Lu Jiang, '12, Establishes Equal Justice Endowment
Lu Jiang, Class of 2012, Establishes Equal Justice Endowment
In 2012, Lu Jiang completed her education at the University of North Dakota School of Law armed with a practice-ready degree to begin her legal career. A short five years later she is giving back by providing a generous gift, along with a corporate match, for the establishment of the Equal Justice Endowment through the UND Foundation.
“When you have the ability to give, I think you should give what you can,” said Jiang. “An endowment provides the longevity and the continuity of it making a consistent gift forever.” Jiang coupled her gift with a matching gift from her employer, a non-profit organization, to help complete the endowment.
She established the endowment to provide support for the Clinical Education Program and experiential learning. Despite recent news of the Clinical Education Program being put on hold for the next two years due to budget cuts, Jiang remains committed to ensure the money in the endowment will remain accessible when the clinic resumes operation.
Jiang grew up in a non-diverse neighborhood, she experienced discrimination and bullying as an immigrant. Through these hardships, Jiang solidified her will to become a lawyer. “I am not going to let someone who thinks they have power over someone else to act in a disrespectful and discriminatory way,” said Jiang.
While in law school, Jiang competed in mock trial competitions, and earned several scholarships to help offset the costs of her education. However, it was through her work with the Clinical Education Program she realized the passion instilled in her as a young child to help those without a voice or necessary resources.
Through her two semesters as a student attorney in the Clinical Education Program, Jiang had some profound experiential learning opportunities through representing real clients. One client stood out as why her work was so important. Jiang represented a client who was discriminated against at work, didn’t speak English, and lacked the resources to get help. “The client was absolutely wronged, and deserved full remedy under the law, yet she had no resources to advocate for herself. The clinic was her last resort,” said Jiang. “The Clinical Education Program is immensely valuable because it takes you outside of a text book and pushes you to apply what you’ve learned in a real life setting, and propels you to take the wheel and direct the course of the case.”
She credits Professor Margaret Moore Jackson and former Professor Robin Runge with teaching students to problem solve. “We were asked to conduct legal research, find viable legal solutions, devise a strategy, execute the strategy, and debrief,” said Jiang. “The skills and experiences from the Clinical Education Program taught me the importance of accountability in representing clients; honed my practical skills; offered me a competitive edge in the job market, and helped prepare me for my legal practice.”
“It is unfortunate the latest budget cut forces the Clinical Education Program to be put on hold for the next two years. I remain absolutely committed to ensure that this endowment, and all subsequent donations will become available when the Clinical Education Program reopens,” said Jiang. “I refuse to give up, I have not given up, and I will never give up. I hope other alums will join me in this movement to keep valuable programs available for future generations of students by donating to this endowment and/or creating lasting gifts independently.”