Justice Gary S. Stein (Ret.) was interviewed on The Bold Sidebar Podcast with Attorney Jeff Horn. In this podcast, Justice Stein discusses some of his experiences during his more than 60 years of service to the law and the community. Highlights include insights from his 17 years serving as a Justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court, the establishment of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, and the lawsuit, Latino Action Network v. State of New Jersey, which seeks to end the de facto segregation that exists in New Jersey’s public schools.
Regarding the Stein Public Interest Center, Justice Stein noted, “In fall of 2019, the firm established a public interest center and they were very kind and gracious and named it after me….We’ve been doing pro bono work both before the Center was formed, but even more so since the Center was formed….[During 2020] our lawyers put in over 4,000 hours of pro bono work, which Is astonishing. I am extremely grateful to Mike, his partners and to the whole firm, not for only launching the Public Interest Center but for really getting behind it and putting their energy, commitment, and skills as lawyers into the work this public interest center is doing.”
In discussing his motivation for spearheading the efforts to desegregate New Jersey’s public schools, Justice Stein explained, “I spent many years on the New Jersey Supreme Court participating in the Abbott v. Burke litigation where the issue was unequal funding for urban schoolchildren in New Jersey. I was deeply disappointed to learn of the unequal opportunities offered to urban schoolchildren through the Abbott v. Burke litigation. That touched me very profoundly….Never during the Abbott v. Burke litigation was an issue made before the court about the extent of the segregation - I had no idea what the numbers were….As a child growing up in Irvington, I had the benefit of parents who taught me tolerance, who taught me the importance of tolerance and the notion of equality and that all people are equal…But I think I am struck by the injustice of it. I think I am struck by the fact that here we are in New Jersey, a progressive state in the northeast and 66 years after Brown v Board of Education we still have segregated schools in New Jersey. It’s outrageous.”
To listen to the full podcast episode, please click here