Albany Law gets a whopping $15 million gift

Albany Law School has received a $15 million gift — the largest in school history — and the donor must be the more humble sort. He or she wishes to remain anonymous. That means no law building or program will bear the donor's name, which has been the case at times.

Indeed, some schools rename the whole school in honor of big donors. Not in this circumstance. Albany Law School will still be Albany Law School.

Just happier. 

“We are overwhelmed by the generous spirit of our anonymous donor and the confidence the donor has shown in the bold path we are setting as an independent, innovative law school which continues to make a significant impact on — and through — legal education across New York State and the nation,” said President and Dean Alicia Ouellette.

She announced the gift on January 17 at the New York City launch of We Rise Together: The Campaign for Albany Law School, a fundraising effort. 

A number of law schools have seen generous gifts of late. The University of Michigan Law School, for instance, received a $33 million gift just before Christmas. It too was the largest in school history.

But here some context. Albany Law School in upper state New York is a stand-alone school with an endowment of $65 million. The University of Michigan, the parent school of Michigan Law, has an endowment of $10 billion. 

Stanford University Law School got a $25 million gift recently, which was the largest gift from an alum. The main university has a endowment of $25 billion. 

This is why Albany is estatic other the gift. It's a whopper. 

In particular, the gift will multiply the impact of Albany Law School’s Law Clinic and Justice Center in the Capital Region and beyond, the school noted. The Center provides free legal services to eligible clients through its clinical and pro bono programs. The Center’s students, faculty, and staff represent hundreds of clients each year and assist many more individuals and organizations through technical assistance and community education activities.

In honor of this gift and in recognition of the substantial impact the Center has on the Capital Region community, the Law Clinic and Justice Center will be renamed The Justice Center at Albany Law School.

“The trustees of Albany Law School are eternally grateful for this tremendous gift and acknowledge the selflessness that this donor embodies.  We also applaud the amazing leadership of President and Dean Ouellette. This is further indication that Albany Law School is on the rise amongst our peers,” said James E. Hacker ’84, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

We Rise Together: The Campaign for Albany Law School calls on the entire Albany Law community to join in the movement to assist the law school.  “This transformative gift and campaign signal an incredible step in the 167-year history of Albany Law School as it forges a path to sustained independence, increased innovation, and expanded impact,” said Jeffrey M. Schanz, Vice President for Institutional Advancement.

Funds raised in We Rise Together: The Campaign for Albany Law School will be used to:

 - Build a robust scholarship endowment;

 - Create innovative programming and improve technological infrastructure and academic facilities;

 - Bolster the law school initiatives—The Justice Center and Government Law Center—that provide critical legal services to the community.

Albany Law School has set an initial campaign target of $30 million to be raised through 2021. 

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