With latest gift, Jay Furman ’71 establishes a new public policy scholarship program

Jay Furman '71
Backed by a gift of $7 million, the Law School is announcing the formation of the Furman Public Policy Scholarship Program, which will provide three-year, full-tuition scholarships, as well as programmatic support and training during academic terms and summers during law school, to exceptional JD students interested in pursuing careers in public policy.

The new program is the product of the vision of one of the Law School’s most generous benefactors, Jay Furman ’71. Evidence of Furman’s transformative giving is pervasive: Furman Hall, which, when it opened in 2004, nearly doubled the Law School’s academic space; the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, a prominent and highly influential research institution, which in 2012 received a prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions; and the Furman Academic Scholars Program, a springboard for talented law students who seek to become legal academics, which has seen many of its graduates secure coveted Supreme Court clerkships and teaching positions at leading law schools across the country. Other contributions by Furman have supported a death penalty program fellowship, the Center on Law and Security, and more. He is a trustee of the Law School, the University, and the NYU Langone Medical Center.

The Furman Public Policy Scholarship Program deepens the Law School’s already strong commitment to public service, and recognizes the central role that lawyers can play in addressing the most pressing public policy issues of our time. “I wanted to establish a program that will advance the public good by producing lawyers who will make a meaningful difference in the quality and effectiveness of policymaking across a range of areas,” says Furman. “With its outstanding students, engaged faculty, and longstanding dedication to the needs of our society, NYU Law is the ideal home for this program.”

Within a few years of its launch, the Furman Public Policy Scholarship Program will support up to 14 students at any given time, and Furman says he hopes it will expand through additional fundraising. The program will complement NYU Law’s existing public service and public policy infrastructure, including the Root-Tilden-Kern Program, the Guarini Leaders in Government Service Institute, created by former U.S. Representative Frank J. Guarini ’50 (LL.M. ’55), and the newly established Legislative and Regulatory Process Clinic, based in Washington, DC.

“Jay Furman is a true visionary and among the most strategically influential of all our donors,” says NYU Law Dean Trevor Morrison. “An NYU Law education equips students with vital skills in critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and problem solving. These skills prepare graduates not only to practice law at the highest levels in all sectors, but also to work in a broad range of fields, including as government policymakers. By taking the cost of law school out of the calculus for those considering such a path, Jay’s underwriting of this new program will help us produce the next generation of leaders in this area. We are enormously grateful.”

Posted November 8, 2013