Skip to content

Carolyn ’68 and L. David Clark ’68

David and Carolyn Clark — both members of the Class of ’68 — can’t remember exactly when they made their first planned gift to Harvard Law School. “Probably in the first will that I wrote,” Carolyn muses, “there was a bequest to the Law School.”

The Clarks admit that they had a special reason to remember the School with affection: they met there in the fall of 1966, when an accident of the alphabet (Clark, Cochran) happened to place them next to each other in Professor Robert Braucher’s Commercial Transactions class. “We did meet some great people there,” Carolyn recalls with a smile, “including each other.”

Carolyn adds that she benefited directly from the generosity of those who had gone before her at the School: “Without the scholarships and loans I received from the Law School, I never could have gone there. So I was very, very grateful.”

Since graduating from HLS, both David and Carolyn have become experts in planned giving — David as a trusts and estates attorney at Salans, and Carolyn as a charitable-giving advisor (and the first female partner) at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley, & McCloy — and have helped both their respective clients and their Law School classmates think through planned gifts.

David first became intrigued by the power of planned gifts during the summer of 1966, when he worked in Harris Beach & Wilcox’s Rochester, New York office. “The firm, and the city,” he explains, “were full of people who held stock in Rochester’s technical industries back in the ’60s, when times were good. And all those people were sitting on enormous appreciation.” Based on that experience and his subsequent years in New York City, he has developed some strong ideas about how to structure planned gifts.

For her part, Carolyn stresses the joy she has experienced in helping generous people create great institutions in New York. “It’s a wonderful field of law,” she says, “because you see the best of everyone. You talk to people about the good they want to do. What things do they want to cure? What will make the world better?”