CRRJ06.04.20 — As the nation yet again faces a crisis steeped in historical racism and the deep social and economic inequities pervading society, the law firm Todd & Weld LLP has stepped forward with a $25,000 gift to Northeastern University School of Law’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ). CRRJ is a pathbreaking national leader in investigating and archiving acts of racial terror in the South between 1930 and the 1970s. Since its founding a decade ago, faculty and law students have identified more than 2,000 racial homicide cases in 15 Southern and border states due to racial violence at the hands of police and private actors. 

“This generous gift from Todd & Weld in honor of the life of George Floyd will go to travel expenses for our students,” said Professor Margaret Burnham, founder and director of CRRJ. “A Todd & Weld associate and NUSL alumna, Tara Dunn, journeyed to Georgia four times to pursue her case, the killing of a black man in police custody in Georgia in 1948. Tara’s work as a CRRJ student led the county’s current police chief to apologize publicly to the family of the victim in that case. This gift will make it possible for students like Tara to conduct field investigations and pursue restorative measures.”

“Todd & Weld is grateful to Northeastern Law, CRRJ and Professor Margaret Burnham for the important work that they do in the area of restorative justice,” said Howard Cooper, a founding partner of the firm. “As lawyers, we want to be unrelenting in our efforts to do what we can to combat generations of institutional racism. CRRJ pushes all of us to recognize that there are real people, with real families, in real communities who have lost their lives in horrific circumstances for generations. Just saying their names out loud is a critical step which CRRJ helps us all take.”

“Lawyers have a critical and unique role to play as our country navigates these difficulties, for we understand two things: that democracy is a fragile thing, and that while law can offer a shield against inequality it can also obscure the patterns and practices of racism that have long plagued America,” said Burnham. “These unresolved cases cast a long shadow over our legal system. With the support of colleagues at Todd & Weld and others, we unearth them to correct the historical record and to provide the basis for recognition and redress.”

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences. All students participate in full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 1,500 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.

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