UCLA School of Law is proud to announce its participation in the Social Justice Legal Foundation, an incubator for the next generation of leading trial lawyers in the public sector, which launches today with a $10 million pledge of support from Hueston Hennigan LLP. The foundation will sponsor five promising law school graduates, including one from UCLA Law, as Hueston Hennigan Fellows for two-year terms.
The mission of the foundation is “to combine public-interest issue expertise and elite academic resources with private-sector experience in order to bring a fresh approach to pursuing national trial work advancing social justice and equity.” The foundation brings together five leading U.S. law schools, top trial lawyers from the private sector and a lineup of star advisors, including judges, activists and scholars to vet and pursue groundbreaking cases.
“This is an incredible opportunity for UCLA Law’s public interest graduates to receive incredible litigation training with leading national trial attorneys,” says Brad Sears, UCLA Law’s associate dean of public interest programs, who will serve on the foundation’s board of advisors.
Funded and created by the partners of Hueston Hennigan, the foundation will also collaborate with the law schools at Columbia University, Northwestern University, Stanford University and Yale University to identify pressing legal issues and to mentor and develop a new generation of trial lawyers in the public sector. Each law school will have a representative on the foundation’s board, and the board will select an emerging leader from among each school’s graduates to serve a fully funded two-year fellowship.
“We thank Hueston Hennigan for providing this incredible opportunity for tomorrow’s public interest leaders and for investing so meaningfully in potentially transformative social justice work,” says UCLA Law Dean Jennifer L. Mnookin.
The foundation will emphasize trial work and seek to collaborate with other social-justice organizations and bar associations to take some of the most difficult and important cases to trial.
“I look forward to working with our advisors, fellows, staff and pro bono attorneys to take to trial some of the most important cases affecting social justice,” said John Hueston, chairman of the foundation’s board.
To address evolving societal crises, the foundation will rotate its primary areas of attention every two years from among the following areas: economic justice, housing/homeless discrimination, LGBTQ+ rights, immigrant justice, Native American discrimination, voting rights and criminal justice reform. Its cases and focus areas will be informed by its executive leadership, academic partners, other social-justice organizations and fellows.