Aerial photograph of the Immaculate Conception Chapel

Public Interest Award Renamed in Honor of Dean Kloppenberg

The School of Law has renamed its Public Interest Award, which supports students involved in pro bono work, in honor of Dean Lisa Kloppenberg, who after 10 years is stepping as dean of Dayton Law at the end of June 2011.

The newly named Lisa A. Kloppenberg Public Interest Award, which come in the form of stipends, helps support unpaid summer internships of law students working in public interest law. Without these stipends, many students would lack the financial resources to devote a summer of service.

An endowment account for the Kloppenberg Public Interest Award has been established, ensuring that future funds will be available in perpetuity. Alumni, friends, faculty and staff of the School of Law have contributed to this effort.

If you would like to contribute to the award, contact the School of Law at 937-229-3793, or Deborah Adler, director of development, at 937-229-4764 or by e-mail.

The Public Interest Award was originally created in 2008 to assist students offering legal services available to poor and marginalized members of society. Recipients must work for a federal, state, or local government agency or provide legal services through a not-for-profit community organization.

Students have served numerous organizations, including Legal Aid, Advocates for Basic Legal Equity, Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Ohio Legal Rights Services, the Court Appointed Special Advocates Program, the NAACP, Dayton Catholic elementary schools, the Office of the Ohio Public Defender and the Montgomery County Public Defender's Office. Their clients have included children, the elderly, the disabled and the poor.

During her tenure as Dean, Kloppenberg has contributed to the life of the University of Dayton School of Law in countless ways, but she especially focused on the importance of service and assisting the most vulnerable members of society.

Tim Stonecash, assistant dean for external relations, noted that service to the community is at the heart of Dayton Law's Marianist Charism.

"We could think of no more fitting tribute than to name this award after Dean Kloppenberg since it captures her spirit so well," he said.

As dean, Kloppenberg embraced the notion that Dayton Law students and alumni should be problem solvers for their communities as well as their clients and that they should aspire to be true servant leaders in the Marianist tradition. She sought to create more opportunities for pro bono service and to encourage and recognize such service.

In addition to the Public Interest Award, the School of Law now recognizes students who contribute 50 hours of community service and pro bono work. Thanks in large part to Kloppenberg's efforts, the Class of 2011 alone has donated more than 11,000 hours of service to those in need around the United States.