The opportunity to “help future lawyers learn the nuts and bolts’’ of the business is what is driving Adam Schwartz ’97 JD and his wife Robin ’98 JD, both UConn Law School graduates, to give $100,000 to help fund UConn’s law clinics.
Schwartz, co-president of the Colchester-based S&S Worldwide, a national supplier of arts and crafts and sporting good products, and Robin Schwartz, a State of Connecticut prosecutor who specializes in dealing with traffic and public safety cases, are UConn law graduates who met while in school.
“You could call us lawyers who fell in love at UConn,’’ said Adam Schwartz, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of the UConn Foundation. “We both have great memories of our time there and we really both wanted to do what we could to help future lawyers get the kind of valuable training we both learned at law school.’’
That training included Adam Schwartz serving as editor of the Law Review while at UConn. “My wife was also on Law Review,’’ said Schwartz.
The Schwartz’ gift to UConn Law School clinics will provide monies that will be available to support all of the law school’s clinical programs. Clinical programs are mini-law practices where students are able to work on actual cases with oversight from law faculty and, sometimes, practicing attorneys.
These programs cover a broad range of practice areas, including:
- Asylum and human rights
- Children’s advocacy
- Criminal prosecution and defense
- Energy and environmental law
- Intellectual property (patents and trademarks)
- Nonprofit and municipal law
- Poverty law
- Tax law
Other clinics offer students placements in clerkships with state and federal judges, legislators, and legislative staff, and administrative agencies.
Robin Schwartz describes herself as “a proud graduate” of the UConn Law School Criminal Trial Clinic. In 2004, she served as an adjunct faculty instructor for the UConn Law School Moot Court program.
Timothy Fisher, dean of the UConn Law School, said, “The Law School is extremely fortunate to have this kind of support. Our clinics provide our students with hands-on experience in the responsibilities a lawyer must assume in representing clients. They both teach practical skills of lawyering and deepen our students’ understanding of how the law works to help clients and maintain society’s healthy functioning.
“At the same time, our clinics have had a crucial role in developing the law in Connecticut and beyond, as our signature cases have helped the courts clarify and redefine important parts of the law,’’ added Fisher. “The Schwartz family gift will help our clinics operate at a high level, bringing in expert assistance and covering key expenses necessary to manage our cases well.”
Paul Chill, associate dean for Clinical and Experiential Education and Clinical Professor of Law, added: “This generous gift will enable us to enhance student learning in our clinical programs.’’
Chill, who supervises the clinic program continued: “These clinics provide free legal representation to low-income and other underrepresented persons throughout the region and state, and represent a major service-learning initiative of the Law School and University. At the same time, clinics help students acquire critical lawyering skills, establish valuable contacts with members of the bar and bench, and position themselves favorably in the highly-competitive legal job market.’’
The Schwartz’ generous gift comes at a time when the UConn Foundation is in the midst of its “Transform Lives’’ campaign, a five-year, fundraising initiative that will double the amount of financial support—including merit and need-based scholarships—that the Foundation raises for the benefit of the UConn student body.
“Adam and Robin’s desire to help UConn Law students is what the initiative is all about,’’ said Josh Newton, president of the UConn Foundation. “We thank both of them for their generosity and for helping to transform lives.’’
Adam Schwartz is no stranger to giving back to his alma mater.
He has been a consistent contributor to the Ignite program, a program run by the UConn Foundation that encourages and rewards student philanthropy.
Adam Schwartz’s gifts to Ignite have supported prizes for student team marketing efforts and the creation of a solicitation video contest.