By Nyam Daniel
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump and St. Thomas University College of Law have launched an initiative to prepare new and diverse lawyers to lead the fight for justice.
The Benjamin L. Crump Center for Social Justice at the St. Thomas University College of Law received a kick start with $1 million from the Truist Financial Corporation. St. Thomas University has created a $35 million campaign to support the efforts.
Crump is known for representing the families of #TrayvonMartin, #GeorgeFloyd and #BreonnaTaylor. The center currently supports an incubator program for new lawyers establishing themselves in the field. It has expanded pro bono service placements and created need-based scholarships. Black men make up the smallest cohort of law school students across all law schools, according to St. Thomas University College of Law.
“I believe America can be a country that lives up to its ideals, if we work for it,” Crump said. “Lawyers can be the social engineers, using the tools found in the Constitution, to expose the nature and depth of injustices — and to eliminate these injustices through education and advocacy. This center will serve as a pipeline for historically marginalized students to get their law degrees and give back to society, following the legacy of my personal hero, Thurgood Marshall.”