Harry Subin, Professor of Law Emeritus, passed away on September 4 after a long battle against cancer.
Subin pioneered the NYU School of Law's clinical program. A member of the faculty from 1969 until his retirement in 2000, he introduced the Criminal Defense Clinic, and later the Federal Defender Clinic together with the late Professor Chester Mirsky, with whom he also co-authored a book on federal criminal procedure. In 1989, Subin started the Prosecution Clinic, in conjunction with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Those early contributions developed, over time, into the formation of the leading clinical law program in the country. In addition, Subin helped to create two courses that he continued to teach throughout his career, Criminal Procedure and Practice and Professional Responsibility in the Practice of Criminal Law. He wrote extensively on these topics and, in 1985, received the New York State Bar Association's award for outstanding work in the field of criminal law education.
Prior to joining the Law School, Subin played an instrumental role in reforming the federal and New York state criminal justice systems. After graduating from Yale Law School in 1960, he was accepted into the honors program in the Justice Department. There, for the next several years, Subin worked as a member of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, investigating and prosecuting cases involving leaders of La Cosa Nostra, as well as political corruption cases. As an attorney in the Office of Criminal Justice, he authored "Criminal Justice in a Metropolitan Court," which led to a wholesale reorganization of the District of Columbia's Court of General Sessions. Subin also helped to draft the Bail Reform Act of 1966, which was the first major change in the law since the 18th century. He then focused his efforts on the New York criminal justice system as associate director of the Vera Institute of Justice.
Subin was a devoted teacher and scholar of criminal law and professional ethics, and his legacy will live on in the hundreds of NYU Law graduates who carry forth his ideals and deep commitment to justice.
Posted on September 6, 2011