DECEMBER 4, 2012—Fred Pritzker (’76) and Renee Pritzker are surrounded by Golden Gophers, and that's just the way they like it. More than half of the lawyers they have hired at Pritzker Olsen in Minneapolis are Law School graduates, described by Renee as "bright, capable, enthusiastic lawyers who have served our clients and our firm well."
Pritzker Olsen represents clients in personal injury and wrongful death claims. Listed in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America, Fred has won numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts. Renee, a William Mitchell College of Law alumna, practiced environmental law at Dorsey & Whitney before becoming firm administrator. Both are volunteers with national and local organizations that serve people with disabilities.
In honor of their 27-year-old son, Jacob, who has physical and developmental disabilities, the Pritzkers have created The Jacob E. Pritzker Disability Law Fund. The quasi-endowment fund provides stipends for summer internships with the Minnesota Disability Law Center or other hands-on work on disputes regarding the rights of people with disabilities.
The first students to receive stipends are Alex Dyste (’14) and Sandra Pierzchala (’14). Dyste became interested in disability law while researching Americans with Disabilities Act cases. Pierzchala's focus is on disability policy issues and advocacy for individuals with disabilities.
Fred says, "This is an opportunity that marries our support for the Law School with our desire to serve people with disabilities and to expose law students to this area of the law with the hope that they will be moved to if not practice in that area, at least be much more receptive to the needs of people with disabilities."
It's also a perfect marriage for the Law School. "We have made it a priority to help place all of our students and also to get them as much experiential learning as we can," notes Dean David Wippman. "This kind of gift supports both of those objectives."