Faculty of Law

Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law

Keeping legal education financially accessible

$600K goal set for eight-month QL60 bursary campaign

(October 3, 2017)

In celebration of the school’s 60th anniversary, Dean Bill Flanagan has kicked off a major campaign – QL60 – to raise funds for one of the Faculty’s top strategic priorities. “We are committed to ensuring that a Queen’s Law education remains financially accessible to all qualified students, regardless of their means,” he told alumni at a gala dinner during Homecoming Weekend in September. “This has always been one of the school’s core values.”

“Law school is expensive,” he said, noting that annual tuition and ancillary fees at Queen’s are now more than $20,000. “Although dramatically less than that charged at some other Ontario schools, it is still costly, and we must do all that we can to assist our students with financial need.” 

QL60, or Queen’s Faculty of Law Bursary, is an ambitious campaign for student bursaries – non-repayable awards to qualified students in financial need – with a $600,000 target to be raised over the next eight months. Gifts made to the new campaign or to any existing Law bursary fund will be counted toward the QL60 goal. 

Rising education costs versus static support 

With tuition plus the costs of books, supplies and living in Kingston, Queen’s Student Awards Office estimates the total minimum cost for a single law student with no dependents to study at Queen’s for an academic year is $35,800. 

The school prides itself on having provided almost $1 million in bursary support to students last year, with those having the greatest need receiving grants to almost cover tuition entirely. However, students are taking on increasing debt loads to finance their education. In addition, while the Faculty’s total endowment from donations in support of student aid sits at $1.6 million, it only generates about $90,000 a year, meaning donor support makes up only nine per cent of bursaries awarded to students.

Taking the lead in supporting students

The QL60 campaign got off to a good start within the first few weeks of its launch, reaching 20 per cent of its target. 

At Homecoming, a Law’87 grad who wishes to remain anonymous pledged to match donations from classmates up to $30,000. Taking up the challenge only three days later with a joint gift of $2,500 were two Law’87 members: Mark Friedland, Managing Director, Chief Legal Officer & Compliance Officer with Orion Energy Partners in New York City; and his wife, Leslie Newman, Lead Counsel, Network & Cloud, ARRIS International plc.

“My education at Queen’s has been the best investment that I have made,” says Friedland. “When I was a student, I needed and received financial assistance. Contributing to the QL60 Bursary Campaign is a way to return the favour and ensure that other students have the same opportunity that I did years ago.”

Among the other early gifts was a $30,000 donation from Dean’s Council member Peter Griffin, Law’77, managing partner with Toronto-based firm Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP. “A law degree from Queen’s exposed me to fascinating work, gifted colleagues and an opportunity to ‎give a chance to smart young people to do the same,” he says.

Building on a tradition of student aid

Bursary assistance has been available to law students since the school’s founding in 1957, and the benefactor of the very first bursary specifically for Queen’s Law students was one of the school’s key and most beloved figures. Mary-Alice Murray, Law’60, the first Registrar of Law, established the Mary-Alice Murray Bursary in 1962, awarding $150 to “assist a needy law student.” 

Geraldine Tepper, Law’60, the only other woman in the school’s first graduating class, fondly recalls the importance of her “sister-in-Law” to students: “Mary-Alice used her personal funds to assist students financially and also provided moral support to students who without this assistance would have been unable to complete their law degrees.”

Upon Murray’s death in 1984, fellow alumni, friends and associates continued her legacy. “It was a given that an award be established in her name to continue the remarkable assistance that she provided to students in her lifetime,” says Tepper. In 1984, the Mary-Alice Murray Memorial Bursary was created, and it remains the class giving initiative for Law’60. “Practising law has provided me with the means to contribute to this award,” says Tepper, who makes a gift annually. “It is a privilege to be a donor.”

Recognizing your generosity

All gifts to Queen’s Law are recognized in the Honour Roll of Donors, published annually in Supporting Excellence

Cumulative gifts of more than $25,000 to the school are prominently displayed in Macdonald Hall: individuals and organizations are recognized on the Cumulative Giving Wall in the atrium, and classes on the Class Giving Wall situated at the student lounge entrance.

All donors to Queen’s Law are also eligible for membership in one of the Queen’s University appreciation societies

QL60 campaign results will be announced on May 24, 2018, in Toronto at the annual alumni reception Celebrate Queen’s Law.  

Make your contribution today

Call 1-800-267-7837 ext. 78471 or visit www.givetoqueens.ca/QL60  

By Lisa Graham