In 1985, Congress provided Loyola University with funds to create an endowed Poverty Law Center in the name of Gillis W. Long. Congressman Long served the people of Louisiana in Washington, D.C. from 1973 until his death in 1985 and was known for his commitment to the working and poor people of Louisiana.
The Loyola University Character and Commitment Statement states that "Jesuit education must be a catalyst for needed social change, hence dedicated to fostering a just social order." The Gillis Long Poverty Law Center is a vital part of the overall commitment of Loyola University to excellence in scholarship and the pursuit of social justice.
The Gillis Long Poverty Law Center promotes legal research and education about the problems of poor people and assists those providing legal services to those unable to afford representation. The Gillis Long Poverty Long Center finances a variety of educational and service programs at the law school including: student summer internships in law offices that provide legal services to the poor; opportunities for law students to do pro bono work for the poor while in law school; loan forgiveness assistance to graduates providing legal assistance to the poor; scholarships and financial support for the Loyola Public Interest Law Journal; as well as lectures and other public interest awards and events.