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Sep 24, 2014 06:38 AM EDT

The Drexel School of Law has been renamed to Thomas R. Kline School of Law as a tribute to the largest single gift ($50 million) in the University's history.

"I'm proud that our law school will be forever associated with Tom Kline. His commitment to Drexel will carry great significance for lawyers across America," said President John A. Fry in a statement. "This milestone reflects the outstanding and tireless work of the law faculty and professional staff, led by Founding Dean Roger Dennis, over the school's eight-year history, and Tom's association with the law school from its founding."

Kline, an expert of trial advocacy, has spent more than 35 years representing catastrophically injured persons. He has been named one of the top lawyers in the country by leading publications including Super Lawyers survey, Lawdragon, The National Law Journal's "Hall of Fame" and The Legal Intelligencer.

Kline also served as both a Drexel University trustee and chair of the advisory board for the law school.

Besides legal education, the gift will be used to financially support the Thomas R. Kline Institute of Trial Advocacy of the Kline School of Law. It will comprise of modern facilities for students to build and sharpen their advocacy skills.

"We aspire to swiftly establish our law school as a force, especially in the area of trial advocacy, and to gain recognition nationwide," said Kline. "I am especially excited about the establishment of a new trial advocacy institute, unique in American law school education."

"When complete, the historic Beneficial Bank Building, built in 1916 and unoccupied since 2001, will include a magnificent ceremonial courtroom, other courtrooms, faculty offices and public and student spaces, along with innovative technology. We will build a facility unique in legal education. This magnificent site will become a magnet for the best of faculty and students, and a top tier law school."

The Institute will also include enhanced courtroom simulation for the JD program and co-curricular programming to foster better interaction with students. It will help establish post-graduate LLM, and legal education trial and appellate advocacy programs. "We also hope to see Pennsylvania appellate courts occasionally hear cases in our historic facility," said Kline.

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