Why You Give: In His Name
Although Skadden tax partner Hal Hicks ’85 has supported the Law School for more than 20 years, he wanted to do something extra special for his family and for the school. Hicks chose to endow a scholarship in his father’s name. The inaugural Harry J. Hicks ’51 Family Bicentennial Scholarship was awarded in fall of 2020, thanks to full funding at the $500,000 level. Hicks’ generous gift qualified for Bicentennial Scholars matching funds from the University.
As a second-generation UVA Law alumnus, Hicks wanted to pay tribute to his cherished father and mentor, Harry (’51). Despite spending the better part of a year in a body cast as a child due to polio, Harry Hicks fought bravely in World War II, having memorized an eye chart to conceal his restricted vision. Harry’s ploy worked and he was among the first wave on Omaha Beach for D-Day. Though he survived D-Day, Harry was eventually wounded near Brest, France. He was awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery and service.
After the war, Harry Hicks attended William & Mary and then UVA Law under the GI Bill. He completed both degrees in four-and-a-half years, while working to help support his mother and eight siblings. Upon earning his law degree, Harry worked for the Army Corps of Engineers for a year before setting up a law practice in Virginia Beach and later Norfolk. He was a member of the Virginia Bar for 50 years.
Harry spoke fondly of his law studies and was pleased his son, Hal, made the same choice for his own legal education. “My father had a deep love and affection for UVA Law,” Hal said. And the family legacy continues. Hal’s son, Billy, is a 2L at the Law School, class of ’22. “[Harry] really would have loved the fact that his youngest grandson followed in his footsteps.”
Resident in Washington, D.C., Hal Hicks is the global head of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s international tax practice and a member of the firm’s Opinion Committee. He was named among the top 30 global tax professionals in Euromoney’s 2019 “Best of the Best Global Expert Guide.”
Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.