The largest philanthropic gift in the history of the University of Minnesota Law School will fund the newly named James H. Binger Center for New Americans.
The $25 million gift from the Robina Foundation will also establish a professorship in clinical law and provide scholarships for students.
The James H. Binger Center for New Americans will now have permanent financial support. The center brings about transformative change by creating a national model for the provision of comprehensive and cohesive legal services for immigrant communities through a variety of means, including improving federal immigration law and policy through impact litigation; protecting detainee rights and improving access to legal representation for refugees and immigrants; educating noncitizens about their legal rights; creating dynamic and comprehensive immigration clinics for students; and collaborating with others on immigration issues.
“There are very few issues as pressing today in Minnesota and around the nation as the legal and public policies about — and the fate of — our immigrant and refugee communities,” said University President Eric Kaler.
During its four-year pilot program — supported by the Robina Foundation — the center won a landmark case at the U.S. Supreme Court; won political asylum for clients from around the world; and won release for detained immigrants in Minnesota.>
The center works with three law firm partners (Dorsey and Whitney, Faegre Baker Daniels, and Robins Kaplan) and three nonprofit partners (the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, and The Advocates for Human Rights).
The vast majority of the gift is directed toward the endowment of the center, while $1 million will fund the James H. Binger Professorship in Clinical Law and $500,000 will support student scholarships.
The Robina Foundation is a Minnesota-based private grant-making foundation that seeks to positively impact critical social issues by encouraging innovation and financially supporting transformative projects of its four institutional partners.