Thursday, December 3, 2009

Scott Harshbarger's Public Service Legacy

I am taking a short respite from health care issues to comment briefly on public service. Last evening, I attended the 2d Annual Harshbarger Reunion. It was a gathering of lawyers (I hope that in itself doesn't cause you to stop reading!) at Suffolk Law School in Boston. These lawyers all had at least one thing in common: they previously worked for Scott Harshbarger when he was Attorney General of the Commonwealth. Scott had this great way of attracting and retaining incredibly talented individuals into public service. Some of these individuals have remained in the AG's Office, providing outstanding representation to the Commonwealth (two at the gathering had argued before the United States Supreme Court within the last several years). Others have gone on to pursue very successful careers, many of these in public service or pursuing public causes. Here is a small sampling from just those former colleagues I had a chance to catch up with at the event: one is an Appeals Court Judge; one is a Boston Municipal Court Judge; one works for Oxfam America; one works for the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector; one works for the U.S. Court of Appeals; one is an investment banker; one is a partner in a large law firm; and one runs a fraud unit at a large health insurer.

Incredible diversity, commitment and accomplishment. This is a great a credit to these individuals. But I can't help but think it is also a credit to the wonderful inspiration Scott gave all of us to serve a larger cause than ourselves and to make a difference.  It is certainly something I will never forget about my time working for him. It is also something I suspect the public knows very little about because it doesn't make flashy headlines.  But it does make a worthy and noble legacy.

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