphia Bar Foundation on special occasions to a lawyer who has been a true champion of the public interest legal community. The Pollak Award honors a lawyer in private practice who throughout his or her career has provided extraordinary service, including through support of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, to the mission of accomplishing access to justice for all.
Our 2017 Honoree: Richard C. Glazer, Esq.
Richard C. Glazer, Esq. was a member of the working group that transformed the idea of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project into reality. He is a founder of Cozen O’Connor, one of the 100 largest law firms in the U.S. where he served as Regional Managing Partner and Department Chair from 1972 through 2003. His history of supporting the public interest and carving a niche for the Innocence community makes his recognition with the Pollak Award beyond fitting.
Mr. Glazer was the Executive Director since the Project’s inception in 2009. His leadership was integral to the early success of the Project and continues to advance its four-fold mission.
Richard’s commitment to public service and the law began with his service as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, from 1964 to 1966. He worked on a tuberculosis control project that became a prototype for other programs designed to detect, treat, and eradicate infectious diseases.
For almost 20 years, Mr. Glazer served as a Board Member and Chair for the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. He spent 10 years as a member and leader of the Committee of Seventy. The Committee is a non-partisan political watchdog organization focusing on election, school, law enforcement, and judicial reform.
Mr. Glazer is a graduate of Tufts University (B.S.) and Temple University School of Law (J.D.). He clerked for the Honorable James H. Gorbey, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 1970 - 1972.
Here are a few inspiring quotes about him:
“Richard Glazer has been a model public citizen as well as an accomplished lawyer. It is hard to conceive of the City’s Board of Ethics or the Pennsylvania Innocence Project apart from him. Both organizations bear his personal imprint, and each owes its current stature, in no small part, to the leadership he provided through its formative stage. A superb manager, a kind and generous person scrupulous in all things, a selfless worker for good government and better criminal justice, Richard is a sublimely appropriate fit for an honor bearing Judge Pollak's name." - David Richman, Esq., Special Counsel at Pepper Hamilton and Board Member of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project
"For the many years I've been involved with the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, and now as President, I've seen how important engagement by the legal community is to providing access to justice for those underrepresented or unrepresented.Richard Glazer sets an example to expect the best of ourselves and our profession, an example so important to the organizations the Bar Foundation supports." - Thomas A. Brophy, President of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and CEO of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C.
More about the Pollak Award
The Pollak Award is a special award created in memory of an extraordinary man. As a lawyer, jurist and citizen, Judge Pollak championed the rights of the underprivileged in our community. With the greatest sensitivity and commensurate wisdom and intellect, Judge Pollak advanced the public interest, through his commitment to civil rights and the rights of all. From his work on Brown v. Board of Education, to his role as a leading educator, to his thoughtful and brilliant career as a jurist, Judge Pollak forever enriched our legal community and the community as a whole. It is a great honor that his wife has allowed the Bar Foundation to present this award in his name.
A wonderful piece is online here, detailing Judge Pollak’s life. (Lou Pollak: The Road to Brown v. Board of Education and Beyond, Leanna Lee Whitman and Michael Hayes, published by the American Philosophical Society.)