Law school kitchen gets extreme makeover

Change is good. Especially when it’s long overdue.

That’s the prevailing attitude among faculty, staff and students at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law when it comes to the school’s recent kitchen makeover.

Located on the lower level of the school, the sorely outdated kitchen had not been modernized for decades.

"It was disgusting," said law school Dean Susan Duncan. "The kitchen was the exact same as when I was in law school here in the 1980s. It definitely needed a makeover."

But with budgets exceedingly tight, the kitchen didn’t get remodeled until a donor stepped up to fund the project.

At right, Richard Edwards and law Dean Susan Duncan talk to students in the newly remodeled kitchen.

Richard Edwards, managing partner with Louisville-based law firm Boehl, Stopher & Graves, LLC, provided funds to refurbish the kitchen with new floors, cabinets, paint and appliances. His law firm partner, Ed Stopher, also contributed to the kitchen makeover.

Law school faculty member Linda Ewald also contributed to pay for the industrial size refrigerator.

When Edwards was asked why his firm decided to fund such an unusual project, he said he hoped to make the overall environment more enjoyable for students.

"I wanted to do something that went beyond academics—something to give students a pleasant little break from their studies," said Edwards.

His plan seems to be working well. On any given day, dozens of students use the kitchen and, during lunchtime, nearly every chair is occupied.

While the makeover dramatically transformed the room, one feature remained unchanged: a large, colorful wall mural of school namesake Louis D. Brandeis.

"It’s the only thing in the kitchen that we didn’t want to change," said Duncan.