Richard E. Carter, 78, lawyer

Richard E. Carter
Richard E. Carter
Posted: February 10, 2014

Richard E. Carter, 78, of Philadelphia, a pioneer and leader for more than 40 years in the field of continuing education for lawyers, died Monday, Jan. 27, of heart failure at his home.

Mr. Carter came to Philadelphia in 1993 to serve as executive director of the American Law Institute-American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education.

The group is a national provider of continuing legal education.

Colleague Michael Greenwald said Mr. Carter was a comfortable person with whom to work. "He was a genial fellow, but he knew how to get results," Greenwald said.

American Law Institute president Roberta Ramo said Mr. Carter led the group "during a time of expansion, when the number of its courses and other offerings increased significantly and major changes in the delivery of continuing legal education were taking place."

Before coming to Philadelphia, Mr. Carter was director for eight years of the American Bar Association's Chicago-based Division for Professional Education.

In 1978, he joined the U.S. Department of Justice, and in 1979 was appointed the first director of the Attorney General's Advocacy Institute, which he reorganized and expanded.

In 1980, the Advocacy Institute was combined with the Justice Department's Legal Education Institute, which provided continuing education of lawyers and paralegals for all branches of the federal government.

For the next five years, Mr. Carter served as director of the newly designated Office of Legal Education. He left the post to assume his position with the American Bar Association.

A native of Indianapolis, Mr. Carter was a graduate of Butler University and the Indiana University law school.

In 1963, he moved to Washington, where he was a litigation attorney at the Federal Trade Commission before joining Neighborhood Legal Services as a staff attorney, eventually becoming its acting executive director.

In 1970, Mr. Carter joined the law faculty of the Catholic University of America, where he not only taught conventional legal courses but also established a pioneering clinical legal-education program serving Washington's inner city.

A year later, while at Catholic University, he started a national program to provide continuing education for 3,000 legal-services attorneys whose work was funded by the federal Office of Equal Opportunity.

He helped organize the new Legal Services Corp. in 1975, and spent the next two years as director of its Office of Program Support, which trained the staffs of legal-services offices across the country.

For his dedication to the highest standards of his profession, Mr. Carter was elected in 1997 to the Academy of Law Alumni Fellows at the Indiana University school of law.

In 2001, he became a life member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.

After his retirement in 2005, he became active in the International Bar Association. He also was an elected shareholder of the Library Company of Philadelphia, and a member of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.

Surviving are Mr. Carter's wife of 47 years, the former Constance Crowder; a brother; a niece; and two nephews.

A memorial service will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, May 16, at the Athenaeum, 219 S. Sixth St., Philadelphia. Interment is private.

Contributions may be sent to the United Way of Philadelphia via