Generous gift from alum creates new center for social justice

Curt (JD ’75) and Linda Rodin have always put their time, passion, and resources behind their belief in helping society’s most vulnerable individuals. Now, with a generous gift to establish a new center at the School of Law, the Rodins are taking their commitment to the next level.

The Curt and Linda Rodin Center for Social Justice will strengthen and further develop several leading Loyola law school programs that assist the most underserved members of society by offering support, training, and resources. These programs include Loyola’s nationally recognized Legislation and Policy Clinic, Education Law and Policy Institute, and Health Justice Project. The center also will produce meaningful research and advocacy to foster systemic change and to help eradi - cate gross inequities in these areas of basic human needs, says Anita Weinberg, clinical professor and the center’s director.

“Linda and I have long believed that everyone deserves quality legal representation, but many people cannot afford counsel,” says Curt Rodin. “It’s our hope that the new Center for Social Justice at Loyola will help to serve those most in need who deserve equal access to the law.”

Weinberg adds, “One of our goals is to help students to explore the fair - ness and justice of how our systems really work. We want to give students the tools and skills to use the law to serve underrepresented clients—and at the same time change laws and policies that aren’t always just and in fact can be especially harmful to marginalized communities.”

In addition to sponsoring stu - dent fellows and faculty researchers focused on social justice issues, the center will likely convene an annual working summit or symposium that brings the community together to explore some aspects of social justice, Weinberg says.

Rodin began his legal career in 1975 as a law clerk at Horwitz, Anesi, and Ozmon, which later became Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen Ltd. He served as managing partner and president from 1996 to 2006. “My trial practice professor at Loyola, the great trial lawyer Nat Ozmon, was the biggest influence on my legal career,” says Rodin.

“He hired me as a clerk and I ended up spending my whole career at the firm. I’d never have had that opportunity except for Loyola, and I’ve always felt that since Loyola was responsible for the success I’ve had, I want to give back.” During Rodin’s distinguished career, he represented victims of construction injury, product defects and medical malpractice. He is one of only a handful of personal injury attorneys to be listed in The Best Lawyers in America for 10 consecutive years. Rodin has served as pres - ident of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and the Society of Trial Lawyers, and as chair of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases.

The Rodins have made significant contributions to furthering the School of Law’s emphases on accessible law education and service to others. Curt is a member of Loyola University Chicago’s parttime law faculty and the School of Law’s Circle of Advocates Advisory Board. The Rodins have established several Loyola fellowships and scholarships, including the Rodin Fellowship supporting two student fellows in moot court, as well as the Curt and Linda Rodin Visiting Clinical Professorship supporting a clinical faculty position in Loyola’s Health Justice Project. In 2011, Curt received the School of Law’s Medal of Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the school.

“I believe we all owe a little rent for the space we occupy in this world,” he says. “I’ve always felt that most strongly about Loyola. There are numerous other charities to which my wife and I contribute, but none to the extent that we support Loyola.” (August 2018)