Explaining Southern California's economy

The law school money machine, UCLA, and Lowell Milken

We recently did an AirTalk segment about a controversial $10 million gift to the UCLA School of Law from Lowell Milken, brother of disgraced junk-bond king Michael. The Milken boys have both been barred from the securities industry for their sins in the 1980s when they labored for defunct investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert. 

For his part, Lowell Milken, a UCLA Law grad, was never convicted of any wrongdoing and has been engaged in various philanthropic activities over the time since. At UCLA, his gift would be used to establish an Institute for Business Law and Policy, a move that has riled Lynn Stout, a tenured business law professor at the school. 

Right and wrong and money

This is a pretty good example of the perfect ethical storm that underfunded state law schools can face. UCLA, as the university itself pointed out in the press release announcing the endowment campaign in 2008, is both the youngest top 20 law school in the country – and among the most under-endowed.