Give back

Investing in student flourishing

EMORY LEADERSHIP has shared its vision for the university’s 2O36 campaign: to shape the future, providing access to transformative and experiential learning environments with world-renowned faculty.

With an eye on Emory’s bicentennial, the 2O36 campaign is a movement.

At Emory Law, the goal is simple: to invest in people. This means growing our endowment, increasing long-term support for students and faculty through endowed scholarships and faculty positions.

Emory Law is building a more substantial endowment over the next four years. The law school is striving to double its overall endowment and triple the endowment funding for scholarships. These ambitious goals require creative solutions and will aid in growing faculty eminence and ensuring student success. Emory Law consistently prepares students to meet the challenges of an evolving, complex, and global legal environment. This is strategically done by offering exceptional, innovative teaching that integrates theory, doctrine, practical training, and experiential learning, preparing our graduates to become respected professionals and leaders in a rapidly changing world.

The law school recruits a diverse and highly qualified student body by recognizing outstanding merit while expanding financial access, reducing student loan debt, and delivering an exceptional education through significant investments. Generous philanthropic support has allowed Emory Law to award millions of dollars in scholarships to students over decades.

Emory Law is deeply invested in providing the most financial opportunities possible for students — just one facet of a plan to develop supportive and collaborative student engagement, enabling students to thrive while in law school and succeed in their chosen careers.

Emory Law scholars navigate a rapidly changing legal environment driven by technological innovation, economic forces, regulation, and shifts in global business arrangements, among other factors. Financial aid allows them to focus on academics and ultimately choose career paths with intention rather than based on a need to repay loans.

This provides students the opportunity to chart their course through their matriculation by joining student organizations and volunteering pro bono services through our many specialized centers and clinics, becoming heavily engaged in issues of our time while being deeply committed to learning and practice.

Through financial philanthropy, donors directly aid students in distinguishing their paths, pursuing their passions, and advancing the rule of law, even while they earn their law degrees.

Associate Dean for Advancement and Alumni Engagement Courtney Stombock sat down with several individuals who were recipients of this support. These Emory Law alumni share how scholarships benefited them as students and as professionals.


Airbnb’s Southeast Public Policy Manager

I did see a great article about you and how you came to Spelman. And then you decided to go to law school. So, I’m really interested about what drove your decision to attend Emory Law when it came time to graduate?

Nia Brown
Emory means a lot to me, and I was really grateful to get into Emory and have the opportunity to go there. My interest was in civil rights and children. So, I chose Emory because of their Barton Policy and Legislative Advocacy Clinics — and the fact that it’s one of the few clinics in the country where you are required to lobby and to put that work towards your learning. Also because Emory has a great public interest program.

So, when you were admitted to Emory, were scholarships and financial aid part of your admission package?

I ended up getting half of my tuition covered. Because of that, and other financial means, I only had to take out minimal loans, and my loans are now under 20k. I was able to buy a home and feel financially secure. It provided me with flexibility. The future that you want to have in law and how you want to use your law degree don’t have to be influenced by debt. None of that is possible without financial support that permits you to avoid taking out a ton of loans. If you want to work in public service, or you want to work in public interest, you should be able to do so without that debt looming over.


Former Associate, Alston & Bird
Founder, Project Something Outta Nothing (SON) Atlanta, Georgia

You were the beneficiary of the Henriksen scholarship and then the Latham scholarship. What did having scholarships to go to law school mean to you?

Earl Porter
One cannot speak of Emory Law without mentioning philanthropy. I went to undergrad on an ROTC scholarship, which lead to deployments and 10 years as an Army infantry officer. Coming from active duty to private school tuition (that’s only knocked down by the GI Bill $20,000), it would not have been feasible to consider Emory without substantial scholarship. Having scholarships probably led to me envisioning myself as an investment more than the average person. 

However, even before the scholarship I had the chance encounter of interacting with double Eagle Judge Robyn Nash 75C 78L, who sat as the judge in my juvenile case. He mentored me, helping to set me on a path to have a stable home, finish ascertaining my Eagle scout, and eventually go off to college. It is serendipitous to carry the same torch forward giving back to each generation of Emory lawyers.

A favorite military saying comes to mind: “In those that have gone before us, and in those that now go, there burns an eternal flame.” How have your experience at Emory and the scholarships that you received contributed to your success in your career so far?

The Emory community invested in me as a person. Not just as a student, but as a local community member. I’ve had the privilege of helping to conduct mock interviews, panel discussions, and alumni coffee engagements in the common areas to help the next wave of Emory lawyers see beyond the horizon. Everyone’s general demeanor to pay it forward makes Emory Law more than just a school, and I’ve always found it easy to go back to the communities that invest so generously into me. It’s really the people that I genuinely miss the most: the staff who strive to create the conditions for complex learning and the professors that help shape more capability into our minds. Emory’s a constant beacon of light to reflect upon, and it feels nice to know there is always an open door. I feel agency with the school, and I’ve enjoyed the near familial relationships I’ve made with my scholarship donors and other alumni over the years. 


Partner and Co-Chair of the Chicago litigation and trial department at Latham & Watkins

What made you decide to go to law school at Emory?

Eric Swibel
I, like everybody, was looking at a number of different law schools, and hoping to find the best one that I could get myself into was the reality. I had a great experience in undergrad at Emory. I met my future wife there. I loved being in Atlanta. And it just was a comfortable place.

You received a philanthropic scholarship as a student at Emory Law. How significant was that for you?

The scholarship [I received] was brand new at the time, and it was a merit-based scholarship. I was very fortunate because I was able to do law school without financial aid. It was very important to me and a huge confidence booster. Starting off at law school is a little terrifying for everybody, I think. So having success, from an academic perspective, added a sort of wind at your back when you get told that you’ve just earned a scholarship.


Shareholder, Berman Fink Van Horn

What was the determining factor for you choosing Emory for law school?

Neil Weinrich
I chose Emory because I received a scholarship. I had other scholarship offers but not as incredible as the scholarship I received from Emory Law. I visited Emory Law and felt like it would be a good place for me. Ultimately, the incredible scholarship was the deciding factor in where I went to law school. I’m tremendously happy with the experience I had at Emory and the career I’ve had so far. The practice I’ve built for myself in Atlanta from the experience and network I gained at Emory is proof of that. I still reconnect with my Emory classmates. We’re now all in practice together, and it’s always great to connect. The scholarship dictated a path that I went on with my career. The financial burden that other law school graduates have for some significant portion of their early law school or their early career as lawyers often steers them in a direction based on needing to repay loans. I didn’t have that.

So, what are some of the things you’ve done over the course of your career to sort of pay that forward?

I’ve recently been involved with the EmoryLaw@Work program and helping fundraise from other Emory Law grads in our office. I have contributed to Emory Law financially. Although I’m not necessarily doing public service work, I take pro bono cases here and there and help other people that don’t necessarily have access to outstanding legal services. I provide that for them. I give them what I have to offer as a lawyer, resources they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

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