St. Thomas University in Miami-Dade County, which just renamed its law school after prominent and controversial civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, may have opened itself up to civil litigation by doing so.
For years, the St. Thomas University College of Law has been considered a great alternative to other existing and more prestigious Florida law schools, like those at the University of Miami, the University of Florida, Florida State University, and Nova Southeastern University.
In 2023 U.S. News and World Report even ranked St. Thomas University #147 of 192 law schools researched.
Now The Floridian has learned that a couple or more current students attending the college, and are within a year or so of graduating with a Juris Doctorate degree, are fuming mad and considering legal action against the school for renaming the law school after Crump.
For fear of causing retribution by school officials, we will not disclose any information about the student (s).
According to one source, he or she applied and was accepted to the St. Thomas University College of Law, but would not have done so if they or knew it would be renamed after the controversial attorney.
The student (s) said that it’s not what they signed up for, and are worried that Crump’s name on their diploma will dissuade potential employers from hiring them because of the racial controversy he brings with him. Crump donated $1 million to have the school named after himself.
In addition to paying to get the school named after him, Crump also received $10 million from Actor Will Smith and others.
The same source said that he or she does not subscribe to Crump’s “woke” and “racially-driven agenda,” and is adamantly considering filing a legal action against the school,” adding that by changing its name, the university may have pulled a bait-and-switch with students who signed up for the originally-named St. Thomas University College of Law graduate program.
If a student signed up for the St. Thomas University College of Law, and is responsible for paying the tuition, is the university in breach of contract with the student (s) when it decided to change its name to the Crump College of Law?
What if Harvard University decided to change the Harvard Law School name to the name of someone like Crump or another white or black practicing civil rights attorney, or even Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas?
Would existing students be upset that their diplomas will not read Harvard Law School?
To avoid problems like this, the university could have announced that the law school’s name would be changed to a future date, a date that would not conflict with any student’s current enrollment in the law program.
While Crump has made millions of dollars by representing black families against law enforcement, including the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, he is also accused of representing these families using a biased racial defense claiming systemic racism in the criminal justice system.
In a 2019 interview on PBS, Crump layed out his case for systemic racism against Black Americans, where he also discussed his book, "Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People."
Because it is very intentional, that we bring attention to the way black and brown people are being killed, not just by the bullets in these high-profile police shootings, but, more poignantly, how they are killing our people, especially our young people, every day, in every city, in every state, in every courtroom in America, with these trumped-up felony convictions.
In many ways, what I endeavor to do with this book, "Open Season," is hold a mirror up to America's face, so they would have to acknowledge the hypocrisies, that they would acknowledge that racism and discrimination is part of the governance of all the institutions that exist in America,” stated Crump.
Crump’s belief in systemic racism appears to extend out to most facets of society, including the medical profession.
“Racial disparities in health care are the product of systemic racism and prejudice by medical professionals. This is prevalent in pain management — with myths fueled by decades of neglectful treatment. If YOU have received unequal health care, speak up,” stated Crump in a 2021 tweet.
Racial disparities in health care are the product of systemic racism and prejudice by medical professionals. This is prevalent in pain management — with myths fueled by decades of neglectful treatment. If YOU have received unequal health care, speak up!https://t.co/fSQyxw4ZXT
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) February 26, 2021
Just this past weekend, Crump also tweeted that a clear bias existed in the “medical field” as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19's consequences are STILL affecting our communities: 34% of Black Americans who have long COVID report severe limitations – the highest among all races. Yet they are often disregarded. We must increase access to care and ELIMINATE bias in the medical field.
If you are wondering if the state of Florida is funding St. Thomas University’s newly renamed law school, well, it doesn’t appear to be.
But, the state is funding St. Thomas University’s undergraduate studies by providing tuition assistance for full-time Florida students with the EASE grant.
“This program is a non-need based grant funded by the State of Florida. EASE provides tuition assistance to full-time (12 credits or more per semester) students from Florida attending private, independent colleges and universities located in the state. A student must be a permanent resident of Florida (for other than educational purposes) for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the semester of enrollment. Dependent student’s eligibility is based on a parent’s Florida residency requirement. This program provides approximately $3,500 per academic year, subject to state budget appropriations.”—STU website.
The Floridian reached out to Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr, but he could not be reached for comment.