The Kirkland & Ellis Foundation and 31 senior Kirkland partners have pledged $5 million to Northwestern University School of Law. The partners are all alumni of Northwestern Law and the gift, to be given over five years, is one of the largest single donations in the law school's history.
The gift will establish the Kirkland & Ellis Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships for students in the law school's JD-MBA program; an annual awards program for high-achieving first- and second-year law students, who will be honored as Kirkland & Ellis Scholars; and a unique, permanent educational program for C-suite executives, members of boards of directors, general counsel and business development executives, as well as students and alumni, called the Kirkland & Ellis Business Law Forum. The forum will be co-sponsored by the law school and the Kellogg School of Management. Much of Kirkland's gift will also provide for unrestricted support of the law school.
"Our Firm and our individual partners have supported Northwestern Law School for many years. We are grateful for the strong relationship we have built with Northwestern and the many talented Northwestern alumni that have contributed to the success of our Firm. This latest gift reflects our continued support of Northwestern Law, its current dean, Dan Rodriguez, its faculty, staff and outstanding students, some of whom will be designated Kirkland & Ellis Scholars," said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland's Global Management Executive Committee, a 1985 graduate of Northwestern Law and a member of the Northwestern Law Board. "We also look forward to developing a unique partnership with the business and law community as part of our annual forum, in conjunction with Kellogg and Northwestern Law."
"This gift from Kirkland & Ellis will provide a meaningful boost in our efforts to address what is among my highest priorities as dean: easing the financial burdens faced by our law students and young alumni, burdens which can be alleviated by a combination of short-term and long-term measures, including tuition increases, reducing student debt and looking closely at the size of our law school class," said Daniel Rodriguez, dean and Harold Washington Professor at Northwestern University School of Law.
The 31 Kirkland attorneys contributing to this gift are senior partners and represent all six of the Firm's U.S. offices. They are among approximately 130 current Kirkland attorneys who are Northwestern Law alumni, many of whom give to the law school on an annual basis. More than 20 years ago, the Kirkland & Ellis Foundation and a number of Firm partners endowed the Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law at Northwestern and established the Kirkland & Ellis Research Fund at the school.
"We are extremely proud of our relationship with Kirkland & Ellis and grateful for this generous gift," Northwestern President Morton Schapiro said. "It is a testament to Kirkland's confidence in our students and to Dean Rodriguez's leadership and vision. The gift, which includes the contributions of so many Northwestern alumni currently working at the Firm, clearly illustrates the impact our university has had on their lives and careers."
This gift marks the third large-scale donation that Kirkland has made to a law school since 2011, totaling almost $12 million. Twenty-six Kirkland partners and University of Michigan Law School alumni, the Kirkland & Ellis Foundation and retired partner William Jentes donated $4 million to the school. The Kirkland & Ellis Foundation and several Firm partners also committed $2.75 million over five years to Stanford Law School.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a 1,500-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, corporate, tax, restructuring, and intellectual property and technology matters. The Firm has offices in Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.