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UCLA School of Law Launches $100 Million Endowment Campaign

Largest Campaign in School’s History Will Support Student Scholarships, Faculty, Clinics and Centers

Lauri Gavel
Director of Communications
UCLA School of Law
(310) 206-2611

LOS ANGELES, April 29, 2008-UCLA School of Law announced today that it has launched a campaign to raise $100 million to increase student scholarships, attract and retain faculty and support centers and institutes that inform law and public policy.

"We are an ambitious law school and this is an ambitious plan," said Dean Michael H. Schill in announcing the campaign and goal at a meeting of 150 prominent alumni and friends of the law school. "It reflects a fundamental shift in the funding paradigm for UCLA Law.  This funding will enable us to secure our future as one of the nation's leading law schools in terms of the quality of our students, the scholarship of our faculty and the influence of our centers and institutes."

According to Schill, "Given the constrained budget of the State of California, it is clear that we will increasingly need to rely on private resources to maintain our excellence and grow our programs.  Nevertheless, we will not, under any circumstances, forget that we are a law school dedicated to the public interest.  From the moment we were founded, we have stood for the proposition that any student of merit could gain a law degree regardless of his or her economic wherewithal.  We remain committed to this principle, and this campaign will enable us to fulfill this commitment."

"In addition, one of the defining aspects of UCLA School of Law is that we are deeply engaged in our community and the world," continued Schill. "Many of our graduates choose to work in the public interest as leaders in government or non-profit agencies.  Our faculty regularly influences law and public policy through their path-breaking scholarship and community activities.  The resources we raise in this campaign will enable us to continue this proud tradition."

Kenneth Ziffren '65, chairman of the campaign and a founding partner of Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie, Stiffelman, Cook, Johnson, Lande & Wolf LLP,  noted that state funding has declined to 37% of the law school's resources and was expected to fall further. "I am extremely impressed with the law school's ambitious plans and am confident that this campaign will receive strong support from our alumni and friends. It is imperative that we continue to compete successfully for the most talented students and most accomplished faculty in the nation.  We can only do that with private resources." 

Tuition at law schools, both public and private, has risen dramatically in recent years.  According to Ziffren, "When I went to UCLA total fees amounted to about $200 per year; next year at UCLA Law they will likely exceed $31,000.   My classmates and I received the best education imaginable at UCLA and we need to give back to ensure that the next generation of students have similar opportunities.  We must raise endowments to support all aspects of the school including scholarships."

Founded in 1949, UCLA School of Law is the youngest of the nation's top 20 law schools and has one of the smallest endowments. "There is intense competition among law schools for the best and most diverse students and for world-class faculty," said Schill. "The endowment raised through this campaign will enable us to compete more effectively against older, better financed and mostly private law schools."

In addition to seeking funding for student scholarships and to attract and retain a world-class faculty, the campaign will also seek support for law school clinics, centers and programs, in fields such as business law and policy, law and philosophy, critical race studies, entertainment, media and intellectual property, human rights and environmental law. "Through these programs and in our clinics we not only affect law and policy, we also give our students the opportunity to experience the law as it is practiced," noted Schill.

UCLA School of Law has already received several leadership gifts as part of an early phase of the campaign, including:

  • $6 million from Joanne and Michael T. Masin '69 and the Masin Family Foundation to support UCLA School of Law's highest priorities and to establish the Masin Scholars program which recognizes the 12 students who have the highest grades after their first year of law school.
  • $5 million from Rae and Dan A. Emmett and their family to establish the nation's first law school center focused on issues involving climate change, the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment.
  • $5 million from Jane and David J. Epstein '64 to establish the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy and the Jane Epstein Scholarships for Educational Law and Policy.
  • Charles R. (Chuck) Williams increased leadership giving to further enhance the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, bringing that endowment to more than $10 million.

The law school has also received individual gifts exceeding $1 million to support its students, faculty and programming from: Azmeralda and Omar Alfi, Lori and A. Barry Cappello '65, the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Jim L. Hooker, Diana and Roger Jenkins, Pete Kameron, John McDonald and Rob Wright, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, Shirley and Ralph Shapiro '58, Debra and Bruce Spector '67 and Ellen and Kenneth Ziffren '65. 

"These initial gifts demonstrate strong support for our law school, our plans and our future," said Schill. "I am confident that we will reach our goal."

The campaign is scheduled to close December, 2012.

About UCLA School of Law
Founded in 1949, UCLA School of Law is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship.  With approximately 100 faculty and 970 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession.