Top Lawyer And Wife Donate $5M To Columbia Law School

Microsoft’s Top Lawyer And Wife Donate $5 Million To Columbia Law School

Microsoft president Brad Smith, who oversees the company’s legal affairs, and his wife Kathy Surace-Smith, who serves as senior vice president at biotechnology company NanoString, have donated $5 million to endow the human rights clinic at their former university, Columbia Law School. 

In honour of the Smith’s donation, Columbia Law School has renamed its clinic the Smith Family Human Rights Clinic. 

The Smiths’ $5 million donation marks their second financial gift to the university. Back in 2017, the couple donated $1.25 million to the School’s human rights clinic.

Columbia Law School is a national and global leader in human rights law,” Smith commented. “It became apparent that a larger gift—and an endowment—would create a long-term, sustainable foundation for the Human Rights Clinic not only to continue but to grow.”

The enthusiasm of the students, the excitement in their voices, the passion they had—we felt this was a really important contribution we could make,” Surace-Smith said.

The clinic’s students take on social justice advocacy projects that aim to tackle economic and political inequality, environmental injustice, and poverty.  Recent projects include safeguarding freedom of expression and conducting trial monitoring in Southeast Asia as well as promoting access to sanitation in the United States’ rural regions.

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