Susannah Barton Tobin ’04, the managing director of the Climenko Fellowship Program and assistant dean for academic career advising at Harvard Law School, has been appointed the Ezra Ripley Thayer Senior Lecturer on Law at HLS. The appointment recognizes her exemplary work in the Climenko program and valued advising to students across their three years and beyond, including those seeking careers teaching law.
Climenko Fellows are promising legal scholars with high academic achievements and a strong interest in teaching. The Fellows teach the First-Year Legal Research and Writing Program and devote themselves to scholarship in preparation for entry into the teaching market.
“Susannah Barton Tobin has provided extraordinary leadership and mentoring to prospective legal scholars at Harvard Law School,” said John F. Manning, the Morgan and Helen Chu Dean of Harvard Law School. “She is a talented teacher of legal writing to first-year students. And she has been instrumental in helping launch the academic careers of many legal scholars in the Climenko Fellowship Program.”
Tobin said, “I’m deeply honored and grateful to Dean Manning for this appointment. I have an amazing job—every day, I get to work with and learn from our inspiring students and collaborate with the wonderful Climenko fellows and our program coordinator, Karen Bell Thomas, in order to teach the craft of writing and advise the next generation of lawyers. It’s a role I cherish. I’m especially fortunate to have the chance to give back to an institution that has given me so much.”
Tobin received her B.A. in classics, magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 2000, where she was the recipient of the Newbold Rhinelander Landon Memorial Prize. She received an M.Phil. in classics from the University of Cambridge in 2001, and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2004. While in law school, she was a senior editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and worked at the ACLU of Massachusetts and Ropes & Gray. She then clerked on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts for Judge Mark L. Wolf and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for Judge Levin H. Campbell.
She advised hundreds of Harvard undergraduates as a resident tutor for ten years in Leverett House, for which work the College recognized her with the Marquand Award for Exceptional Advising and Counseling. She was a recipient of the 2010 Dean’s Excellence Award at Harvard Law School and a 2017 Teaching and Advising Award from the HLS Student Government. She is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Supreme Court Fellows Program. She serves on the graduate council of The Harvard Crimson and as the vice chair of the Cambridge Historical Commission.