Brooke A. Goff Courtroom dedication ceremony inspires Quinnipiac School of Law community

The Quinnipiac School of Law’s newly dedicated Brooke A. Goff Courtroom stands as lasting evidence of the merits of hard work, determination, ambition and the power of philanthropy.

On April 16, the law school community gathered with members of Goff’s firm and family to honor Goff, JD ’14. The special ceremony commemorated the inspiring story of Goff’s success and philanthropy to the critical functions of scholarship, legal community and law, held in the Brooke A. Goff Courtroom on the North Haven Campus.

School of Law Dean Jennifer Brown had the privilege of officially naming the ceremonial courtroom in honor of Goff, who is the founding partner of Connecticut’s largest woman-owned and managed personal injury law firm.

Goff recently committed $500,000 to the Quinnipiac School of Law to create the Goff Law Group Endowed Law Scholarship to benefit members of the LGBTQ+ community and other underserved students.

School of Law Director of Financial Aid Katherine Mills shared with Goff the very meaningful impact of her philanthropy.

“Brooke, your generosity truly will impact generations of lawyers studying here at Quinnipiac, increasing their access to legal education and paving the way for their dreams to become a reality,” said Mills. “Your own story really touched us – your start as a little girl from modest means, to being a hardworking law student, to being the founding partner of the largest personal injury firm in Connecticut that is female-owned and managed, to now being a generous donor to this law school.”

Brown said the endowed scholarship will create a positive difference in students’ lives, increase access to legal education and ultimately access to the profession for students who would not otherwise be able to afford a legal education.

“This generosity of spirit is not only heartwarming, it’s motivating,” said Brown. “I really thank Brooke for her leadership in this respect.”

To achieve great things, students could learn many lessons from Goff, said Brown. Including those of tenacity, determination, ambition and innovation – such as Goff’s highly visible billboard advertising campaign throughout the state.

“Our students could also learn to be scrappy and maybe a little irreverent, and Brooke has been those things as she has advertised her firm with humor, creativity and guts — and anyone can attest to this who has driven on I-95 or I-91 in this state," she said.

Students can also follow Goff’s example of being efficient, clear and concise. As exhibited in television ads that swiftly and accurately deliver tips to people who may experience exactly the sorts of legal problems and legal issues in which her firm has expertise, Brown said.

“And our students can learn to be compassionate, as anyone can learn who has taken the time to talk with Brooke about her law firm and the cases that have moved her most deeply,” said Brown. “She has succeeded in securing results for people who have been harmed or injured and need compensation to get their lives back on track.”

Finally, Brown said it was her hope that students who see Goff’s name on the courtroom will be inspired to be generous by recognizing the resources and capacities they have and sharing them, especially with people who are following in their footsteps.

“These qualities and these lessons make me incredibly proud and grateful to name this ceremonial courtroom in honor of Brooke A. Goff,” said Brown.

Goff said she will always be grateful to Quinnipiac School of Law and especially the late David King, associate dean for the law school. Goff said it was King who gave her the one break she received, and truly needed, to become the lawyer she is today. Now, she is privileged to pay it forward to assist future students.

Goff shared how King gambled on advocating for a waitlisted, working paralegal who believed in herself so much that she came to his office, uninvited, to plead her case to be admitted to the School of Law.

“I told him this will be the chance of a lifetime you will take on me. I will never, ever let you down,” said Goff.

Years later, King sought Goff out at commencement, she said.

“He said, ‘I told you I took a chance on you and you never made me regret it.’ And those words I have always taken with me,” said Goff. “This scholarship, to me, is me giving people their breaks. Because life gets hard, and when you want to be a lawyer, it doesn’t get easier. And when you want something so bad, sometimes all you need is someone who will believe in you and give you your break.”

Goff also said she hopes to be a guiding light for those who are tremendously underrepresented in the legal world, including members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“We need equality in the legal world,” said Goff.

Ryan O’Neill, head coach (with Sean McGuinness) of Quinnipiac's award-winning mock trial program, said Goff’s personal story and her remarkable rise to success will serve to inspire and uplift many law students.

“She’s kind of like a legal superhero. She’s created this amazingly successful and visible practice in a short period of time, in a way that is beyond what anyone could possibly imagine,” said O’Neill. “This generous gift is going to provide an opportunity for those who might never have been able to unlock their power. They’re going to be able to get an opportunity to get this excellent legal education that they get here at Quinnipiac and her gift will encourage these folks to come here – perhaps in this courtroom, perhaps with me – to find their voice, so they can use that voice to help the voiceless be heard.”

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