A $500,000 gift to the UW School of Law from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has led to the development of a centralized hub for all public service and public interest programs at the law school. The gift expands opportunities for students and reinforces public service as a core value of UW Law, one of the nation's top public law schools.
Activities will include providing public service advising for law students and alumni, supporting student organizations focused on public service/interest, enhancing collaborations with legal services and community organizations, and administering a pro bono honors program and the Gates Public Service Law Program.
"We at the UW School of Law have long recognized the important role our students, alumni, and faculty play in promoting justice and service to our community," said Dean Kellye Testy. "This generous and forward-looking gift from the Gates Foundation will provide us with the resources to broaden our reach and achieve our goal that every UW law student embraces public service as a core part of the profession."
Changes also include the creation of an Assistant Dean for Public Service position, to be filled by Michele Storms, currently the director of the Gates PSL Program.
"Michele has long been recognized as a leader in promoting public service in the legal community," said Testy. "Her leadership will advance UW Law as one of the nation's most distinguished law schools through a visible public service program as one of our core pillars of excellence."
In 2005, a $33.3 million gift from the Gates Foundation in honor of William H. Gates Sr., led to the creation of the Gates PSL Program. This unique program awards full-tuition scholarships to five incoming J.D. students each year who make a commitment to practice in public service after graduation.