Harvard Law School's historic Langdell South classroom has been renamed Kirkland & Ellis Hall in recognition of a $3 million gift made by the Chicago-based international law firm. The gift will support preservation and upkeep of this important 162-seat teaching space and-as part of the Harvard Law School endowment-support the law school's general educational and research activities.
"Harvard Law School is a critical source of lawyers and leadership for Kirkland & Ellis LLP," said Kirkland senior corporate partner Jack S. Levin, a 1961 Harvard Law graduate and former member of HLS's Visiting Committee. "Kirkland's many Harvard Law School partners and associates are pleased to give back and positively impact future generations of Harvard lawyers."
The new gift is the third significant contribution made by Kirkland & Ellis to Harvard Law School. In the 1990s, Kirkland endowed the Kirkland & Ellis professorship, which is currently held by Professor David Wilkins, one of the nation's leading experts on the legal profession. It is the first professorship at HLS to be endowed by a law firm. The first gift from the firm was made in the 1960s to name a seminar room in Holmes Hall.
"We are enormously grateful to everyone at Kirkland & Ellis for this new gift, and for Kirkland's unwavering support over the years," said Dean Elena Kagan. "The true magic of a Harvard Law education takes place in the classroom, where sparks fly and minds expand. I look forward to seeing countless Harvard Law students learning in Kirkland & Ellis Hall, which is located in one of the most significant buildings in the history of American legal education."
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a 1,000-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex transactional, litigation, intellectual property, and restructuring matters with offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
In addition to housing two large auditorium-style classrooms, Langdell Hall is home to the world's largest academic law library. The building is named after Christopher Columbus Langdell, who, as dean of Harvard Law School from 1870 to 1895, developed much of the modern American legal curriculum. The building's south wing-which now features Kirkland & Ellis Hall-was constructed in 1907. The entire building underwent a $35 million renovation in 1997.
The new Kirkland & Ellis gift is part of Harvard Law School's current $400 million Setting the Standard campaign, the most ambitious fund-raising effort in the history of legal education.