A recent $1 million gift received by the Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law establishes a new endowed professorship that will help expand the institution’s innovative bar exam preparation program.

Professor Mario Mainero, the executive director of bar preparation and academic achievement at the Fowler School of Law, has been named as the inaugural Gray Family Professor of Law.

“Professor Mainero has built one of the best bar preparation programs in the country,” said Fowler School of Law Dean Matthew Parlow.

That program includes two distinct for-credit courses that students take as part of the JD curriculum and an intensive supplemental program after graduation, during which the participants attend classes, receive individualized feedback on practice essays, and take several mock bar exams.

The new endowment, made by a donor who was moved by a family member’s experience with the school’s bar preparation program, not only recognizes Professor Mainero’s success, but also all of those who teach in the program (including Professor Tom Caso and adjunct professors John Bishop and Kent Sommer), as well as the many Fowler School of Law alumni and friends who grade students’ work in the program—which last year included more than 4,000 practice essays.

“This endowment reflects our unparalleled efforts in developing resources to support our students, as well as the dedication and hard work of the entire Fowler School of Law bar prep team,” Mainero said. “The endowment will, over the years, be instrumental in giving students the additional assistance they need in meeting the challenges of the nation’s most difficult bar exam.”

This is the fourth gift of at least $1 million received by the Fowler School of Law in the last several years. These generous contributions have helped fund scholarships, professorships, and various programs, as well as upgrades and renovations to the school’s home, Kennedy Hall.

“Gifts at this level are rare in legal education,” said Parlow, “and our receiving four of them within the past two years is a testament to the belief, support, and confidence that donors have in the important and impactful work that we do with our students.”