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Donation from GW Law alumnus to fund free speech, First Amendment law professorship

File Photo by Elissa Detellis | Staff Photographer
The course will explore how lawyers solve conflicts between different countries in a variety of contexts, like bankruptcy and national court litigation.

A GW Law alumnus donated $4.5 million Monday to support free speech and First Amendment law education at the law school.

The donation – provided by Bobby Burchfield, who also teaches as a professional lecturer of law – will fund the creation of a new professorship and the recruitment of a scholar with national recognition to teach the concentration. Burchfield endowed the professorship through the Burchfield Family Charitable Foundation – the largest donation the foundation has ever made in its more than 15-year history, according to a University release.

“I have been very fortunate, and I gained so much in law school,” Burchfield said in the release. “I got a great education, made life-long friends and have been able to practice with some of the best and brightest lawyers of my time.”

Burchfield, who received his doctorate degree from the law school in 1979, said attending the school was “one of the best decisions” he’s ever made.

Burchfield, who served as the editor in chief of the GW Law Review during his time at the University and delivered the address at the 2015 Law Commencement, according to the University release.

GW Law Dean Dayna Matthew said that the donation is a “game-changer” that will attract free speech experts to the law school in a move to strengthen the scholarship of its First Amendment law program.

“This is a transformative gift that will have a profound and enduring influence not only on GW Law but also on the national First Amendment discourse,” Matthew said in the release. “It serves as an example to others who wish to invest in attracting highly distinguished scholars to the GW Law faculty.”

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About the Contributor
Grace Chinowsky, Editor in Chief
Grace Chinowsky, a junior majoring in journalism and mass communication from Seattle, Washington, is the 2024-25 editor in chief of The Hatchet. She previously served as The Hatchet's senior news editor and the assistant news editor for the Metro beat.
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