Attorney’s Pride for Alma Mater Helps Next Generation of Lawyers Thrive

Attorney’s Pride for Alma Mater Helps Next Generation of Lawyers Thrive


Senior counsel C. Hall Swaim (who goes by Hall) has enjoyed an accomplished legal career, yet he has never forgotten his roots. As a student at New York University School of Law (NYU Law) in the 1960s, Hall received a Root-Tilden Scholarship. Today, the same scholarship program that helped Hall, a transactional attorney in our Boston office, start his career, is helping a new generation of law students achieve their professional goals.

Each year, 20 full-tuition scholarships are awarded to NYU Law students. The scholarships are awarded for one year, and are renewed annually based on satisfactory academic performance and full participation in program activities and internships. Root-Tilden-Kern Scholars (the scholarship was renamed in 2001) are selected in a competitive process based on academic excellence, demonstrated commitment to public service work and leadership potential.

“Those who get the scholarship are the best, brightest and most dedicated kids,” says Hall.

WilmerHale’s affiliation with the Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship stems from the 1990s, when former chairman Jack Cogan and then-managing partner John Hamilton engineered a firm matching gift with Harvard Law School alumni at Hale and Dorr to fund what is now the WilmerHale Legal Services Center. With a strong sense of pride for his alma mater, Hall approached Hamilton about a contribution program for NYU Law. With that—and a pledge of $100,000 combined from alumni and the firm—one NYU Law student was designated the WilmerHale Scholar each year under the Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship program.

Hall has remained connected to the school, serving as past president of the New England NYU Law Alumni group. He has also attended NYU Law graduations to hood the WilmerHale Scholar and is proud of the positive publicity such a scholarship provides for the firm.

Ultimately, Hall says he’s just happy to give back. Each year, he sends a memo to the 35 NYU Law alumni at WilmerHale—including fellow Root-Tilden scholars Katharine Bachman and Jack Regan—asking them to earmark their annual contribution to the school for the Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship.

“It’s nice to be able to say that we have this long-term connection with the school,” he says.

C. Hall Swaim Profile

C. Hall Swaim is a senior counsel in the firm’s Boston office. He is a member of the Corporate and Transactional and Intellectual Property Departments, and a member of the bankruptcy and financial restructuring practice group. Hall, who joined the firm in 1971, is a former chair of Hale and Dorr's Commercial Department.
Hall's practice focuses on commercial law, with an emphasis on Chapter 11 reorganizations, out-of-court restructurings, loan documentation, workouts and contract negotiations, with an emphasis on technology-based companies and technology transfer.

He is a board member and former president of the New England Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, and is also a member of the American, Massachusetts, Boston and US Patent Bar Associations.

Hall, a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, has been recognized as a leading practitioner of bankruptcy and commercial law in the Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers; he has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for more than 20 years; and he was awarded the Robert B. McKay Distinguished Alumni Award by New York University School of Law.

Additionally, Hall serves as President of the Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Coalition.

WilmerHale’s Law School Matching Program

All non-partner attorneys are eligible to participate in WilmerHale’s Law School Matching Gift Program, in which the firm will match the gifts of attorneys to their law schools on a 1:1 basis, for a minimum contribution of $25 up to $200 for summer associates and up to $500 for all other eligible attorneys.