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Giving Opportunities

Expanding the Faculty

Growing the tenure-track faculty is among the most pressing needs of the USF School of Law. Despite impressive hires in recent years, the size of our faculty has remained essentially unchanged for nearly three decades. A larger faculty would better support the aspirations of the school. An expansion is necessary for the law school to maximize the law student learning experience; to provide more opportunities and curricular choice for students; to support the work of faculty, particularly scholarly work; to offer new programs in emerging legal disciplines; and to achieve the visibility the law school merits.

Expanding the faculty would enhance opportunities for professors to teach electives, giving students greater curricular choice and increased access to professors and research opportunities. Sharing the teaching load among a greater number of professors would also afford our faculty more time and opportunities to conduct research, publish, and present at national and international conferences. This increase in faculty scholarly production would enhance classroom teaching and greatly increase the USF School of Law's stature among peers in the academic and legal communities.

Endowment for Faculty Expansion

The USF School of Law is seeking to expand the faculty by at least 25 percent (an additional six tenure-track positions or more) in part by increasing endowment.

  • Faculty Chairs: $3 million per chair
  • Faculty Fellowships: $100,000
  • Faculty Excellence Fund: $50,000

Supporting Students

Helping our students pay for their education is among our most important challenges and growing our endowment is central to this effort. The cost of a legal education continues to rise, with average law school debt now exceeding $100,000. To help offset the cost of tuition (currently $37,230 annually for full-time students) the law school allocates 18 percent of tuition revenues to financial aid and has focused on increasing its financial aid endowment. Approximately 27 percent of our entering class receives financial aid from the law school. This number does not include the Zief Scholarships, which are now given to 73 second- and third-year students.

Still, an estimated 80 percent of law students rely on federal and private loans to finance their education. A corollary challenge is increasing the funding for our well-intentioned yet under-funded Loan Repayment Assistance Program for students seeking to work in the public sector.

Endowment for Student Scholarships

The USF School of Law is seeking to increase its financial aid endowment to ensure that a USF legal education is within reach for all qualified students.

  • Endowed Scholarships: $50,000
  • Dean's Scholarships: $725,000

Dean's Scholarships enable the dean to provide a fully funded scholarship to one student every three years, thus helping USF recruit and retain more of the nation's most talented students. The scholarship will be named for the person or organization that endowed it. To honor the generosity of the donor and add prestige to the student recipients, the scholarship will be named in honor of the donor.

Maximizing Facilities

Despite the extensive rebuilding of the law school in recent years, facilities challenges remain. While the law school's square footage is adequate, the clear challenge is how to more effectively utilize the 110,000-square-feet of architecturally stunning space in both buildings. For example, meeting the vital goal of expanding the faculty will require additional offices to house full-time faculty in a central location that breeds community and provides student access. In addition, student organizations are growing, bringing with them increased space needs. The expansion of our international programming is creating a need for offices for visiting faculty and space for faculty and students to work on joint projects. With creative cooperation among members of the law school community and additional financial resources, our facilities can be used in a way that adapts to our changing needs and maximizes our educational opportunity and growth.

Capital Improvements

The USF School of Law is planning to reconfigure existing space to accommodate at least six new faculty positions and better utilize facilities to create more common space for students, co-curricular programs (including law journals and centers), and for curricular initiatives such as advocacy training facilities.

  • Faculty Offices: $50,000

Connecting with Alumni

An integral part of the USF School of Law is its dedicated and generous alumni who support the school by volunteering on committees, hiring students and new graduates in their firms and businesses, and giving financial assistance. Alumni comprise the law school?s Board of Governors and Board of Counselors, and attend annual events including reunions, the Alumni-Graduates Dinner, and Holiday Luncheon and Alumni Awards Ceremony.

The USF Law Assembly is the foundation of alumni financial support of the law school. Gifts to the Law Assembly make a critical difference in our students? lives and in the communities we serve. The Law Assembly funds a variety of student-centered projects including law journals, symposia, and summer internships around the globe. Last year alone, Law Assembly gifts supported more than 60 students who interned as close as San Francisco and as far away as Dharamsala, India.

As new generations join the ranks of USF law alumni, the law school must increase efforts to engage a broader base of alumni in the Law Assembly. An active, vast alumni network creates a culture of giving that is essential to making the law school?s ambitious aspirations a reality. In an effort to cultivate a culture of philanthropy, the law school revamped its class gift program, in which graduating students make a financial contribution to the school. The 2009 class gift will represent the first time a USF class has endowed its own student scholarship ($50,000). The Class of 2008 achieved 78 percent participation, slightly higher than the 73 percent mark reached by the Class of 2007. Overall, an average of 15 percent of alumni gives to the law school each year.