The University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law has received its largest donation on record — $1 million to support its legal clinic.

Students in the clinic represent clients seeking protective orders, in housing cases and in divorce proceedings. The donation will create a permanent endowment for the clinic, which was founded in 2009.

The gift came from Sue Ellen Ackerson, a 1955 graduate of the university’s business school, and her family. Her late husband Robert Ackerson graduated from the law school in 1958 and went on to found the Ackerson & Yann law firm, which still operates in Louisville. The clinic will be renamed The Robert and Sue Ellen Ackerson Law Clinic.

“We wanted to do something to help both the law school and the community as well as show both Bob’s and my appreciation for all the university has meant to our family,” Ackerson said.

The clinic, which works closely with the Legal Aid Society, has handled more than 500 cases since its inception. It operates from the Legal Aid Society’s downtown Louisville building. Nearly 50 law students have participated thus far.

“This gift is truly powerful because it helps some of the most underserved people in our community,” said university president James Ramsey. “We are grateful to the Ackersons for ensuring that the law clinic will be funded well into the future.”

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