The College of Law at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida, is now the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law. This is the first law school in the country named after a practicing Black attorney.
“We will never forget this moment, this historic moment for Black history, for American history,” civil rights attorney Crump said on Wednesday to the crowd that had gathered for the dedication ceremony.
Crump is well known for leading many cases involving civil rights and police brutality. He has over the years provided legal support to the families of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, and now Tyre Nichols, who was killed recently by Memphis police. Families of some of the above cases were at the event.
“Benjamin Crump is more than just an attorney for me. He’s a friend. He was a supporter. He explained everything we were going through,” said Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother. Activists, local leaders and celebrities including Will Smith were also in attendance.
Saint Thomas University’s Law School is one of the most diverse law schools in the country, and that was one of the factors that attracted Crump to it.
“The naming of the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law at St. Thomas University is the latest step in an effort to encourage bridge-building among the legal profession, law enforcement, and our communities,” said David A. Armstrong, J.D., President of St. Thomas University.
“Ben and I couldn’t be more different politically, but we share a passion for justice, and the hope that by working together, we can continue to drive meaningful change. Our faith in God, and our belief in the tenets laid out by our founding fathers in the US Constitution, enable us to go beyond race and politics, and focus on the work necessary to truly make the United States the home of the free, and the brave.”
Crump has said it is a privilege to be a part of the St. Thomas University legacy through the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law. “We have come such a long way in the journey to equality, but we are not there yet,” he said. “The future changemakers and civil justice leaders that will matriculate from St. Thomas will soon be passed the torch from today’s civil rights icons and I have every confidence that they will meet the moment.”
The only other law school in the country named for a Black person is named after Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who is Crump’s personal hero, St. Thomas University said.