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LOS ANGELES � The University of California, Irvine Donald Bren School of Law has raised $23.5 million from individual donors, which include many local lawyers and law firms. U.C. Irvine’s law school plans to open its doors by fall 2009. Two dozen donors have given financially to U.C. Irvine as of Jan. 15. The largest gift, at $20 million, came from billionaire and local philanthropist Donald Bren, the namesake of the school. Another $1 million each came from the Joan Irvine Smith & Athalie R. Clarke Foundation and Mark Robinson, founder and senior partner of Robinson, Calcagnie & Robinson in Newport Beach, Calif. J. Craig Williams and Lisa Chester of the Williams Lindberg Law Firm in Newport Beach, gave $150,000. Williams, an environmental litigation attorney, is a lecturer at U.C. Irvine on law involving toxic materials. Among the 13 donors that gave $100,000, all but one were lawyers or law firms. National firms that gave $100,000 were Jones Day (through its foundation); Latham & Watkins; O’Melveny & Myers; Morrison & Foerster; and Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis. Thomas Malcolm, a partner in the Irvine office of Jones Day, is a member of the advisory committee to Erwin Chemerinsky, who was hired last fall to become the dean of the Donald Bren School of Law. Chemerinsky officially starts on July 1. Three Los Angeles-based firms gave to U.C. Irvine: Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; and Irell & Manella. Snell & Wilmer, a Southwest regional firm, gave $100,000. All the firms listed have offices in Orange County, Calif. Locally, Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear and Payne & Fears, both based in Irvine, each gave $100,000. Anne Andrews, name partner of Andrews & Thornton, which is based in Irvine, also gave $100,000. DecisionQuest Inc., a Los Angeles-based trial consulting firm, is the only nonlaw firm or lawyer that gave $100,000. Los Angeles-based Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, which has an office in Costa Mesa, Calif., gave $30,000; Winthrop Couchot, a bankruptcy firm based in Newport Beach, gave $25,000; Dorsey & Whitney, which has an Irvine office, gave $17,500; and the Law Office of Michael Fields gave $1,000.

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