$50M donation helps Penn Law expand public interest program

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School recently received one of the 10 largest gifts ever given to a law school. The $50 million donation from The Robert and Jane Toll Foundation will expand the school’s public service program. 

The gift, which begins with the 2021-2022 academic year, targets the Toll Public Interest Scholars and Fellows Program, doubling the number of public interest graduates within the next decade through full and partial tuition scholarships.

“The goal is for those students to graduate with very little debt so they have financial flexibility to take more impactful jobs, jobs which usually pay much less than private practice,” said Penn Law Dean Ted Ruger in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer. “We’ll be able to double the number of those scholarships from seven to 14.”

The gift will allow current law students to transfer during their second year into the Tolls Fellows Program if they decide to pursue a career in public service after they begin law school. The donation money will cover the cost of tuition for these students once they transfer, the Inquirer reported. 

Robert Toll graduated from Penn Law in 1966. His wife Jane graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education in 1966. The couple donated $3 million in 2018 to create the Toll Public Service Corps, which includes Toll Scholars and Fellows. The Tolls also established the Alumni Impact Awards and the Toll Loan Repayment and Assistant Program. In 2006, The Tolls also donated $10 million to Penn Law’s public interest program, which led to the renaming of the Toll Public Interest Center.

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