University of Miami School of Law Receives $1M Gift from Leading Trial and Appellate Law Firms


Lance Harke, Peter Prieto, Steven Marks, President Julio Frenk, Dean Patricia D. White, Aaron Podhurst, Adam Moskowitz, Detra Shaw-Wilder

Three leading Miami trial, appellate, and class action law firms Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, Podhurst Orseck, and Harke Clasby & Bushman LLP have together committed $1 million to the University of Miami School of Law to support merit-based scholarships, an endowed fellowship, and a fund that establishes an annual forum on Class Action and Complex Litigation.

“It is a real honor for Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton to be able to help so many upcoming law students at our alma mater, and advance and improve the study of class action litigation,” said Adam Moskowitz, chairman of the class action practice at Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton. Moskowitz has served as an adjunct professor in Class Action Litigation at UM School of Law for 20 years. “The University of Miami School of Law will now be at the nations’ epicenter for advancing the study of class action litigation, and the UM Annual Class Action Forum held during Art Basel, will bring together legal, political and academic leaders from across the country to help the public better utilize and understand class actions.”      

The scholarships will provide important funding for the recruitment and retention of exemplary students who have demonstrated a significant role in public service.
Leading scholars, practitioners, and judges from across the country will be brought together each year in a forum to discuss current research and cutting-edge topics in class action and complex litigation. The first annual forum will be held in December of 2016.

The Class Action & Complex Litigation Endowed Fellowship, also funded by the donation, will support a student each year who has shown a commitment to the study and practice of the same.

"This scholarship will provide today’s law students with novel resources to apply real world thinking to tomorrow’s most complex legal challenges while also helping to attract and retain the brightest minds in our community,” said Podhurst Orseck managing partner Steven C. Marks. “The University of Miami School of Law holds a special place in many of our hearts, and the entire firm is committed to its continued success. As alumni, former classmates and present day partners, Peter Prieto and I see this as a unique opportunity to give back, particularly in our practice areas of class action litigation and mass torts.”

The gift represents an inventive approach to thinking about class action and complex litigation, in keeping with UM President Julio Frenk’s commitment to being a relevant university that bridges complex challenges from scholarship to solutions.

"Every lawyer at HCB is a proud graduate of the University of Miami School of Law," said Lance Harke, managing partner of the AV-Preeminent rated complex commercial litigation boutique, Harke Clasby & Bushman. "We are forever grateful and overjoyed to be able to give back to an institution that has meant so much to us personally as well as this community and our region as a whole."

Miami Law Dean Patricia D. White is deeply thankful to the three firms for their gift. “Coming together as a consortium to make the largest impact possible is a symbol of their commitment to innovative problem-solving,” she said.