The University of California, Los Angeles School of Law recently announced that it received a gift of $1.025 million from alumna Justice Joan Dempsey Klein and her husband, Conrad Lee Klein, to go towards the funding of scholarships. The scholarships will be named the Justice Joan Dempsey Klein Scholarships in Law. (See Grants for Higher Education).
The Kleins have also donated $1 million to Santa Monica College to create the Conrad Lee Klein Fund for Online Education. (See Grants for Community College). The scholarship at UCLA will provide financial aid to students who have shown "excellence in their academic achievements, as well as leadership qualities and traits of good citizenship." They will also be given to students who show a "strong commitment to advocating for gender equality or promoting the advancement of women in the law and society."
Dean of the UCLA School of Law Rachel F. Moran said, "We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Joan and Conrad Klein. The new scholarships will not only help us further our commitment to providing a quality education to all students of merit, but will also ensure that our students continue the tradition of leadership that Justice Klein exemplifies. Our students are a top priority, and they will benefit immensely from this inspiring gift."
Justice Klein graduated from UCLA in 1954, and is the first graduate to be appointed to the bench as well as the first female presiding justice in the state of California. She is currently the presiding justice of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three in Los Angeles. She has held this post since 1978. Her husband is a trustee of the Mark Hughes Family Trust and president of the Mark Hughes Charity Foundation. He went to the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California.
Justice Klein has received honors like the Bernard E. Witkin Medal from the State Bar of California and the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award (the highest award the American Bar Association bestows on women in the profession). "As I have said many times, my law school education at UCLA gave me a life — and a good life it has been," said Klein.
The UCLA School of Law was established in 1949, making it the youngest major law school in the country. It enrolls over 1,100 students and has a faculty of 100 members.