Retired Judge Becnel donates $1M to Loyola

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, March 7, 2018

NEW ORLEANS — Loyola University New Orleans College of Law celebrates a joyous new year with a generous $1 million gift that will endow and transform the law school’s well-known Trial Advocacy curriculum.

The gift puts Loyola’s Faith in the Future campaign at $85 million of its $100 million goal, or 85 percent attainment. Following six record-setting years, the Faith in the Future campaign is the most ambitious and successful fundraising campaign in university history.

The generous $1 million gift bestowed by Loyola College of Law alumni, Daniel E. Becnel Jr. J.D. ’69 and Retired District Court Judge Mary Hotard Becnel, J.D. ‘80 of LaPlace will transform the opportunities available to all students by creating the Danny and Mary Becnel Trial Advocacy Program.

The Program will be one of four critical pieces of the newly envisioned Advocacy Center — a Center that will serve as an umbrella for advocacy-related programs, including Legal Research and Writing, Arbitration and Mediation, and Moot Court.

The result will be a powerful and coordinated unit designed to prepare students for every type and phase of advocacy. The expanded program will not only enhance the student experience, but will offer practitioners a pathway to enhance their advocacy skills.

“Our current trial advocacy program is excellent. This gift, however, will transform it into one of the nation’s leading programs, ensuring that our students are not only ready to practice law, but are ready to do so with an ability to think critically and act justly,” said Dean and Judge Adrian G. Duplantier Professor of Law Madeleine   . “Through this generous gift, Loyola law students will now enjoy increased opportunities to hone and practice their skills before embarking on the professional careers.”

Judge Becnel served 23 years as a trial judge in St. John the Baptist Parish before retiring in late 2016.

Danny Becnel is retired from the Becnel Law Firm, which he founded. Several family members are also Loyola law alumni — namely, son Christopher Becnel, J.D.’ 05; son Bradley Becnel, J.D. ’03, and daughter-in-law Kathryn Becnel, J.D. ’95.