Mr. Ed O'Brien
January 7, 2014
Mr. Ed O'Brien has been working to improve law education around the world for his entire career.
Mr. O'Brien was born in 1945 in Flushing, NY, where he attended PS 98 and St. Anastatia's School for elementary school and Holy Cross High School. He went on to University of Virginia for undergrad, University of Fribourg in Switzerland for grad school, and Georgetown University for law school.
As a law student in 1972, Mr. O'Brien co-founded Street Law. He and a group of fellow law students observed that young people in the District of Columbia were not learning enough about "everyday law"—so they created Streeet Law to teach high school students their rights and responsibilities under law.
Mr. O'Brien led Street Law for several decades, during which he helped spread education about law, democracy, and human rights around the world. His dedication to this cause earned him an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Natal in South Africa, home to the first Street Law program outside of the United States.
Mr. O'Brien continues to improve law education by creating curricula for schools, speaking at conferences around the world about law, working to integrate Street Law courses into schools, and teaching a Law and Ethics course to undergrads at the University of the District of Columbia.
He is also vice president of the American Civil Liberties Union, which works to defend individuals' liberties.
In fall 2013, Mr. O'Brien served as a civil rights "Legend" to students at Friendship Charter School Woodridge Campus as part of Street Law's Closing the Gap initiative.
Want to get involved? Volunteers are needed for the spring 2014 session of Closing the Gap! Contact Janae Harrison for more information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
(Reproduced with permission)