The UCLA School of Law has received a gift of $1.025 million from alumna Justice Joan Dempsey Klein and her husband, Conrad Lee Klein, to fund student scholarships. The gift will create the Justice Joan Dempsey Klein Scholarships in Law at the law school.
"We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Joan and Conrad Klein," said Rachel F. Moran, dean of the UCLA School of Law. "The new scholarships will not only help us further our commitment to providing a quality education to all students of merit but will also ensure that our students continue the tradition of leadership that Justice Klein exemplifies. Our students are a top priority, and they will benefit immensely from this inspiring gift."
The gift will provide support to law students with financial need who have demonstrated excellence in their academic achievements, as well as leadership qualities and traits of good citizenship. The scholarships will be awarded to students who also show a strong commitment to advocating for gender equality or to promoting the advancement of women in the law and society.
"As I have said many times, my law school education at UCLA gave me a life — and a good life it has been," said Klein, who graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 1954.
The Kleins, who credit higher education and a strong work ethic for helping them achieve professional and financial success, also have contributed $1.025 million to Santa Monica College to create the Conrad Lee Klein Fund for Online Education.
Joan Dempsey Klein is the presiding justice of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three in Los Angeles, a post she has held since 1978. She was the first graduate of the UCLA School of Law to be appointed to the bench and the first female presiding justice in the state of California. She is currently the most senior appellate justice in the state. Klein was the co-founder and first president of the National Association of Women Judges and the founding president of the California Women Lawyers Association.
Awards have been named in her honor, and she herself has received the prestigious Bernard E. Witkin Medal from the State Bar of California for her outstanding contributions to the legal profession, as well as the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, the highest award the American Bar Association confers on women in the profession.
Conrad Lee Klein is the trustee of the Mark Hughes Family Trust and president of the Mark Hughes Charity Foundation. He is also a member of the Santa Monica College Advisory Committee for the Academy on Entertainment and Technology. He previously was outside legal counsel to Mark Hughes, the late founder and president of Herbalife. He received an undergraduate degree in business from New York University's Stern School of Business, a J.D. from the NYU School of Law and a master's of law from the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California.
The UCLA School of Law, founded in 1949, is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship. With approximately 100 faculty and 1,100 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training, and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession. For more information on UCLA School of Law, please visit www.law.ucla.edu.