Message from the Dean

One of the best things about Michigan Law is our close-knit community. But what’s even better is that our sense of community doesn’t end when diplomas are in hand. It informs the way we view the world beyond the Quad. As a public institution, we have an obligation to serve our community and do our part to make the world a better place. Alumni of Michigan Law know they have benefited from receiving an unparalleled legal education, and that privilege brings the responsibility of giving back.

For more than 15 years, we have tried to inculcate a sense of that responsibility in our 1Ls during their orientation week. On Service Day, incoming students spend a day working in teams as volunteers for nonprofits all over southeastern Michigan. Together, they put in hundreds of hours helping out with the simple day-to-day tasks that keep these organizations alive. As the new 1Ls get to know their new classmates better, they also get a sense of the strong tradition of service that is such an important part of Michigan Law’s proud heritage.

That proud heritage includes thousands of our graduates who have given back in amazingly generous ways, working as leaders and volunteers with organizations that feed the hungry, house the homeless, showcase the arts, champion green spaces, and care for those in need—indeed, all the functions that distinguish a civilized and caring people.

No matter your career path or long-term time constraints, our annual Alumni and Friends Service Day, now in its sixth year, offers a chance to serve the community and have fun, too. In 2013, some 200 alumni from New York to Anchorage participated—a new record. I’m thrilled that the program has become so popular, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Michigan Law alumni have always enjoyed getting together. And they have always enjoyed doing good works. Alumni and Friends Service Day is an unbeatable combination of the two.

But don’t take my word for it. To get a real flavor for the program, read the testimonials on this website from Service Day leaders and participants. And on the next Service Day, join in the fun and the satisfying work. Whether this is your first Service Day or whether you’re a seasoned volunteer, we hope to see you there.

Mark D. West
Dean and Nippon Life Professor of Law


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