The Campaign for Columbia Law Raises $325 Million, Exceeding Goal

More than 12,000 alumni and friends contributed to the Campaign, which makes possible significant enhancements to initiatives, including faculty and student support, experiential learning, and the library.

Today, Columbia Law School announced the successful culmination of The Campaign for Columbia Law. The five-year fundraising initiative raised $325 million—exceeding the original target of $300 million—to bolster support for students and faculty, expand experiential learning opportunities, and reimagine the Law Library.

“The extraordinary success of The Campaign for Columbia Law enables us to more effectively meet the challenges of the moment, confidently entrust to future generations the responsibility to lead, and ensure that the Law School remains at the forefront of legal education globally,” says Gillian Lester, Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law.

A force for democracy change resolution community prosperity cooperation justice The Future

Launched in October 2017, the ambitious campaign presented Columbia Law School as “A Force in the World” and spotlighted Columbia Law graduates and faculty who have helped advance society in areas such as civil, international, and human rights; financial regulation; and national security.

“The momentum we have built during the Campaign will carry forward in the years ahead, as we continue to prioritize support for students with the highest levels of financial need, newly recruited faculty whose research is helping to inform the public debate, and the library renovation project, which is expected to commence in 2024,” says Dean Lester.

The Campaign prioritized four areas and realized significant accomplishments in each, including:

  • Students: Created 104 endowed student scholarships—50 of which were made possible by the Jerome L. Greene Scholarship Challenge. Increased median 1L financial aid award by more than 125% since 2015, while also holding tuition growth to historically low levels. Expanded support for public interest/public service programming and financial support, including unparalleled investments in the Loan Repayment Assistance Program.
  • Faculty: Recruited 23 full-time faculty members, 48% of whom are women and 43% of whom identify as persons of color. Established 12 named professorships, adding more than $40 million to the endowment earmarked for faculty.
  • Experiential Learning: Hired six new full-time clinical faculty members who have created new, cutting-edge clinics. Launched innovative new experiential courses, externships, and field-based learning opportunities, and expanded the number of seats for students in courses that give them valuable, hands-on legal skills.
  • Law Library: Raised $25 million to date, including a lead gift from Alia Tutor ’00, to support a transformative renovation and reimagination of the Law Library. The renovation will increase seating capacity by up to 70% and represents one of the largest capital investments in the institution’s history.

The campaign was co-chaired by Alison Ressler ’83, partner at Sullivan & Cromwell; Brad Smith ’84, Microsoft’s vice chair and president; and Kathy Surace-Smith ’84, senior vice president of NanoString Technologies. Until his death in 2018, media entrepreneur and philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest ’58 served as honorary co-chair.

“Our community is a force for democracy, for change, for resolution, for prosperity, and for justice,” says Dean Lester. “Thanks to our extraordinary supporters, Columbia Law will be a Force for the Future.”