College of Law > About > News > Depaul law legacy challenge

DePaul Law Legacy Challenge launches with $100,000 gift from Bernie and Gloria Rinella

To inspire DePaul Law alumni and friends to include the College of Law in their estate plans, Bernie Rinella (JD ’61) and his wife, Gloria, made a generous $100,000 gift to launch the DePaul Law Legacy Challenge. 

Donors who make a legacy gift to DePaul Law unlock a matching gift equal to 10% of their legacy gift (up to $10,000), and they have the opportunity to designate their gifts to any existing College of Law fund. Legacy gifts include naming DePaul Law as a beneficiary in one’s will or trust, retirement plan, or other gift vehicles such as charitable gift annuities or charitable remainder trusts. Additional details are available at 

“The education I received at DePaul Law has played such an important role in my legal career,” says Rinella. “I am pleased to make this gift to launch the Legacy Challenge and to encourage other graduates who have likewise benefited from their DePaul education to contribute to such a worthwhile institution.” 

Donors who make or previously made legacy gifts also become members of the new DePaul Law Legacy Society, an exclusive group of alumni and friends who have included the College of Law in their estate plans.  

“DePaul Law champions like Bernie and Gloria make students’ dreams come true and ensures the College’s bright future as Chicago’s law school,” says Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea. “Bernie’s experience is a classic ‘DePaul Law story’ that reflects our strong alumni network and exemplary training of lawyers with purpose and commitment to the community. The Rinellas’ gift will inspire others and provide an immediate as well as lasting impact on our great law school.” 

Rinella has deep family ties to DePaul.  His parents, Kathryn “Kay” (JD ’28) and Samuel (JD ’27), met while law students at DePaul, and they launched Rinella & Rinella in 1932, one of the nation’s first practices devoted to matrimonial law. Rinella joined the family firm shortly after graduating from the law school in 1961 and became a widely recognized and respected leader in family law. During his career, he served as president of the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and chaired a number of Chicago and Illinois bar association committees.  

This gift represents the Rinellas continued commitment to the College of Law and DePaul University, as they also created an endowed scholarship in 2008 and made a special legacy gift in 2019. In addition to their philanthropic support, Rinella follows in his mother’s footsteps, devoting his time and energy to helping DePaul achieve its goals. His mother served as a university trustee from 1975 to 1988, and he currently serves as a member of the Honorary Dean’s Council.  Rinella also is a longtime volunteer who served on a variety of law school committees and regularly hired DePaul law students as interns and associates.  

To learn more about the Legacy Challenge and to determine if your gift qualifies for this special initiative, please contact Alan Paberzs at 312-362-8972 or ​