Prof. Frank Askin to be Honored by Rutgers Law School

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After 50 years at Rutgers Law School, retiring Professor Frank Askin, founder of the Constitutional Rights Clinic, will be honored with a dedication and dinner. The clinical wing of the law school will be renamed the "Frank and Marilyn Askin Clinical Wing."

Frank Askin came to Rutgers Law School as a student, graduating in 1966, and stayed on for 50 years, creating an impressive list of accomplishments, including starting the Constitutional Litigation Clinic (now the Constitutional Rights Clinic) and becoming the longest serving General Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.

He is retiring from Rutgers Law School on July 1 this after a long and storied career.

On April 13, 2016, Rutgers Law School will honor Askin and his wife Marilyn ’70, by renaming its clinical wing the “Frank and Marilyn Askin Clinical Wing.” The Askins have long been supporters of the clinical education program at Rutgers Law and started the Marilyn and Frank Askin Clinical Education Fund in 2010, which supports the clinic through conferences, publications and support of the fellows.  Marilyn Askin is also a long time adjunct member of the faculty, having taught Elder Law for many years.  She has also been a prominent advocate for the rights and interests of elder residents, including as President of the NJ chapter of the AARP.

The official dedication of the wing takes place at 5:15 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Center for Law and Justice at 123 Washington St. in Newark and will be immediately followed by a program and reception in the lower atrium.

A series of speakers will talk about Frank Askin’s career at the event. Among his accomplishments are litigating the first police surveillance cases in the nation, battling the FBI over keeping files on two New Jersey high schoolers, defending affirmative action programs, challenging the New Jersey State Police for stopping and searching “long-haired” travelers, and suing the city of Newark for discriminatory hiring practices of firefighters and law enforcement officers.  He was the leading advocate in expanding rights to free expression under the New Jersey Constitution.

This semester, Askin has remained active at the law school, teaching classes and advising fellows at the Constitutional Rights Clinic.

“Frank has been a mentor to all of us in the public interest legal advocacy community for generations,” said Co-Dean Ronald Chen ’83. “We were fellow members of the National Board of the ACLU, and law partners in the Constitutional Rights Clinic, and it is still a bit unfathomable to me how public interest law will fare in New Jersey without Frank’s daily presence.”

Media representatives are welcome at the dedication and reception. To attend, please contact Elizabeth Moore, Director of Communications at 973-353-5553 or

About the Constitutional Rights Clinic

The Rutgers Constitutional Rights Clinic is one of the nation’s first large-case, constitutional rights teaching law clinics. Under Frank Askin’s leadership, and for over 45 years, the clinic and its students have successfully challenged unconstitutional practices in both the United States and New Jersey Supreme Courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the New Jersey Appellate Division and numerous federal and state trial courts. The clinic’s graduates include the CEOs of several non-profit, public interest organizations including the Center for Constitutional Rights’ Executive Director Vincent Warren, ‘93 and the  NYCLU’s Executive Director, Donna Lieberman, 73.’

Photo of Frank Askin by Shelley Kusnetz