Five top law schools partner with alumni to create 'Social Justice Legal Foundation'

Five of the best law schools in the country are working with alumni to form the “Social Justice Legal Foundation.”

The group will work to support transgender issues as they relate to incarceration, immigration reform, and other social justice issues.

America’s leading law schools are partnering with alumni to form the “Social Justice Legal Foundation.”

According to a statement from Yale alumnus John Hueston — who seeded the fund with a $10 million pledge of support and runs a private law firm — the foundation will work with Yale Law School, Stanford Law School, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Columbia Law School, and UCLA School of Law. 

These schools are listed first, second, fourth, ninth, and fifteenth respectively in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of the nation’s top law schools. The foundation will seek out potential “groundbreaking” social justice cases with a team of leading trial lawyers, judges, activists, and academics.

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Every two years, the group will rotate its primary area of attention between economic justice, housing/homeless discrimination, LGBTQ+ rights, immigrant justice, Native American discrimination, voting rights, and criminal justice reform.

The group’s website states that work related to LGBTQ+ rights will focus on “protecting the right to proper medical treatment and safe housing for transgender prisoners.” Their immigrant justice work will include “rectifying systemic detention center abuse and discriminatory and abusive behavior by federal and local law enforcement.”

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The Social Justice Legal Foundation will also sponsor five “Hueston Hennigan Fellows” each year. Hueston told the Yale Daily News that the program will focus on “the development of trial skills in the public interest area of social justice.”

Hilary Anyaso — Senior Managing Editor of Media Relations for Northwestern Pritzker School of Law — told Campus Reform that “the hope is that law students will be able to assist with litigation.”

Several professors — including Diane Chin of Stanford, Erica Smock of Columbia, and Cynthia Wilson of Northwestern — are serving on the group’s board.

Campus Reform reached out to each of the five law schools, as well as the Social Justice Legal Foundation, for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft