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W&L Law Receives $2 Million Gift for Student Financial Aid An anonymous donor will match up to $2 million for student scholarship funds raised during the Leading Lives of Consequence campaign.

Lewis-Hall-Header W&L Law Receives $2 Million Gift for Student Financial AidLewis Hall

A generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous has pledged $2 million to support student financial aid at Washington and Lee University School of Law. The donor will match every new dollar given or pledged for scholarships during the remainder of the University’s capital campaign, Leading Lives of Consequence.

Melanie Wilson, Dean of W&L Law, has prioritized support for students as a pillar of her tenure, and reducing student debt is a large part of her focus. While W&L Law was recently named the top best value private law school based on income to debt ratio, students still graduate with average debt of about $100,000.

“It is critical that we support students with grants and scholarships so that upon graduation, they have the option to choose not only high-paying corporate and law firm positions, but also work in non-profit organizations and in government agencies and other public interest work,” Wilson said.

Increasing financial aid resources is also critical in the law school marketplace. Cost is a pivotal factor for students when choosing a law school, and competition is fierce between W&L Law and top competitors for outstanding students.

“While W&L Law has enjoyed great success on this front, having just enrolled our strongest class academically in well over a decade, we must continue to build on our strengths,” said Wilson. “Recruiting top students allows us to preserve the reputation for excellence that has longed defined the W&L Law community.”

The $2 Million Financial Aid Challenge will contribute to a goal of $20 million that the law school is seeking for financial aid as part of the Leading Lives of Consequence campaign. The anonymous donor will match dollar for dollar every new gift toward student scholarship endowments that the law school receives between October, 2023 and the conclusion of the campaign on June 30, 2027. Alumni and friends of W&L Law can establish their own scholarship with a minimum gift of $100,000 or contribute to one of the school’s existing scholarships. The law school currently has 127 named scholarships.

“We are incredibly grateful for this anonymous donor and to all who answer the call and contribute to our financial aid resources that will be matched during the challenge,” said Wilson.

To learn more about the challenge or how to fund a scholarship, contact Elizabeth Outland Branner, Assistant Dean of Law School Advancement, at brannere@wlu.edu or 540-458-8191.