A recent $1 million gift to The University of Texas School of Law from Richard and Virginia “Ginni” Mithoff of Houston will support the school’s Pro Bono Program. The gift brings the Mithoffs’ total contributions to the program to $2 million.
By participating in the Pro Bono Program, students increase access to justice and build their professional skills by assisting individuals and communities in need.The program will be renamed the Richard and Ginni Mithoff Pro Bono Program to acknowledge the donors who first supported it with an initial $1 million gift at its founding five years ago.
The Mithoffs’ recent donation will increase the endowment for the program.Richard Mithoff earned his J.D. from the School of Law in 1971.
“Richard Mithoff is one of the greatest lawyers in America, and he and his wife, Ginni, are two of the state’s most dedicated and generous philanthropists,” said Ward Farnsworth, dean of the School of Law. “We are deeply fortunate to have their support of our Pro Bono Program; the endowment they are creating to support its work will make an important difference in the lives of thousands of people for many years to come. Having the Mithoff name on the program does honor to their commitments and will be a constant source of pride and inspiration for everyone here at the Law School.”
Since 2009, the Pro Bono Program has grown to include full-time staffers and student scholars. It engages an increasing number of students, faculty members and alumni each year in pro bono work and offers service projects and legal clinics that help hundreds of people across the state.The expanded endowment for the program will allow it to serve more low-income clients, involve more students and instill in School of Law graduates a commitment to pro bono work that will continue throughout their careers.
The Pro Bono Program is a project of the school’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law. As a former law clerk for U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice, Mithoff was also an early supporter of the Justice Center.
“The Pro Bono Program at the Texas School of Law is one of the finest pro bono programs in the country,” Richard Mithoff said. “Ginni and I are honored to be a part of this program, which not only provides outstanding training to our law students and future lawyers, but also provides very valuable legal assistance to those most in need. We are very proud of the overwhelming participation by students and faculty.”
Before graduating from the School of Law, Richard Mithoff received his bachelor of business administration from UT Austin. In 1974 he went into practice with legendary trial attorney and 1952 School of Law alumnus Joe Jamail. In 2005, he established the Mithoff Law Firm, which is focused on general civil litigation.He currently serves on the University of Texas Law School Foundation and has endowed a series of scholarships at his alma mater, including a Presidential Scholarship in law for educationally, socially and culturally disadvantaged students.Ginni Mithoff received her B.S. in elementary education from UT Austin and serves on the University of Texas Development Board and the University of Texas Health Science Center Development Board.
“I’m delighted the UT law school’s Pro Bono Program is being named for Richard and Ginni Mithoff,” said University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers, who is also a former dean of the School of Law. “Increasing access to justice by serving those in need is an important value we need to instill in every UT law student. Through the Mithoffs’ generosity, we can now do that even better.”