Duquesne University is renaming its law school after one of its most prestigious alumni, who recently donated the largest gift in the school’s history — $50 million.
The Duquesne School of Law has been renamed to the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University.
Kline, a Philadelphia lawyer, gave Duquesne University the $50 million gift. The money will be used to support the law school’s nationally recognized bar preparation program and boost the school’s clinical offerings along with facility enhancements, said the law school‘s dean, April Barton, durian an event Wednesday at the university.
Kline said he considers Duquesne University home, even though he lives and works on the other side of the state. He said the gift is about ensuring Duquesne remains one of the best schools in the country in training lawyers.
“Today, I don’t really view as the present, I view it as the future,” Kline said. “I see this as a continued path for the now Duquesne Kline school of law to do what it has always done in the storied tradition, which is to prepare mostly young people to the challenges of being a lawyer.”
Duquesne University President Ken Gormley said the gift was the largest in the school‘s history.
“To say that he’s outdone himself is an understatement,” Gormley said.
Kline has won some of the biggest civil verdicts in state history, mostly involving personal injury suits including a $51 million case against the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in 1999. He also secured the first client settlement in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.
He is a founding partner of Kline & Specter, described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “one of the nation’s leading personal injury firms.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices Max Baer, Debra Todd and David Wecht were in attendance for Wednesday’s announcement of Kline’s gift and the renaming of the law school.
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