UCLA Law launches center to address ‘revolutionary change’ in philanthropy and nonprofits

Los Angeles, CA – With the launch of the Lowell Milken Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofits, UCLA School of Law is poised to become the national destination in the field, bringing together leading scholars, practitioners, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, and policymakers to research this critical area and educate law students and experts in the discipline.

Both this new center and its predecessor, the Program on Philanthropy and Nonprofits, were conceived and made possible by an $8.05 million gift from alumnus Lowell Milken ’73. Lowell is widely respected for groundbreaking national initiatives created over four decades of strategic philanthropy.  

“We are deeply grateful to Lowell Milken for his support of this center — just one of the many, many ways in which he has contributed to our university over the years,” says UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “Drawing on his own background and unique lens on the dimensions of philanthropy, he is helping UCLA further develop its leadership in an important area of scholarship and training.”

“Lowell’s continued investment in UCLA Law is focused on making our school the destination for the study and analysis of philanthropy and nonprofit law and policy,” says Michael Waterstone, dean of UCLA Law. “With his support, UCLA Law’s new Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofits is well situated to transform the field by training the next generation of nonprofit lawyers, developing scholarship and bringing together the nonprofit sector’s many stakeholders for events and courses in tax law, governance, compliance and much more.”

A pair of widely admired leaders will continue their work in guiding the law school’s efforts in this area.

Professor Jill Horwitz, who holds the David Sanders Professorship in Law and Medicine, will serve as the center’s faculty director. She is a renowned expert in nonprofit law and in health law. Horwitz served as the reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law, Charitable Nonprofit Organizations, a publication that was a landmark step forward in the field.

“Our work brings a much-needed forum to the nonprofit sector, particularly one on the vibrant west coast,” Horwitz says. “There is a lot of exciting work to be done and the creation of the center will serve UCLA, Los Angeles, and far beyond.”

Rose Chan Loui will be the center’s executive director. Chan Loui comes to UCLA Law from private practice, where she developed her expertise in federal income tax and in the law governing nonprofit organizations. Her nonprofit practice included advice at all stages and all aspects of a nonprofit’s life, from setting up new charities to advising on governance issues, structuring nonprofit transactions, reviewing compliance issues, educating on advocacy, and lobbying activities, and more. Chan Loui also has expertise in representing nonprofits, individuals, and business entities in tax controversies. In addition, she will draw on her extensive nonprofit board involvement, which currently includes chairing the board of East West Players and serving on the boards of the Chronicle of Philanthropy and the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles.

She says, “I am looking forward to introducing students to, and preparing them for, career opportunities in nonprofit law, while also serving the nonprofit and philanthropic sector through educational programming and convenings. The nonprofit and philanthropic sectors are so critical to our society. We cannot thank Lowell Milken enough for his foresight and generosity in launching this center.”

“We are at a unique moment in history, where members of the Baby Boomer generation have accumulated unprecedented wealth. That wealth is spurring revolutionary change in philanthropy and giving,” Milken says. “Ultimately, this generational wealth shift and the infusion of financial capital into the philanthropic community have the potential to create a profoundly positive impact on society. With its strong leadership in Jill and Rose, UCLA Law can ensure this impact by training the next generation of nonprofit leaders and advisors.”

For law students who are interested in pursuing philanthropy and nonprofit law, the law school regularly offers an introductory course on nonprofit law, which Horwitz has recently expanded. The comprehensive course addresses both state law and tax law governing charitable giving and nonprofits, and it is complemented by a slate of events on careers in nonprofits and philanthropy. The law school teaches more specialized material through occasional courses and other events.

Well-known and respected as an international businessman and philanthropist, Milken has been a steadfast supporter of UCLA and the law school. He has contributed more than $30million to the law school to create visionary projects focused on both business and nonprofit law and policy. In 2011, his $10 million gift, then the largest in the law school’s history, launched the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy. He has also made possible the new Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience, housed within the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, and the Lowell Milken Family Centennial Scholars Endowed Scholarship Fund for student athletes.

The Lowell Milken Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofits will kick off the new year with an event titled “Crafting a Thriving Nonprofit Arts Sector,” featuring a keynote address by Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, the chair of the National Endowment for the Arts(NEA), on February 2. It will be followed by the Western Conference on Tax-Exempt Organizations, hosted at the California Endowment, from February 29 through March 1.