Lam Ho is the founder and Executive Director of the Community Activism Law Alliance (www.calachicago.org) in Chicago, Illinois, which he established through a seed grant from the Harvard Venture Fund. This new non-profit organization will “bring legal services directly to disadvantaged communities that otherwise do not have access to legal assistance. It will use an innovative practice model, community activism lawyering, to not only provide legal services but also support grassroots activism in the community. This will be accomplished through law clinics located directly in the communities they serve, in collaboration with local activist organizations.”
After graduating from Harvard Law School in 2008, Lam joined Chicago’s Legal Assistance Foundation as a staff attorney through the Skadden Foundation Public Interest Fellowship. During his time at LAF, he established and ran 10 community-based clinics providing free legal services to youth and their families on the west side of Chicago. He experienced firsthand the challenges of community lawyering and civil legal services, and was inspired to innovatively confront these challenges through the creation of CALA. After finishing his Skadden Fellowship in 2010, Lam worked as a staff attorney for Equip for Equality, where he represented children with disabilities and their families. In 2014, Governor Quinn appointed Lam the Chairperson of the Illinois HIV/AIDS Response Review Panel, a state commission on HIV prevention and treatment in the Illinois prison system.
Lam has received multiple awards, including the 13th Annual NALP/ PSLawNet (now PSJd) Pro Bono Publico Award; the Gary Bellow Public Service Award; the Maria, Gabriella, & Robert Skirnick Public Interest Fellowship; the Harvard Law School Dean’s Award for Community Leadership; the Kaufman Pro Bono Service Award; the Beinecke Scholarship; the Sonnenschein Scholars Summer Public Interest Fellowship; and the Lenn Thrower “83 Memorial Fellowship for Research in Queer Studies.”
Lam graduated from Brown University in 2001 with an A.B. and M.A. in English. He received his M.St. in English in 2003 from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar and Sub-Dean of Wadham College.