Drexel University receives $50 million gift for law school

UNIVERSITY CITY (WPVI) -- In one of the largest gifts ever to a U.S. law school, Drexel University received $50 million from acclaimed attorney Tom Kline.

The school also renamed their law school after him on Wednesday - the Thomas R. Kline School of Law.

"This is a proud day for me," said Kline.

Kline, of the law firm Kline & Specter, announced that he was giving the money to make the university's 8-year-old law school among the best in the country.

"We have a great heritage and we will have a great institution and we have already a great law school to build on," said Kline.

So what can be done with $50 million?

"You can invest in scholarships, you can invest in faculty," said John Fry, Drexel University president.

Included in the gift is the iconic Beneficial Savings Fund building at 1200 Chestnut Street.

It will be home to the law school's Institute for Trial Advocacy, complete with a ceremonial courtroom.

The announcement is the latest major moment for Drexel University, which has been growing leaps and bounds next to its neighbor, the University of Pennsylvania.

"And I think now we stand side by side with the University of Pennsylvania, which is a great and proud university, and together we anchor University City," said Fry.

Kline is a graduate of Duquesne University Law School but sits on Drexel University's board of trustees and on the board of advisors for its law school.

Interestingly, Kline taught sixth grade in the Hazelton Area School District, before going into law and winning millions for his clients.

"I have been very, very blessed," he said.

Kline also says he has high goals for this law school.

"I want to see that young people have the opportunity to grow as lawyers, to be trained as the finest advocates in America," he said.

There is only one other thing he asks of future graduates of the Thomas R. Kline School of Law.

"I just want one President of the United States out of the group," he said.
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