LAWRENCE — University of Kansas alumni employed by Shook, Hardy & Bacon have reached $880,000 in gifts and pledges for the KU Law School’s Center for Excellence in Advocacy. Their latest contributions, combined with anticipated matching gifts from the firm and the Center’s existing endowment, are expected to bring the Center’s total endowment to $1 million.
The Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy offers enriched educational opportunities for KU law students, as well as outreach programs for the law community. It provides skills-based training to law students; sponsors conferences and symposia featuring distinguished jurists and national scholars; and supports advocacy research through its fellowships program.
Since its inception in 2008, the Center has been funded through individual alumni gifts from Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s members and by matching contributions from the firm.
John Murphy, chairman of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, said that the firm’s commitment to excellence in the courtroom has found an outstanding outlet at KU Law. “In addition to important scholarship and outreach to judges, lawyers and academics, the Center for Excellence provides essential skills training to KU Law graduates who, over the years, have contributed much to the success of the firm. We are proud to continue our strong support of KU Law,” said Murphy.
Stephen Mazza, dean of the KU School of Law, expressed appreciation for the gifts. “The generous support from Shook, Hardy & Bacon and the KU Law alumni who practice there represent an important step forward for the law school,” Mazza said. “Their support not only will help us meet our Far Above campaign goals, it also will fund programs within the law school that will benefit current students and future students for generations to come.”
Lou Mulligan, director of the Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy, said the additional funding would enhance programming, including the distinguished lecture series and conferences, bring in high-profile speakers, increase the variety of skills courses and in time provide physical space for the school’s nationally ranked moot court teams.
“These new commitments will lead KU Law toward its goal of earning top national recognition for its advocacy programs while cementing Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s international brand as superior trial lawyers,” Mulligan said.
Shook, Hardy & Bacon was established in 1889 in Kansas City, Mo. Today, the firm has approximately 1,200 employees worldwide. Committed to excellence in providing creative and practical solutions at unsurpassed value, the firm is passionate about achieving the best results for clients from the boardroom to the courtroom.
The gifts count toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.
The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.