Law School Joins Leading Together - The Campaign for Washington University

Leading Together  Washington University School of Law has joined the university’s Leading Together — The Campaign for Washington University. The university’s multi-year effort aspires to secure a minimum investment of $2.2 billion toward priorities in the university’s strategic plan. [view related announcement at together.wustl.edu]

At the law school, Howard Cayne, JD ’79, and Steven Rappaport, JD ’74, are heading the school’s efforts to far exceed a conservative goal of $55 million in resources for the school’s most pressing needs. The two are co-chairing a 30-member committee that is helping to guide the school’s efforts toward becoming a truly global law school. To date, the school has received $25 million in gifts and pledges toward its goal.

Dean Kent Syverud thanked the two chairs and committee members for assuming this important role: “I am deeply grateful to Howard, Steve, and the Committee for heading up this most important effort and for all the support we have received to date. The campaign is crucial to our school as we embrace change in a challenging legal environment and continue to position our school as a leader in the transformation of global legal education.”

As the practice of law is facing fundamental change, there is a strong need for law schools to produce graduates who can not only develop critical thinking and writing skills, but who also can successfully navigate in the new global legal environment. Young lawyers will need the skills, expertise, and connections to thrive in a shifting and highly competitive employment landscape.

“I will forever be indebted to Washington University for providing me with the extraordinary legal education on which I have built a fulfilling career,” said Cayne, law school Campaign Committee co-chair, a member of the school’s National Council, and a partner at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. “The campaign for Washington University School of Law provides me, and all who have benefited directly from this strong foundation, an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ while giving back to both our school and the current generation of students.”

“Our law school, and indeed the legal profession, is at an important crossroad,” noted Rappaport, law school Campaign Committee co-chair, chair of the school’s National Council, and a partner at RZ Capital LLC in New York. “Our school has an outstanding faculty, terrific students, and first-rate facilities. With a track record of embracing change, we are well placed with continued support to become a truly global law school. With this additional support, I firmly believe we will achieve our vision and both ensure the future success of our law school and enhance the legal profession.”

The law school’s campaign seeks to support students through expanded and innovative career placement initiatives; increased scholarships and summer stipends; enhanced clinical, experiential-learning, and career-building opportunities nationally and abroad; and new distance learning initiatives while leveraging available technology. Faculty support will focus on increased chaired professorships and visiting and adjunct opportunities, as well as development of new models for teaching.

The law school envisions building on the strengths of its world-class faculty while capitalizing on recent bold and innovative initiatives — expanded externship programs in New York and Washington, D.C.; dual-degree programs with foreign partners that enable graduates to practice law in Europe and Australia; and a first-of-its-kind online LLM degree for foreign lawyers. The school will also use analytics to enhance its strategic vision.

“The goal will be to bring the brightest students to our campus in St. Louis while opening up to them a world of affordable and innovative practice ready experiences,” Syverud said. “Our vision is also to create new initiatives that provide flexible opportunities for the world’s best scholars, practitioners, and teachers to engage our community.”

The law school’s global vision also will mean building new programs that help students engage with world-class scholars in novel ways; gain exposure to a wide variety of possible legal careers, including those in emerging legal markets overseas; and make deeper connections with alumni and other practicing lawyers and judges from the beginning of their law school careers.

Central to this vision will be the support of alumni. At the law school, alumni support has long been a stronghold in the form of scholarship aid, Annual Fund contributions, volunteer activities, and student mentoring and networking. As the campaign kicks off, alumni, faculty, administrators, and National Council members are encouraging each other to create challenges specific to their constituencies.

Fall 2012