For years, Heather Williams has given her warmth and understanding and knowledge of the law school to anyone who walks through the doors of 6 Everett Street, looking for help. Her smile alone is enough to put anyone at ease. So it was nothing short of a thrill to see her celebrated yesterday, along with 10 other staff, with the Dean’s Award for Excellence.
Here’s what Dean Minow had to say about Heather, whose official title is Clinical Hospitality Coordinator for the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs:
“Heather is the Clinical Hospitality Coordinator for Clinical and Pro Bono Programs, which is to say she is the face to the entire community. She serves the world in our justice vision at Harvard Law School. Heather is deeply committed. She has continually demonstrated her dedication to the work of the various sclinics and the student practice organizations. She is the window to Harvard Law School. She is the face of Harvard Law School. She is the voice of Harvard Law School. The people who are in serious need, the Clinical community, and the Law School are better every day because of what she does.
Heather greets clients when they come for appointments. She makes sure they get to the right place at the right time. In each and every situation, she will do whatever it takes to make sure that the clients’ needs and expectations are met, and at the same time, alleviating the needs of those who seek guidance.
She’s very helpful to so many clients who call or who email or who walk in or who otherwise find some way to communicate looking for legal support services. And again, many of these people are people not in the best of circumstances. She’s very good at getting enough information about their problems, and then connecting them to one of the clinical programs or to other resources elsewhere in the community that may be able to assist them.
Over the years, she has learned a lot about what information is needed, about the resources that can be provided, about how to solve problems. One of her nominators said:
‘Heather is the woman that our clients—those we at HLS live and work to serve—see, speak to, get to know, trust and look for on a daily basis. She is the window and the face of the Harvard Law School clinical community. She is the epitome of the reliable, go-to person. She is the definition of a good citizen. And above all, Heather Williams enriches the law school each and every day that she unlocks the doors at 6 Everett Street- and the hearts of our clients.’
And congratulations to other colleagues who won excellence awards:
Juliet Bowler, East Asian Legal Studies & HLS Project on Disability
Hakim Lakhdar, Center on the Legal Profession/Executive Education
David O’Brien, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
Naomi Schaffer, Graduate Program and International Legal Studies
Yvonne Smith, Dean of Students Office
Kirsten Solberg, Office of Career Services
Amy Elizabeth Soto, Criminal Justice Institute
Anastasia Tolu, Faculty Support
Low Income Protection Program and Summer Public Interest Funding Team
Natasha Onken, Student Financial Services
Rory Placa, Student Financial Services