Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Planned Giving - An Alum's Perspective

Don Gallagher '58

Attorney, Entrepreneur, Sailor, Pilot, Travel Guide, Philanthropist

A full life and a full plate.

Don Gallagher

Don Gallagher has always thrived on taking action and staying active. As a young Southwestern graduate, he established a successful law practice, eventually becoming the busiest domestic relations attorney in Los Angeles County and playing a key role in the drafting of California's landmark "no-fault" divorce law. He then moved into real estate law, developing a large clientele of the major savings and loan corporations in southern California, and established a real estate syndicate of his own. Among his properties were two airport facilities, and by then, he had earned his commercial pilot's license in addition to being an award-winning sailor. In the 1980s, Don branched out into importing and manufacturing a variety of artists' supplies and other consumer and industrial products and developed a close relationship with Chinese trading companies and manufacturers. It wasn't long before he was leading regular customized trade tours to the far reaches of the Asian continent.

Don's secret for success is simply to "be honest, work hard, and gain more knowledge about what you are doing than anyone else." He also attributes much of his achievements to his legal education, which he explains "gives you the ability to talk to people from all walks of life - and to 'cut to the chase.'" That feeling of appreciation and pride in his alma mater has prompted Don to provide for Southwestern in his estate plans.

He says, "By including Southwestern in my estate plans, I know I will be making a difference in the lives of deserving students into the future. I benefited tremendously from my legal education for which I am very grateful, and this is a wonderful way to 'pay it forward.'"

For Don Gallagher, including Southwestern in his estate plans was a natural extension of his career and legacy.