Emory Report

June 14, 1999

 Volume 51, No. 33

Law school establishes Sam Nunn ethics chair with $2.5 million DuPont settlement

The School of Law will use income from a $2.5 million settlement involving DuPont Co. to establish a faculty chair in ethics and professionalism, student fellowships for professional service and a series of colloquia on the profession of law, all named in honor of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, an alumnus of the school.

Earlier this year DuPont settled a lawsuit alleging the chemical corporation withheld evidence during a 1993 civil case. U.S. District Court Judge Hugh Lawson of Columbus, seeking to make a statement about the importance of legal ethics, devised an unusual solution. Under the agreement, which also halted a federal criminal investigation, DuPont paid a total of $11 million--$2.5 million to each of Georgia's four law schools, plus $1 million to establish an annual symposium.

Law school Dean Woody Hunter said Emory will do its best to see the judge's intentions are brought to fruition. "Our goal is to put the income to the most effective and efficient uses that are consistent with the mission of the law school and the settlement agreement," he said.

The Sam Nunn Chair in Ethics and Professionalism will support the permanent appointment of a distinguished professor who teaches and writes in the area of legal ethics and professionalism, Hunter explained. The holder of the chair also will participate in the annual programs on ethics and professionalism supported by the separate $1 million endowment to be shared among the four schools.

The Sam Nunn Fellowships for Professional Service are designed to encourage students to take leadership roles in professional service. They will be awarded to students nearing graduation who have demonstrated a serious commitment to working in public service, whether in government or other agencies. The fellowships, granted as either summer stipends or scholarships, "will demonstrate in a concrete way our commitment to training servant leaders, one of the most outstanding of them having been Senator Nunn," Hunter said.

The Sam Nunn Colloquia on the Profession of Law will consist of series of workshops and discussions on the nature of law as a profession. "These sessions will bring to campus some of the brightest minds in the academy and the profession who will meet informally with students and faculty and present a paper or lead a discussion," Hunter said. "The colloquia will be a source of new ideas for students and faculty and will encourage ongoing conversation about the many dimensions of legal practice."

Deans of the four law schools included in the settlement--Emory, Georgia State University, Mercer University and the University of Georgia--have agreed that the annual conference/workshop on professionalism and ethics will focus on connections between the legal academy and the practicing bar, Hunter said. The conference will be hosted on a rotating basis by each of the four schools.

--Elaine Justice

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