UNC School of Law Surpasses $75 Million Fundraising Milestone

August 11, 2022

The University of North Carolina School of Law announced today that it has surpassed its $75 million milestone six months ahead of the December 31, 2022 closing of the Campaign for Carolina.

Carolina Law reached the milestone at the end of the last fiscal year.  As of August 1, 2022, Carolina Law has raised $76.7 million. Over 4,406 law school alumni have made gifts during the University-wide campaign that launched publicly in 2017. This milestone more than doubles the $32 million Carolina Law raised during the Carolina First campaign that ran July 1, 1999 through December 31, 2007.

“Once again our alumni have shown what makes them Tar Heel lawyer-leaders and how they are collectively investing in their own degree and making a legal career possible for future Carolina Law students,” said Martin H. Brinkley ’92, dean and William Rand Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor. “It’s not just the large gifts that sustain this great law school. Consistent giving allows us to strategize and plan for the best possible way to prepare students for their legal careers and make sure that it is affordable and accessible. I’m grateful for all that has been accomplished during this campaign.”

At the beginning of the campaign, Carolina Law set fundraising priorities to increase student scholarships, attract and retain talented faculty/staff and provide more experiential opportunities to better prepare students for career success.

“This milestone evidences a new culture of philanthropy at the law school,” said Charles Plambeck ’86, president of the UNC Law Foundation and one of the campaign steering committee co-chairs. “The positive impacts on students, faculty, staff, and our community at large will be immediate and profound. Everyone should be proud. Deirdre Gordon (Associate Dean for Advancement) and her team especially should be thanked for doing an incredible job delivering this result.”

As a top 25 ranked law school, Carolina Law attracts the best and brightest students who want and deserve to attend a top-tier law school that is affordable and accessible. For many, that is not an option without a scholarship. To date, Carolina Law has raised $32.6 million for student scholarships during the campaign.

“Receiving a scholarship made attending law school a feasible endeavor for a first-generation college graduate like myself. I have been bestowed the opportunity to focus on exploring my intellectual curiosities and pursuing a public interest career without having to worry about as heavy a burden of debt post-graduation,” said Julius Brittman 3L, recipient of The P. Douglas Freedle Law Scholarship Fund. “My time at Carolina Law has provided me with amazing opportunities to explore the law through the judiciary at the U.S. District Court of D.C., the legislature at the North Carolina Senate, and through varying projects within Carolina’s Pro Bono Program. These experiences have bolstered my desire to dedicate a career towards public interest and to give back and provide scholarships for future students.”

Although the milestone has been reached, Carolina Law’s work is not done. Additional funds are needed to meet the law school’s scholarship goal of $35 million. With the campaign running until the end of 2022, Carolina Law will continue to raise money to support scholarships as well three additional priorities.

Carolina Law wants to secure endowment support for key programs such as the Institute for Innovation, which provides early-stage legal counsel to new for-profit and nonprofit ventures. The work of the Institute provides experiential learning opportunities for students to practice what they learn in the classroom while helping businesses succeed impacting the economy and communities of North Carolina.

Establishing a dedicated advocacy program that put students through all the major steps of civil and criminal trials under the guidance of outstanding practitioners ensures that this tradition remains strong at Carolina Law.

Building unrestricted support through the Annual Fund means immediate impact for students, faculty/staff and the future of the school. The flexibility of unrestricted giving ensures that the law school can be responsive to change and dedicate funds to the greatest needs. “The impact of this campaign and the generosity of our donors will impact the future of the legal profession for years to come. I am deeply grateful for everyone who had a part in reaching this ambitious milestone and for the continued belief in Carolina Law,” said Brinkley.