Law School Receives Leadership Gift from Terri Mascherin and Thomas Abendroth

Terri Mascherin (JD '84) and Thomas Abendroth (JD '84)

Terri Mascherin (JD ’84) and Thomas Abendroth (JD ’84), loyal supporters of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law for over 30 years, have made a $1 million commitment to the Motion to Lead Campaign. 

Ms. Mascherin and Mr. Abendroth, who met at Northwestern Law, are celebrating their 35th reunion this year. Ms. Mascherin is a partner in the Litigation Department at Jenner and Block and Mr. Abendroth is a partner at Schiff Hardin and heads their Private Clients Trusts and Estates practice group. Their daughter, Kate Abendroth, is following in her parents’ footsteps as a current student pursuing her JD at the Law School.

Their pledge is a combination of lifetime and planned gifts that will provide support for the Bluhm Legal Clinic in honor of its 50th anniversary, the Center on Wrongful Convictions, and unrestricted funding of the Law School’s annual operations.

"Terri and Tom are among the most engaged of our alumni and I am so appreciative of their very generous and meaningful gift to Northwestern Law," said Dean Kim Yuracko. "Their support will bolster the Law School and allow the Clinic to continue its important work."

As part of the gift, the Law School will establish the Mascherin/Abendroth Endowed Fund, which will support the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s activities related to criminal justice and environmental justice and advocacy.

Ms. Mascherin is deeply involved with the Clinic, serving as co-chair of the Clinic Advisory Board, a member of the Center on Wrongful Convictions Advisory Board, and a member of the planning committee for the Clinic’s 50th anniversary celebration on September 19, 2019.

She has an active pro-bono practice that has included successfully challenging the sentences of two men on Illinois' death row and (along with lawyers from the Bluhm Legal Clinic) defending challenges to the clemency orders issued by former Illinois Governor George Ryan.  Ms. Mascherin partnered with lawyers in the Center on Wrongful Convictions to represent Juan Rivera, who was exonerated after serving 17 years for the murder and sexual assault of a young girl.

"Clinical experience is so valuable to Northwestern students – it gives them the opportunity to see how they can use the law to give back and help others.  The causes of criminal justice and environmental justice have been particularly important to our family, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to support these Clinic programs," said Ms. Mascherin.

Ms. Mascherin and Mr. Abendroth are members of the Motion to Lead Campaign Cabinet and co-chairs of their 35th Reunion committee. Ms. Mascherin has served on the Law Board since 2000, and is a past Chair.

September 2019