Blog: Sacks-Freund Award

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May 28, 2014

Tyler Giannini Receives Teaching Award, Stresses the Importance of Solidarity

Posted by Cara Solomon

This afternoon, during the Class Day ceremony, Tyler Giannini stood up to the podium and accepted from the Class of 2014 the Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence. It was a thrilling moment for those of us who know him, and work with him, and see this as a tribute not just to Tyler himself, but to clinical education at Harvard Law School.

His speech is reprinted below:

 

Thank you for this honor. It is humbling—and honestly a bit terrifying—to be here with all of you: with Dean Minow, faculty, staff, friends, parents, and the graduating class. In all seriousness, I am deeply moved to receive this teaching award from you, the graduating class. What has struck me—what continues to strike me—is how strange it feels to be singled out. Perhaps this is because I have always been part of a team in my human rights work—and it has never been more perfectly realized than here with the students and clinicians at our human rights clinic.

In reflecting on today—and I’m a clinician, so you better believe reflection comes with the territory—I thought back, I wondered—how was I crazy enough to start an NGO during my last year of law school, which then took me to Thailand for a decade, and then somehow end up here teaching at Harvard. The answer is clear to me: there have always been others with me along the way. I have never done it alone—never. Continue Reading…

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