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June 5, 2006    

Claire Duggan: (202) 994-0616;
Matt Lindsay: (202) 994-1423;   


Gift from GW Alumus' Foundation Brings Burns Family Financial Support of
GW Law School to $6.8 million

WASHINGTON -- The George Washington University Law School Dean Frederick M. Lawrence recently announced a generous $2 million gift from the Jacob Burns Foundation to endow a faculty chair for the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics.

"The Burns family has always gone above and beyond when it comes to Jacob Burns' alma mater," Dean Lawrence said. "GW Law will yet again benefit from their generosity as we add the exciting position of an endowed faculty chair to our clinics. This gift is even more special in that it will benefit in perpetuity the many communities that we work with through our dedicated and active clinical faculty and students - communities that may otherwise not have access to vital legal help."

Jacob Burns received a Bachelor of Laws degree with distinction from GW in 1924.  He was a successful lawyer and corporate executive, as well as an accomplished painter and renowned philanthropist.  For many years he served as a GW trustee and until his death in 1993 was an honorary trustee.  He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by GW in 1970 and received the University's Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 1983. 

In 1991, GW's Law School inaugurated the Jacob Burns Award for Extraordinary Service to commemorate Burns' many years of leadership through the Alumni Association Board of Directors.  His legacy is visible throughout GW's Law School, including The Jacob Burns Law Library, The Jacob Burns Moot Court, and the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics.  The Jacob Burns Merit Scholarship fund, valued at $3.8 million in January 2006, is the largest financial aid endowment in the school.

Barry A. Shenkman, Jacob Burns' grandson, is president of the Burns Foundation, and Rosalie Burns Goldberg, daughter of Jacob Burns, serves as a trustee of the foundation and is an active member of the GW Law School's Board of Advisors.

"This year marks the 15th anniversary of the dedication of the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics and the 35th year of its founding," said Rosalie Burns. "We are extremely proud of the Burns family's association with the clinical law program at GW Law, which is ranked among the top in the nation."

The clinical law program at GW Law is ranked 15th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Graduate Schools 2007" listing and includes diverse clinical programs such as small business, civil litigation, animal welfare, criminal law, prisoner issues, health law, vaccine injury, immigration, international human rights, environmental law, consumer mediation, and public justice advocacy.

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