As Brown University’s general counsel for 38 years, Beverly Ledbetter (’72) knows that students sometimes need a little extra financial help. To support this need, Ledbetter helped create the Law Student Emergency Needs Fund, which provides modest grants to students in financial binds during law school or while transitioning into careers.
Such a fund had long been on the wish list of Whiting Leary (’96), senior assistant dean for student affairs. “When Boulder was flooded in 2013, we realized that students need extra support when the unexpected occurs,” Leary said. “During the flooding, Colorado Law students lost housing, books, clothes. We needed some emergency funds, and I am truly grateful to Beverly for creating the Emergency Needs Fund. I hope her leadership inspires others to donate because this is an ongoing need.”
Leary recently utilized the Emergency Needs Fund to help a law student repair his car and cover some basic needs. “This student isn’t from a wealthy family, and is dedicated to helping those who are less fortunate,” Leary said. “Doing volunteer work for the Office of the Public Defender, he often needed to get to court on short notice, when there was no time for public transportation. With a grant from the Emergency Needs Fund, he was able to get his car fixed and get to court on time.”
Ledbetter hopes this fund will not only provide much-needed support to students facing financial emergencies, but will also instill in them the spirit of philanthropy. “I like the idea of helping students when they really need it,” Ledbetter said. “Through this, we are also teaching them to do the same when they are able.”