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College of Law

Florida State University


2006 Press Releases

Tom Equels, Laura Fabar Establish Social Justice Endowment at Law School

Oct 01, 2006

MIAMI—Thomas K. Equels, managing director of the Equels Law Firm and his wife Laura Fabar, managing director of Laura M. Fabar & Associates, L.L.P., have established an endowment at the Florida State University College of Law to teach legal students about the importance of social justice. The Equels–Fabar Endowment for Social Justice will fund programs and scholarships aimed at developing individual virtues to improve society.

“The concept of social justice and responding to people in need helped shape me as an attorney; so the creation of this program was a personal dream for Laura and me,” Equels said. “Our goal is to show students real life examples of how lawyers make a difference by performing those everyday miracles that so often get overlooked. We want to inspire great things.”

Equels, who received his law degree in 1980 from Florida State, is no stranger to social justice work. In 1987, Equels was awarded the Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award and the Federal Bar Public Service Award and in 1995, he received the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Miami's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award. The Vietnam War veteran was honored with two 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star, 15 Air Medals, and the Purple Heart for combat. Currently, Equels is working on a teaching project in schools and churches helping to promote virtues for success through both seminars and the arts.

Fabar also is heavily involved in social justice efforts. She was the first recipient of the Ray H. Pearson Guardian ad Litem Award, which recognizes exemplary service to the Court and to the Children of Miami-Dade County, for her pro bono guardian ad litem work. In 1999, the American Bar Association, Section of Family Law honored Fabar in appreciation of her pro bono activity in the field of family law. Fabar also was one of the main lawyers in the Elian Gonzalez case. Currently, Fabar is a volunteer guardian ad litem in several cases.

“The lawyer who takes on a guardian ad litem case and protects a young child, the high school student who working in a church food line to help feed the homeless, the doctor at the free clinic in a migrant camp, are all, by their individual efforts, creating a more just and virtuous society,” Equels said. “Laura and I have been blessed in both our legal practices and civic activities. We are eager to share our experience with the next generation of lawyers.”

“Tom and Laura have created an endowment that will inspire students to careers enriched by public service,” said Florida State law dean Don Weidner. 

October 2006