The award “honors an attorney who has personally engaged in significant work extending legal services to the poor.”
Honoree Robert D. Newman, general counsel for the Western Center on Law & Poverty, is being recognized for his 35 years of impact litigation that has secured public benefits, essential health services and housing rights for communities in need. In one of his major victories, he obtained a consent decree whereby the California Department of Health Care Services and the California Department of Social Services agreed to reform the way mental health services are provided to children and young adults in the child welfare system. He continues to fight to make sure children receive the services they are entitled to.
He is described as a brilliant litigator and teacher who recognizes his own privilege and uses it to open doors for others.