The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is getting a legacy gift from an attorney who created history in civil rights law and an international law firm committed to the area.
The law school received a total gift of $687,000 from the Arnold & Porter Foundation and retired Arnold & Porter partner Abe Krash to support students going into civil rights and public interest law. The gift includes two endowed scholarships as well as a donation to the school’s civil rights clinic. The money will support budding attorneys who have demonstrated a commitment to an area that often attracts law students but doesn’t provide many jobs for lawyers.
The gift includes two $250,000 endowed scholarships that will continue in perpetuity to support outstanding students with a commitment to civil liberties and civil rights. One scholarship, the Arnold & Porter Civil Rights Endowed Scholarship Fund, will endow scholarships for students with a commitment to public interest law and prisoner’s rights. The other $250,000 scholarship, the Abe Krash Access to Justice Endowed Scholarship Fund, will fund students with a demonstrated interest in access to justice and carry the legacy of Krash, who helped shape modern civil rights law through his work in Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963, which guaranteed the right to counsel in criminal cases — not just cases involving capital offenses.
The remaining $187,000 will go toward the school’s Civil Rights Clinic, which is thought to be among the oldest in the country and has already helped incarcerated individuals through litigation and advocacy.
“We are pleased to support the important work of the Civil Rights Clinic at Denver Law and those students dedicated to devoting their careers to advancing the cause of civil rights and civil liberties,” said Richard Alexander, chair of Arnold & Porter and the Arnold & Porter Foundation. “Our firm has a long-standing commitment to public service, and our Denver office, opened in 1980, has played a vital role in advancing these pro bono efforts.”
The gift was commemorated with an event at DU on Sept. 14, which Abe Krash and Ed Aro of Arnold & Porter attended.
“Arnold & Porter’s remarkable commitment recognizes the critical contributions of the Civil Rights Clinic in protecting the constitutional rights of people who are incarcerated, including access to medical and mental health care, the free exercise of religion, outdoor exercise and the conditions of solitary confinement,” said professor Laura Rovner, director of the Civil Rights Clinic. “This momentous gift will help us to impart the legal doctrine, skills and professional values necessary to forge the next generation of civil rights lawyers.”