Our Saint, Larry

Publication year2022
CitationVol. 37

37 Creighton L. Rev. 833. OUR SAINT, LARRY

Creighton Law Review


Vol. 37


CATHERINE MAHERN(fn*)


I am certain that Larry Raful was not named by his parents after St. Lawrence the martyr, but this good saint would be pleased to share that name. Saint Lawrence was a deacon in charge of giving help to the poor and the needy. The Prefect of Rome, a greedy man, thought the Church had a great fortune hidden, and ordered Lawrence to bring the Church's treasures to him. Lawrence said he would return with the treasure in three days. He then went through the city and gathered together all of the poor and sick ministered by the Church. Lawrence brought them to the Prefect and said, "This is the treasure of the Church."

When Larry Raful came to Creighton University in 1988 to become dean, he had several goals for the law school. Chief among his goals was to create a clinical program that would serve the needs of the poor, teach students lawyering skills, and promote justice. In 1992 he gathered the resources necessary to fulfill that goal. In the next eight years, Larry Raful raised two million dollars in endowments to guarantee the future of the legal clinic. In 1999 Larry Raful proudly presided over the renaming of the Creighton Legal Clinic to the Milton R. Abrahams Legal Clinic, named for a man both loved and revered by him.

When I was hired as the first clinical director, Larry Raful asked me how long it would be before he received irate calls about the Clinic's work. He knew that representing the poor and the oppressed would bring out detractors. I was happy to oblige him; and he was thrilled when he soon received his first call complaining about what he calls the "good work" of the Clinic. For him, this meant we were fulfilling the mission of a Jesuit institution by giving preferential treatment for the poor.

Larry Raful works not only for justice, but also for excellence, the pursuit of which he will remain engaged for as long as...

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