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Gift allows Wake Forest University School of Law to create Legal Aid Society Endowed Fund

The Wake Forest University School of Law has received a significant gift from the Legal Aid Society of Northwest North Carolina to further legal assistance for the poor.

The gift of $465,605 that was granted to the school will create the Legal Aid Society Endowed Fund for the Wake Forest University School of Law. The funds will be used to support the community outreach efforts of the Law School including particularly initiatives that assist those who are economically disadvantaged.

“We are thrilled that the Legal Aid Society has chosen to contribute to the Wake Forest School of Law in such a magnanimous way,” said Law School Dean Blake Morant. “This generous gift will expand the Law School’s ability to provide legal services to the poor.”

The Legal Aid Society of Northwest North Carolina, the state’s first legal aid society, after combining its operations with Legal Aid of North Carolina, sold its building in 2007 and wanted to give the proceeds to the law school, according to the Legal Aid Society’s board president Cal Adams of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.

“We wanted to keep the money in the community and we’ve always had a very close relationship and strong connection with the Law School,” Adams said. “We’re excited about what Dean Morant is trying to do with the pro bono clinical programs. It seemed to be the perfect fit.”

Legal Aid Society board member Bill Spry, who practiced law in Winston-Salem for nearly two decades, said the goal of the board was to see the money go to provide legal services to those who can least afford it.

“We wanted the money to continue in some way to serve the mandate of the Legal Aid Society,” Spry said. “We believed the Law School can use the money to fund clinics to provide legal aid to the poor.”

The Wake Forest University School of Law offers five degree programs: the JD, the JD/MDiv, the JD/MA in Religion, the Master of Laws in American Law and the JD/MBA in conjunction with the university’s Babcock Graduate School of Management.