News from Michigan Law School
Volume 14.2 3.2021

Community Gathers—Virtually—for Michigan Law’s Third African American Alumni Reunion

Members of the Michigan Law community came together March 26–28 for the third African American Alumni Reunion, gathering in a dynamic virtual format that included the presentation of the Law School’s Distinguished Alumni Award, live discussion sessions, the Alden J. Butch Carpenter Scholarship Gala, and other critical conversations and events in support of Michigan Law’s Black students and alumni.

“Our Reunion participants brought the energy we needed to create an inclusive community experience for the virtual setting, and proves we made the right decision to pivot to a remote event when COVID postponed last year’s Reunion,” says Elizabeth Campbell, ’78, who was an executive co-chair of the Reunion, along with Marty Dunn, ’84, Michele Coleman Mayes, ’74, and Khalilah Spencer, ’01. “We hope the success of this weekend’s Reunion will provide momentum for record attendance for our next in-person Reunion.”

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For Jennifer Fischell, ’16, Supreme Court Clerkship is Another Opportunity to Learn

Jennifer FischellOne piece of advice that Jennifer Fischell, ’16, often gives to law school students is that “it is almost never too late to clerk.” As Fischell prepares to join the chambers of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan for the 2021–22 term, this advice rings especially true.  

The clerkship with Justice Kagan will be Fischell’s third since graduating from Michigan Law five years ago. She spent one year clerking for the Hon. Raymond Kethledge, ’93, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and then a year with the Hon. Ronnie Abrams of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. “I was fortunate that these two judges really invested in my development as a person, as a lawyer, as a legal thinker, and as a writer. You get to see so much lawyering when you're clerking, far more than in private practice, and clerks benefit from unique insights into the way the judicial process works,” says Fischell. “Clerkships can also be great fun, and hopefully give you lifelong mentors and friends.”

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A Career Planning Request on Behalf of Michigan Law Students

Last April, as the pandemic took hold, the Office of Career Planning asked for help in finding meaningful summer experiences for our students. Your response was phenomenal. We heard from a huge number of alumni in locations around the world offering up opportunities. This summer, we still need your help identifying opportunities for our students. If your organization hires summer interns and may have space available or is looking to hire for the fall, please let us know. Likewise, if you are willing to create (or consider creating) an 8–10 week summer internship or post-graduate opportunity for one of our students, we’d obviously love to hear from you too. Please email us at Thank you all for your continued support of our students and, as always, Go Blue! 

– Assistant Dean for Career Planning Ramji Kaul, ’05, and Public Interest Director Lara Finkbeiner, ’13


Student Funded Fellowships to Launch Virtual Auction in April

Every spring since 1977, the Michigan Law community has gathered for the Student Funded Fellowships Auction, but for the second consecutive year the pandemic has required the event to shift to a virtual format. This year’s proceedings will kick off April 9 with a live Zoom webinar—which alumni are encouraged to attend—and the launch of an online silent auction.

“The energy and support for public interest work created by the SFF Auction is unbeatable,” says 3L Hannah Ellis, Student Funded Fellowships co-chair. “Cultivating that energy this year has definitely not been easy, but we're so lucky to have wonderful alumni who are willing and ready to jump in and help energize the students and faculty!”
The organization is hoping to build on the momentum of the 2020 event—the most successful fundraiser in the event’s history—and has invited alumni to attend the virtual Zoom kick-off and to contribute video memories of their favorite SFF experiences.

“One of my favorite parts of being a co-chair of SFF is the connections I've been able to make with awesome alumni who still share a passion for Michigan and our current students,” says 3L Sophie Karpf, SFF co-chair. “I love that the Michigan difference extends to alumni, and am so excited that alumni from around the world can join the Auction this year.”

Here how alumni can get involved:
  • Make a gift to SFF
  • Donate an item or experience that can be auctioned during the event, such as tickets to a sporting event, a week at a vacation home, or similar. If you have something to offer, please contact SFF.
  • Share a 30-second video with your favorite SFF memories to be featured during the live SFF webinar on April 9. Send submissions to the SFF committee.
  • Bid during the silent auction! The virtual auction makes it easier than ever for alumni to show their support for Michigan Law’s public interest community. Contact SFF to join the mailing list and receive a link when the auction goes live.
  • Join the live Zoom webinar on Friday, April 9, 8:30 - 9:45 p.m. EST, featuring student hosts and faculty auctioneers. Sign up here to join the SFF mailing list and receive a link to the event.
Make a gift to SFF

Support Michigan Law

Many in our community have asked how they can help during these uncertain times. Gifts to the discretionary Law School Fund will be used to address the most urgent needs of the Michigan Law community.

Michigan Law Apparel

Thanks to the Law School and the M Den, it's easy to purchase specialized Michigan Law apparel online through the MLaw Marketplace. A percentage of all sales on both MLaw Marketplace and the general M Den website (when it's accessed through MLaw Marketplace) comes back to the Law School to help support the activities of our student groups.
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