September 21, 2017 | From Pepperdine University Newsroom – The Pepperdine University School of Law is proud to announce the endowment of the Sudreau Global Justice Program made possible by the generosity of alumna Laure Sudreau (JD ’97). The $8 million contribution is the largest single endowment gift ever to the School of Law and will help advance the profound impact of the Global Justice Program, which operates within the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics at the School of Law.
Since 2007, the Global Justice Program has touched all corners of the globe through its initiatives in international human rights and religious freedom, advancement of the rule of law, and global development. The Sudreau Global Justice Program will support and enhance current programs while envisioning new and innovative initiatives that will create a lasting impact in the lives of the Pepperdine law community and those experiencing injustices in the world’s most vulnerable places.
“We are humbled by Laure’s generosity and confidence in the law school,” says School of Law dean Paul L. Caron. “This gift will empower us to expand our important work bringing justice to those around the globe who desperately need the legal assistance of our students, alumni, and faculty.”
Professor Jim Gash (JD ’93) has directed the Global Justice Program for the past five years and was honored with the Warren Christopher International Lawyer of the Year award in 2013 by the International Law Section of the California Bar for his work in promoting access to justice the developing world. Gash says, “Laure’s leadership gift will bring hope to literally tens of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable people in need of access to justice. I am honored to lead an organization that proudly bears her name.”
Among its many areas of impact, the endowment will establish the Sudreau Fellow program, which will provide recent graduates with the opportunity to live and work in Uganda for one year while helping to manage partnership projects between the Sudreau Global Justice Program and the Ugandan Judiciary.
“The world law students are entering is no longer about people being the center of things,” says Sudreau. “It is a world that is about community. I am so proud to be associated with this effort and all of the important work the Sudreau Global Justice Program does on behalf of the people in the developing world. The world is in great need of this kind of outreach.”
The endowment will also help broaden and deepen current curricular offerings on campus, including global justice courses led by recognized human rights and human trafficking experts on the challenges faced in the developing world and the ongoing efforts to address them.
The Sudreau Global Justice Program will further enable summer and spring internship programs that typically send up to 20 students to Rwanda, Uganda, India, South America, and other developing regions around the world to assist judges and prosecutors with envisioning and implementing systemic reforms and providing free legal services to victims of different forms of injustice. It will serve to promote leadership training for women in Uganda and enable members of Uganda’s Judiciary to participate in trainings and study tours in the United States.
This endowment follows Sudreau’s pace-setting $3 million gift to the Campaign for Pepperdine in 2011 to establish the Laure Sudreau-Rippe Endowed Chair at the School of Law. The chair’s first occupant, Professor Janet Kerr (’75, JD ’78), vice chancellor and the founder and executive director of the Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law, was selected by Sudreau for her dedication to helping women through microfinance opportunities and for her commitment throughout her career to championing the cause of women in law.