The law firm that represented the Maryland HBCUs in a 15-year lawsuit against the state donates $ 12.5 million to colleges and nonprofits out of fees it received in the rule, Washington post reports.
Michael D. Jones, who heads the Kirkland & Ellis law firm, represented Maryland HBCU alumni and supporters in their challenge of the state government’s systemic underfunding of schools. After years of litigation, the case was settled this year when state lawmakers approved hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding in future state budgets for HBCUs.
“Many of us have become lawyers to fight injustice and give our clients fair value not only in the courtroom but also in society. This case allowed me and my colleagues to do just that, ”Jones said in a statement. “I am blessed with all of this experience, including knowing that this donation will go directly to helping future lawyers gain valuable experience and fight for justice for others.”
Under the terms of the settlement, the state agreed to pay $ 22 million in legal fees and expenses, including $ 12.5 million for Kirkland & Ellis. The remaining balance has been allocated to the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under the Law, who also provided legal representation to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
Because they took over the pro bono case, Kirkland & Ellis returned the settlement to the universities.
● $ 5 million to the Center for Racial Justice at Dillard University in New Orleans to create an endowment that will fund paid internships for students of civil rights and public interest organizations.
● $ 3 million to the Robert M. Bell Center for Civil Rights in Education at Morgan State University to fund the centre’s racial justice initiatives and scholarships for students.
● $ 2 million for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law to establish a scholarship program for students, including those studying law at HBCUs.
● $ 1 million to the National Association for Equal Opportunities in Higher Education for scholarships and internships, particularly at Capitol Hill.
● $ 600,000 to the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University.
● $ 600,000 to the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education, which is the group that brought the HBCU lawsuit in Maryland.
● $ 250,000 to the Second District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for advocacy work and scholarships for HBCU students.
Over the next decade, an additional $ 577 million per year will be distributed among the state’s four public HBCUs, namely Coppin State University and Morgan State University in Baltimore, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland. Eastern Shore at Princess Anne.