Cy pres awards funding legal education

As a putative member of the class action concerning TicketMaster litigation, I read the latest iteration of the proposed settlement that arrived in my inbox today with interest--in part because I knew this wasn't the first time settlement had been proposed. But atop the proposed maximum $386 million in coupons for future purchases at TicketMaster (with a likelihood that perhaps one-tenth of them would ever be used), one item caught my attention (PDF):

Ticketmaster will pay $3 million to the University of California, Irvine School of Law to be used for the benefit of consumers like yourself. In addition to the benefits set forth above, Ticketmaster will also make a $3 million cy pres cash payment to the University of California, Irvine School of Law’s Consumer Law Clinic. The money will establish the Consumer Law Clinic as a permanent clinic, and it will be used to: (i) provide direct legal representations for clients with consumer law claims, (ii) advocate for consumers through policy work, and (iii) provide free educational tools (including online tutorials) to help consumers understand their rights, responsibilities, and remedies for online purchases.

Cy pres awards to law schools are certainly nothing new. Consider the following (proposed or actual) cy pres award recipients:

Stanford Law School's Center on Internet and Society

University of Washington School of Law's Shidler Center for Law, Commerce & Technology; University of California, Berkeley School of Law's Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic; and UW School of Law's Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic

Temple Law School

Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society

Loyola University Chicago’s Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies

University of San Diego Legal Clinics; California Western School of Law; & Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Berkeley Center for Law & Technology; The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University; Center for Law + Innovation, University of Maine School of Law; High Tech Law Institute of Santa Clara University School of Law; New York University’s Information Law Institute; Privacy & Technology Project, University of California Hastings College of the Law; Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic, University of California, Berkeley School of Law; Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society; University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Colorado Law’s Clinical Education Program

University of Maryland School of Law's Consumer Protection Clinic

California Western School of Law Interdisciplinary Studies, Health Law

George Washington University Law School

Branstetter Litigation & Dispute Resolution Program, Vanderbilt Law School

University of Memphis’ Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

Sometimes, alumni of the law school involved in the settlement are responsible for channeling the money toward their alma mater. Sometimes, the law school thanks the law firm or the attorneys involved, occasionally naming the program after the settling attorneys. Some law schools even have dedicated development web sites that encourage cy pres awards to be earmarked for the law school.

In case law schools are suffering financially and seeking alternative sources of revenue, there's still one place where they can seek income, without resorting to tuition increases--class action settlements.