The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies has received a major gift of over 1.8 million US dollars from the estate of Professor Thomas C Fischer and Mrs Brenda A Fischer. The Institute was named as one of four residuary beneficiaries under a trust agreement established by the Fischers, along with the New England School of Law; Georgetown University Law Centre; and Wolfson College. 

Photography of Professor Thomas Fischer
Professor Thomas Fischer

Professor Fischer was awarded an Inns of Court Visiting Fellowship to IALS in 1996, and was in residence for a year. While at the Institute, he developed his research in the area of international law and globalisation. Professor Fischer was a distinguished American legal academic. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati and Georgetown University. He served as Dean of the New England Law School from 1978 to 1981 and remained a Professor there until his retirement in 2003. He was the author of twelve books, including The Europeanization of America (1996). The Fischers’ transformative gift has been bequeathed ‘for the purpose of acquiring library resources concerning United States-European Union relations and globalisation’. 



Professor Carl Stychin, Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, responded to the news:

My colleagues and I are touched by the generosity of Professor and Mrs Fischer in remembering the Institute. It is particularly gratifying to know that Professor Fischer enjoyed his time as an Inns of Court Visiting Fellow. I have no doubt that this gift will have a major impact on the development of the IALS Library collection, further strengthening our position as the national law library. 

Ms Marilyn Clarke, IALS Librarian, said:

The Library is deeply grateful and honoured to be the recipient of such a large sum.  Our foreign, international, and comparative collections are a major national resource in support of academic research in their field, and this generous gift will allow us to enhance our collection development as well as our engagement and outreach activities across the HE and law libraries sectors.

The Institute will also now begin to plan how to commemorate the Fischers.