Lisle graduated with honors from Williams College in 1964 and from Harvard Law School in 1968. He has served as the Ward Alderman, then Ward Councilor, for Newton's Ward Seven for over thirty-five years (1980-84; 1989 to date), and as President of the City Council for three terms from 2004 through 2009. Prior to elective office, he was on the Economic Opportunity Staff of the Governor of Kentucky helping the state apply for federal funds to assist those in poverty.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, educated in Massachusetts for college and law school, Lisle has lived in Ward Seven in Newton with his wife, Sally, since 1968, where they raised three daughters, Nancy, Mary Sarah and Louise, each of whom attended the Bowen elementary school. Lisle has been a law professor at Suffolk University Law School since 1973, where he has taught property, land use and zoning, environmental law, negotiation and mediation, law practice planning, leadership, and positive psychology for lawyers.
Prior to joining the Suffolk Law faculty, he practiced with the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow, except for a leave of absence to appear on award winning public television debate series The Advocates in 1969-70 and again in 1979, where he appeared with Michael Dukakis, Ted Kennedy, and Barney Frank in debating public policy.
In 2016, he earned a Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Lisle Receives IPPA Achievement Award
In the summer of 2023, Lisle won an achievement award from the world's preeminent group of social scientists studying human happiness. The International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) honored Baker for, among other reasons, his path-breaking teaching of positive psychology courses for law students and for spearheading a successful attempt to persuade the American Bar Association to make law student well-being exploration a curricular standard at law schools.
R. Lisle Baker
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Lawrence C. Bauer, Chairman
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