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Remember when the calendar year seemed to start in September and end just as the lifeguard stands were dusted off and carted out for the season? Whether you were the homecoming king or a benchwarmer, when the days get shorter, and a mid-September night suddenly requires an extra layer, it’s easy to get nostalgic for a time when discovery was more about science lab and coed parties than hours of document production. For Kevin Huffman, the 32-year-old general counsel of Teach For America, September means the start of another year of sending volunteers to the nation’s classrooms. Founded by a Princeton University senior in 1990, Teach For America is a New York�based nonprofit that places recent college graduates in underperforming public schools in 18 cities across the country, where they teach for two years. Huffman, who splits his time between legal issues, lobbying, and fund-raising, is the sole member of Teach For America’s legal department. How long have you been with Teach For America? I’ve been the general counsel for three years. Beginning in 1992, I was a corps member for three years. I taught bilingual first and second grade in Houston. Then, after law school, I practiced education law at Hogan & Hartson. I ran into [Teach For America founder] Wendy Kopp at an alumni summit, and she told me about the opportunity. Why did you decide to go in-house? I liked Hogan & Hartson very much, but I had a special place in my heart for Teach For America. They were just getting ready to kick off a growth plan, and I thought that I could make a significant contribution. How did your life change when you went from a big firm to a nonprofit? I had less administrative help, much longer hours, and a nice glow at the end of the day. At Teach For America, do you get to take a car home if you stay later than 8 p.m.? No, but we’re thrilled if we leave by 8. Could Teach For America benefit from the help of volunteer lawyers? Absolutely, though much of the legal work we would outsource is not particularly sexy. Where would we find you on a Saturday afternoon? Hanging out with my 4-year-old and 1-year-old daughters. Last book read: A Gesture Life by Chang-Rae Lee CD currently in your stereo: Coldplay’s A Rush of Blood to the Head Career goal: To keep feeling like I am having a positive impact on the world. Favorite quote: “Try to realize it’s all within yourself. No one else can make you change.” � The Beatles Where did you go to elementary school and high school? I went to two elementary schools: Hong Kong International, in Hong Kong, and Montrose Elementary in Bexley, Ohio. I went to Bexley High School. Who was your favorite teacher? My high school Spanish teacher, Sandy Rainey. She genuinely wanted us to aspire to big things and to do whatever we needed to do to accomplish them. Favorite and least favorite subjects: Favorite: British literature Least favorite: Physics Which did you like better � being a teacher or being a lawyer? I loved being a teacher, but I think I like [being a lawyer] because I have more freedom and flexibility. Lawyers should think about that the next time they want to go to the bathroom and don’t have to worry about leaving a classroom of kids [ laughs].

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