Josh (’03 J.D.) & Janae Conaway Donate $1 Million to Create Gonzaga Law’s Louis and Jean Conaway Community Justice Project

March 18, 2024
Gonzaga University School of Law

Inspired by Josh Conaway’s career as a litigator representing families whose loved ones have been catastrophically injured or killed, Josh and Janae Conaway have given $1 million to support the creation of the Louis and Jean Conaway Community Justice Project at Gonzaga University School of Law. The project connects existing academic programs with new offerings to create a holistic and impactful pathway to prepare future legal professionals to engage with families and individuals in their communities.

The Louis and Jean Conaway Community Justice Project will house some of the existing community-minded clinics offered by Gonzaga Law School Clinical Legal Programs, including the General Public Practice Clinic, the Indian Law Clinic, the Elder Law Clinic, and the new Conaway Family Children and Parents Representation and Justice Initiative (CF-CRJI). In addition, the project will fund The Conaway Family Endowed Children and Parent Representation and Justice Initiative Fellowship, which will offer eight- to 10-week paid fellowship opportunities for one or two law students each year. The CF-CRJI fellowships will provide funding for otherwise unpaid internships, allowing students to develop the skills necessary for effective child advocacy.

Sarah Guzmán, inaugural executive director of the Gonzaga Law School Foundation, expressed immense gratitude to the Conaways and shared, “After spending time with Josh and Janae, it is clear they lead with the Jesuit framework of cura personalis and are passionate about caring for the whole person. The Conaways investment will significantly impact our ability to fulfill our mission and make a tangible difference in the lives of countless students and families.”

The Conaway Family Children and Parents Representation and Justice Initiative will be the first academic program in the Northwest to train law students and attorneys to effectively represent children and parents in dependency proceedings. The initiative also will support growing demand in Washington state for representing children in dependency proceedings.

The next steps for the project are already in motion according to Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Program Innovation, Agnieszka McPeak.

“We are creating a child rights concentration, continuing legal education programming, and expanded clinical education opportunities that will fill critical needs in our community,” she said. Through the Conaways generosity and commitment, we are excited to build the CF-CRJI to provide important opportunities to our students while serving those most in need.”