Scholarship Established in Memory of 'Clear Thinker' Richard Lapidus, JD '61


Law students who demonstrate interest and ability in the field of litigation may be able to benefit from a scholarship established by friends and relatives of Miami Law alumnus Richard L. Lapidus. A passionate trial and appellate lawyer who graduated from Miami Law in 1961, Lapidus died in February this year.

The Richard L. Lapidus Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund will be awarded to a student who has excelled in the Litigation Skills program and demonstrated a clear understanding of legal ethics.

Before delving into a legal career, Lapidus co-founded Miami's first classical music radio station, WAFM, for which he climbed atop the Congress Building downtown to install an antenna. He was then hired at the law firm Stone & Bittel before working for Judge Irving Cypen. He opened his own firm in 1964 and over the years practiced with various partners.

Known as a tenacious lawyer, he was always prepared, passionate about his cases and fiercely competitive. Outside the courtroom, he was an environmentalist and a true renaissance man. An avid scuba diver, he was one of the pioneering divers of the Red Sea. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, becoming commander of his flotilla. A lifetime runner, he ran four marathons.

"So many lawyers called on him for off-the-cuff advice, with which he was incredibly generous and usually spot-on," said Wendy Lapidus, his widow. "That was his brilliance. The creativity came through in the expressions of the interns and young associates who relayed tales of being sent off to do a memo of law. Then when they had it done, he would ask them to do another one on the same issue from an entirely different perspective that he had thought of. He was always looking for the best, most solid points. He was an incredibly fast, clear thinker. So many lawyers tell me how much they miss that mind with which he was always so generous."

To make a gift to the Richard L. Lapidus Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund, click here.