Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

October 07, 2014
Business and Community Leader Lauren Leichtman '77 Creates Historic Scholarship Fund at Southwestern Law School

Southwestern trustee Lauren B. Leichtman '77, and her husband, Arthur E. Levine, co-founders of Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP), have established the Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Family Foundation Scholarship Endowment Fund at Southwestern with a pledge of $1 million.


The new fund will provide financial assistance for outstanding students with a demonstrated interest in business, finance and entrepreneurship. In addition to receiving financial support, the students selected for this award will be assigned a mentor at Levine Leichtman Capital Partners and may be offered an internship opportunity with the company.

In announcing the unprecedented gift, Tom Hoberman ‘75, Chair of the Southwestern Board of Trustees said, “This is the largest single gift to establish a scholarship in Southwestern’s history. We are truly grateful to Ms. Leichtman and Mr. Levine for their exceptional generosity, which underscores the thoughtful nature of Ms. Leichtman’s leadership on the Southwestern board and her extraordinary commitment to the law school.

"The establishment of the Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Family Foundation Scholarship Endowment Fund comes at such an important time for Southwestern and for our students who aspire to careers in the business world."

- Dean Susan Westerberg Prager

“By crafting this scholarship and mentorship program to recognize students who excel in business and finance, Lauren Leichtman and Arthur Levine are providing a wonderful incentive for our students to develop their knowledge and practical skills in these areas,” Dean Susan Westerberg Prager said. “Their vision will also encourage our corporate faculty and help strengthen our curriculum as well as our partnership with The Drucker School.” Southwestern offers more than 30 business-related courses and numerous externship placements, as well as a concurrent JD/MBA degree with the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management of Claremont Graduate University that was launched in 2009.

“Southwestern Law School gave me an opportunity to develop as a professional,” Ms. Leichtman explained. “My JD degree has contributed meaningfully to my career achievements. Arthur and I are pleased to be able to give back to the institution that has had such an important effect on my life.”

A prominent philanthropist and highly respected member of the investment community, Ms. Leichtman has served as a trustee of Southwestern since 2006. She has remained close to Southwestern throughout a career that has taken her from the legal division of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to a founding principal of a multi-billion dollar private equity firm.

After nearly a decade as a litigator, including three years with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Leichtman joined her husband in establishing Levine Leichtman Capital Partners in 1984. The company invests in and manages in excess of $7 billion in institutional investment capital through private equity partnerships on behalf of state and corporate pension funds, insurance companies, high net worth individuals, family foundations and endowments. In addition to planning the strategic direction of the firm, Ms. Leichtman's activities as Chief Executive Officer include deal origination, investment due diligence, negotiation of transactions and institutional fund raising. She is one of the pioneering women in the field.

Ms. Leichtman is also a tireless community leader in Los Angeles and has served as chair or member of the boards of the Los Angeles Opera, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women's Health Center, Aviva Family and Children's Services, Legal Momentum and the Wallis Annenberg Cultural Center, among other entities. She is also a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Music Center. She has been honored many times for her efforts, most recently by the Israel Cancer Research Fund and Legal Momentum.

A Los Angeles native, Ms. Leichtman earned her B.A. degree in psychology at California State University, Northridge. In addition to completing her J.D. degree at Southwestern and becoming a member of the California Bar in 1977, she earned an LL.M. degree in securities law at Columbia University. She has remained active with her alma maters, particularly at Southwestern where, in addition to serving on the board, she has been a long-time member of the Dean's Circle, has served as a volunteer judge for moot court and as a guest speaker, and provided a leadership gift to fund the restoration of the historic Cactus Lounge of Southwestern’s iconic Bullocks Wilshire building.  Ms. Leichtman was honored by the Southwestern Alumni Association as Alumna of the Year in 2006.

Dean Prager said, “In addition to setting a precedent for scholarship funds of this magnitude, it will provide even more than much needed financial awards and precious advice to student recipients. A gift that comes from outstanding individuals who are so well regarded in their field and who know Southwestern intimately is truly invaluable.  As Southwestern’s new Dean, I look forward to the kind of thoughtful guidance and support that Lauren Leichtman and Arthur Levine have provided this very special law school for many years.”