Providence attorney Mark Mandell, a personal injury lawyer who sits on the Rhode Island Supreme Court Ethics Advisory Panel and has represented several of the victims of the deadly 2003 Station fire, is a longtime supporter of the law school. Mandell teaches trial advocacy at RWU and sits on the law school’s board of directors.
Mandell’s gift includes a challenge to other members of the legal community to match his $250,000 donation, enabling the law school to further expand its innovative pro bono program that finds lawyers from prestigious law firms to work for free with law students and community organizations that serve the poor.
“The law school is a beacon for all judges, attorneys and citizens who are participants on our system of justice,” Mandell said in a statement. “I think that RWU Law is as important as any academic institution in the state of Rhode Island.”
Since the collaborative was established in 2006, lawyers, RWU law students and community organizations have assisted about 100 individuals through direct legal representation and advocacy, and helped hundreds more through developing proposed legislation and legal rights workshops, said Eliza Vorenberg, an attorney who serves as director of the collaborative.
Mandell’s gift comes on the heels of a major gift from another prolific trial attorney Jack McConnell and his wife Sara who, in 2007, donated money towards the creation of a loan repayment program for RWU law alumni who work in public service.