Kirkland & Ellis Makes Significant Donation to Support Fordham Law School’s IDEAL Program


Fordham Law School announced today that it has received a significant donation from Kirkland & Ellis as a lead sponsor of its Increasing Diversity in Education and the Law (IDEAL) pipeline program. The IDEAL program identifies motivated and talented underrepresented students in the New York City area and introduces them to the many facets of the legal profession to increase diversity throughout the legal industry.

“Our Law School, and most of all our students, have benefitted from our strong relationship with Kirkland & Ellis over the years, and the firm’s generosity will now help underrepresented students in the New York City area view the legal profession as a viable and worthwhile career path,” said Matthew Diller, Dean of Fordham Law School. “If our legal system is to provide equal justice, it must provide equal opportunity to become a lawyer. By supporting the IDEAL Program, Kirkland & Ellis joins us in our commitment to engaging the local community and embracing our responsibility to increase diversity in the legal profession. We are so grateful for the support.” In June Dean Diller made a commitment to work along three paths to address structural racism in the Fordham Law community and to combat racism in society more generally. The school has been reporting regularly on progress and milestones.

Kirkland & Ellis is proud to partner with Fordham on this innovative program. The firm is committed to engaging with the local New York City community and ensuring the next generation of leaders in the law is the most diverse ever. The Kirkland & Ellis gift complements the firm’s strong commitment to ending racism and diversifying the bar and contributes to Fordham Law’s anti-racism efforts. Earlier this year, Kirkland & Ellis was one of the first firms to join the Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance, an initiative born from a renewed commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts by a collective of law firms.

“A robust pipeline of diverse talent is a prerequisite to increasing both diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and the wider business community,” said Chris Torrente, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis based in New York and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. “We are extremely proud to support Fordham’s IDEAL program which is focused on helping to provide equal opportunities to all students, irrespective of their background, to foster the next generation of diverse leaders in the legal profession.”

About the IDEAL Program

The IDEAL program seeks to engage college students who are interested in pursuing a law degree or who have an interest in the law. In collaboration with Fordham University and the CUNY network, IDEAL identifies promising students and exposes them to a rich and dynamic educational curriculum that begins the sophomore year and culminates with graduation from their undergraduate institution. IDEAL offers the participating students early exposure to the study and practice of law and through the program, seeks to afford participants the opportunity to learn about and attend law school and to become leaders on a variety of issues that impact the legal profession such as issues of racial, economic, and social justice. 

Learn more about the program, including how to apply, here.

About Fordham Law School

Situated in New York City, Fordham Law School cultivates the collaborative community, intellectual curiosity, professional craft, and commitment to service vital to creating lawyers and legal scholars who can move our profession, society and world forward. Follow Fordham Law School on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

About Kirkland & Ellis 

Kirkland & Ellis is an international law firm with more than 2,700 attorneys representing clients in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, restructuring, and intellectual property matters. The Firm operates from offices in 15 cities around the world: Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C. 

Kirkland’s commitment to diversity is reflected in its policies, programs and committees as well as its efforts to build and maintain a culture that values and gathers strength from differences in socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and personal backgrounds. In June 2020, Kirkland pledged to donate $5 million over five years to support organizations focused on ending racism, achieving inclusion and advancing social justice. The first round of pledge recipients includes over 40 organizations that will receive grants totaling $1.1 million.


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