St. Thomas University law school honor for Crump is first for practicing Black attorney

Attorney Benjamin Crump was honored by FAMU 14 months ago with an honorary degree.
Photo by Glenn Beil/FAMU office of Communications

Special to the Outlook

MIAMI GARDENS — St. Thomas University in Miami became the first law school in the country to name its College of Law in honor of a practicing Black attorney.

As of last Wednesday, the St. Thomas University College of law became known as the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law. Crump, a Tallahassee resident, also received an honorary doctorate of law degree from Florida A&M University in 2021.

The only other law school in the country named for a Black person is named after Attorney Crump’s personal hero, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

“The naming of the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law at St. Thomas University is the latest step in an effort to encourage bridge-building among the legal profession, law enforcement, and our communities,” said David A. Armstrong,  President of St. Thomas University. “Ben and I couldn’t be more different politically, but we share a passion for justice, and the hope that by working together, we can continue to drive meaningful change.

“Our faith in God, and our belief in the tenets laid out by our founding fathers in the US Constitution, enable us to go beyond race and politics, and focus on the work necessary to truly make the United States the home of the free, and the brave.”

Crump chose to partner with St. Thomas University and its College of Law, in part, because it is situated in a global city that is replete with ethnic and racial diversity. Also, STU is one of the country’s most diverse law schools. It was ranked No. 1 “Greatest Resources for Minority Students” in the 2022 and 2023 Princeton Review Best Law Schools’ rankings, and pre-Law Magazine rated it among the top-10 Best Schools for Racial Justice (2022) in the United States.

“It is a privilege to be a part of the St. Thomas University legacy through the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law,” said Crump. “We have come such a long way in the journey to equality, but we are not there yet. The future change-makers and civil justice leaders that will matriculate from St. Thomas will soon be passed the torch from today’s civil rights icons and I have every confidence that they will meet the moment.”

Eighty-three percent of the school’s graduates are employed or pursue an advanced degree within 10 months following their graduation. Significantly, the College of Law maintains a deep commitment to serving “the poor and most vulnerable,” exhibited by its pro bono Immigration and Tax Clinics, as well as its globally renowned John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Institute.

St. Thomas University and Crump hold a deep confidence in the power of education to transform lives, and believe that when we educate young people, we help create within them the leadership capacity to drive change.

“As we celebrate Black History Month,” the university sais in a statement, “we endeavor to inspire and compel others to join us in our mission of educating not only young lawyers, but also of hosting vital conversations that promote shared understandings and create change at the local, national, and global levels.”

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