Oral History of James “Jim” Sandman

“I came late in my career to what I now [at 70 years of age] feel was my life’s calling all along—improving access to justice to low-income people in the United States,” says Jim Sandman in his Oral History.

Sandman recounts how he achieved an unusual breadth of lawyering at a high level, not by planning, but by staying alert to opportunities. He talks about his varied and impressive career, including ten years as Managing Partner at Arnold & Porter, service as D.C. Bar President (2006-2007), his time as General Counsel for D.C. Public Schools, followed by nine years as president of the Legal Services Corporation.

Sandman shares his thoughts on the importance of expanding legal services and making the legal system simpler and less expensive. In the portion of the oral history regarding his years as President of the Legal Services Corporation, Sandman describes coming came face-to-face with the unequal distribution of legal services in America and offers ideas for reform.

Fully committed to this calling, Sandman talks enthusiastically about his activities at U-Penn Law’s The Future of the Profession Initiative, and about teaching courses on Leadership and Professional Responsibility at the Law School, where he can also educate law students on issues of unequal access to justice in America.

Jim Sandman’s oral history can be found here.