Rutgers Law receives $6.5M gift honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Women’s Rights Clinic

Rutgers Law School received $6.5 million from the Stephanie and Harold Krieger Charitable Trust, the second-largest gift in the school’s history. Of the donation, $5.5 million will be used to establish the new Ruth Bader Ginsburg Women’s Rights and Gender Justice Clinic.

The gift also creates the Stephanie and Harold Krieger Memorial Endowed Scholarship with a $1 million endowment. This will provide major scholarships for three law students in Newark. Preference will be given to first-generation college students in good academic standing with demonstrated financial need.

The clinic’s mission will be to advance gender equity through direct representation, impact litigation and legislative work; educate a new generation of students to continue the fight for gender equity; and expand the reach of Rutgers’ nationally ranked clinical programs with a distinct women’s and gender rights clinic.

Rutgers Law School Dean Johanna Bond announced the gift last week at a formal unveiling of the U.S. Postal Service’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg stamp. The celebration took place at Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall on Rutgers University – Newark’s campus.

“This gift will reestablish and expand the former Women’s Rights Litigation Clinic, which the justice founded here in the early 1970s and which accomplished groundbreaking law reform until it ceased operation in the early 2000s,” Bond said.

Harold Kreiger graduated from New Jersey Law School, the predecessor of Rutgers Law, in 1929. He had an active practice that spanned labor law, workers’ compensation, criminal law and municipal law. During his lengthy career of private and public practice in Jersey City, he served as municipal judge, assistant corporation counsel, counsel to the Redevelopment Agency and the Parking Authority, and Hudson County counsel. In later years, he served as commissioner of the Tri-State Regional Planning Commission.

Kreiger’s will provided that, upon the passing of his wife, Stephanie, a charitable trust would be created and directed by the named trustee, Brett S. Harwood, a longtime family friend. Before Stephanie’s passing, Harwood received her full endorsement of the new clinic’s funding and scholarship fund.

“The fight goes on. The legacy goes on,” Harwood stated. “We’re creating the funds to create a long-lasting legacy to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and it pleases me very, very much to be able to facilitate this.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall, built in 1929, was named in her honor in 2020. The neoclassical skyscraper was home to the law school from 1975 to 1999 and now features a residential facility for students and event space.

Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor said, “Standing here, in a building named for our beloved Justice Ginsburg, on a campus where she herself found inspiration, I find inspiration, too; to keep fighting for justice with our faculty, our staff, our students who are incredibly inspiring in their own right.”

A revered champion of civil rights, Ginsburg served on the Supreme Court from 1993 until her death in 2020. During her time on the court, she issued many opinions that advanced equal rights for women and credited her time at Rutgers Law as inspiration for her work. She taught at Rutgers Law School in Newark from 1963 to 1972, becoming one of only two women law professors at Rutgers and one of just a handful in the nation. She led a seminar on women and the law and served as the founding faculty adviser for the Women’s Rights Law Reporter. The journal is now the oldest legal periodical in the U.S. focusing exclusively on the field of women’s rights law.