USC Law School creates sholarship in honor of Ron Motley

  • Saturday, November 9, 2013

Motley Rice LLC has established the Ronald L. Motley Memorial Fund at the University of South Carolina School of Law in honor and memory of its co-founding member Ronald L. Motley who passed away on Aug. 22. The fund is designed to promote the teaching and education of students, through both a scholarship and civil litigation training program, who exemplify the characteristics and work ethic that Motley brought to the practice of law.

Named by the National Law Journal as “one of the most influential lawyers in America,” Motley earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of South Carolina in 1966 and in 1971 graduated from the USC School of Law with a juris doctor. Through his pioneering discovery and collaboration, he exposed asbestos manufacturers and the harmful and disabling effects of occupational, environmental and household asbestos exposure. He went on to spearhead the historic tobacco litigation against the tobacco industry and took on cutting-edge complex litigation as lead counsel for the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism. While building Motley Rice into the firm that it is today, Motley was also known for his dedication to USC as well as his passion for mentoring lawyers and colleagues at Motley Rice and throughout the legal community.

“This scholarship and training program is part of how the firm is not only paying tribute to Ron, but helping continue his great legacy through the next generation of trial lawyers,” stated Motley Rice co-founding member Joe Rice. “Ron lived life proudly as a trial lawyer and was dedicated to assisting those who wanted to pursue a career in trial advocacy and litigation. Through this fund, Motley Rice will be able to help ensure this type of education and training continues at Ron’s adored alma mater.”

The Ronald L. Motley Memorial Scholarship will provide much-needed scholarships to entering University of South Carolina law students, with a preference given to students who have displayed a commitment to pursuing a career in civil litigation. In addition, The Ronald L. Motley Civil Litigation Training Program will provide needed resources to support practical civil litigation training for third-year law students at the USC School of Law through one or more five-credit-hour capstone courses. Students will handle a mock litigation matter in its entirety, acting as litigation teams of mock law firms under the guidance of three diversely-experienced adjunct faculty.

“We believe these capstone courses will be a great step forward in preparing students for the actualities of practice, including document drafting, discovery preparation, witness interviewing, expert witness depositions and negotiation skills,” said Robert M. Wilcox, USC School of Law Dean. “To the maximum extent possible, students will be given a realistic experience in complex litigation matters that Ron Motley and his firm helped to pioneer.”

Contributions to help enable this initiative may be sent to: USC School of Law, 701 S. Main Street, Columbia, SC 29208. Checks may be made payable to USC Foundations with Ronald L. Motley Program in the memo line.

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