UCLA Law Receives Generous Gift from Emmett and Shapiro Foundations to Establish Student Scholarships and Summer Fellowships in Environmental Law

April 14, 2016 – UCLA School of Law has received a generous gift of $250,000 from The Emmett Foundation and The Shapiro Family Charitable Foundation to establish the Frank D. Boren Scholarships and Summer Fellowships in Environmental Law, which will support current students at UCLA School of Law working to resolve global environmental problems and advance the public interest in the field of environmental law. 

“Climate change and risks to the environment pose some of the most important public policy and regulatory issues of our generation. Training lawyers equipped to make a difference in environmental law is a key priority for our law school,” said UCLA School of Law Dean Jennifer L. Mnookin. “We are deeply appreciative of this remarkable gift from the Emmett Foundation and the Shapiro Family Charitable Foundation, which will help UCLA Law students become tomorrow’s leaders in environmental advocacy and protection.”

The Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA School of Law’s leading center focused on providing solutions for climate change and other critical environmental problems, will award the fellowships to support student summer placements at the Emmett Institute or at key governmental or nonprofit groups advancing environmental law and policy, as well as to support the financial aid needs of environmental law students. 

The fellowships honor the life and work of attorney and longtime environmentalist Frank D. Boren, past national president and chairman of the board of The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest conservation organization, and co-founder of Sustainable Conservation, which promotes the stewardship of natural resources by engaging businesses and private landowners in conservation. 

“Frank Boren has been a luminous force for the protection of our planet, and there is no better way to honor his life’s work than by supporting those who will become the next wave of environmental law leaders,” said Dan A. Emmett, chairman of Santa Monica-based Douglas Emmett, Inc., a real estate investment trust, and founder of UCLA Law’s Emmett Institute.

The Emmett family has long been concerned about environmental issues and is actively involved in supporting environmental organizations and initiatives. Their 2008 gift to UCLA School of Law established the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment, which was expanded into the current Emmett Institute in 2014 through an additional $1 million leadership gift from the Emmett Foundation. Mr. Emmett and his companies have been widely recognized for their leadership in energy conservation for more than two and half decades.

“The creation of fellowships in support of UCLA School of Law’s environmental law students is drawn from our sincere appreciation of Frank Boren and his tireless work on behalf of the environment,” said Ralph J. Shapiro ’58. “We are delighted to make this gift and to support UCLA Law students committed to addressing environmental law issues.” 

Ralph and Shirley Shapiro have deep and lasting ties to UCLA and a long history of providing philanthropic support to UCLA Law. They have endowed four chairs at UCLA Law, including the Shirley Shapiro Chair in Environmental Law. Shirley Shapiro is a member of the Emmett Institute advisory board, the board of the Fowler Museum at UCLA, and the board of visitors for UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture.  Ralph Shapiro, a long-time member of the UCLA Foundation Board of Directors, has served as president of the UCLA School of Law Alumni Association and as a member of the law school’s board of advisors. 

The Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment works across disciplines to develop and promote research and policy tools useful to decision makers locally, statewide, nationally and beyond. The institute serves as a premier source of environmental legal scholarship, nonpartisan expertise, policy analysis and training and is broadly respected as a trusted resource for analyzing and answering questions about policy and law issues relating to climate change and other environmental challenges. 

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Contact:  Kathy Wyer, wyer@law.ucla.edu, 310.206.1766