Law School plans major additionKane gives $3 million for new clinical legal education center Attorney Arthur Kane, a graduate of the College and the Law School, has made a commitment to the University totaling $3 million that will underwrite the construction of a new addition to the Laird Bell Quadrangle.
The Kane gift is among those to the Campaign for the Next Century, which will conclude on June 30. As of April 28, total gifts to the campaign had surpassed $636 million, the most ever raised by a Chicago-area institution in a single capital campaign. The goal for the five-year campaign is $650 million.
The Arthur Kane Center for Clinical Legal Education will be a 10,000-square-foot addition to the Law School. It will include expanded office, conference and meeting space and a library for the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic and other clinical programs at the Law School.
The Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, one of the first law-school clinics in the nation, provides the community with legal services for poor criminal defendants, advocacy for child-support collections and benefits, and litigation for the mentally ill. The Law School also operates several other clinical programs, including the MacArthur Justice Center and the Illinois Battered Women's Clemency Project.
"Arthur Kane's exceptional generosity and vision have made possible one of the most ambitious building projects in the 90-year history of the Law School," said Douglas Baird, the Harry A. Bigelow Professor and Dean of the Law School. "It honors the long-standing commitment of [President Emeritus] Edward Levi and others to make clinical education an integral part of our mission. The Kane Center will ensure the school's pre-eminence as we head into our second century."
As the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic has grown in both size and influence, it has struggled to fit in a relatively small space. Founded in 1957, the clinic is today recognized as one of the most prestigious and effective law-school-based clinics in the nation. In recent years, it has grown in response to changing patterns of legal education and increasing public-service responsibilities at the University.
Kane, whose legal career has focused on worker's-compensation law, said he wants to encourage the work of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic because it provides both service to the community and real-world training for lawyers. The clinic also ensures that students can be trained in practical skills as an essential component of the educational process.
"Clinical education exposes students to the realities of law practice, helps those in the surrounding community and ensures that students enter practice with a sense of how lawyers contribute to the public good," Kane said.
The Law School's clinical programs have pioneered legal services to the disadvantaged in areas including juvenile justice, clemency, death-penalty defense and services for the mentally ill and homeless, he noted.
"The most important thing of all," Kane said, "is that lawyers embrace the idea of helping the community and providing support and answers for people in need."