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CONTACT: MARK WUNDER
Director of Development
UI College of Law
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973

Release: April 6, 2000

$250,000 gift to UI law school will bring students before Iowa Supreme Court

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A $250,000 gift to the University of Iowa College of Law and the UI Law School Foundation will help UI law students sharpen their advocacy skills in a competition that will culminate in moot arguments before the Iowa Supreme Court. The gift from the Raymond and Mary Baker Foundation, in honor of 1959 UI law graduate Richard Baskerville of West Des Moines, permanently establishes the Richard Baskerville Supreme Court Day Competition.

The new intramural appellate advocacy competition, to be held each spring at the College of Law, will select a team of four students to argue a moot case before the Iowa Supreme Court in the following fall semester. College of Law Dean N. William Hines hailed the Baker Foundation’s generosity, noting that the gift assures continued advancement in advocacy training at the UI.

"This gift is a fitting tribute to Richard Baskerville, who was one of four Supreme Court Day advocates in 1957. Dick has been a leader in the practice of estate and trust law in Iowa for more than 40 years. Generations of students will benefit from the opportunity to prepare and argue cases before the highest court in the state. Just having the chance to compete for the privilege of arguing at Supreme Court Day will make our students better lawyers," Hines said.

The first Baskerville competition will occur in the spring of 2001, leading to arguments before the Iowa Supreme Court the following September. It is similar to an existing annual competition to select the College of Law’s National Moot Court team, which presents appellate arguments in intercollegiate competition. Unlike members of the national team, however, the students arguing before the Iowa Supreme Court retain the right to serve as editors of one of the college’s four law journals. National Moot Court team members are prohibited from doing so under current rules.

Baskerville, longtime attorney for the Baker Foundation, was honored in Des Moines at a reception at the Des Moines Club February 24, when he first learned of the competition named in his honor and of the gift that established it. Among the more than 40 guests were representatives of the Baker Foundation, UI law professor and UI President Emeritus Willard L. "Sandy" Boyd, Hines and College of Law development director Mark Wunder.

The UI Foundation, the university’s comprehensive fund-raising organization, is the preferred channel of support for contributions to all areas of the university, including the Iowa Law School Foundation. UI Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements, equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives.