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Nannes 3L Challenge Promotes Giving Back to MLaw

Nannes 3L Challenge Promotes Giving Back to MLaw

By Amy Spooner
October 5, 2015

Amid the myriad challenges and busyness of law school, it can be easy for students to overlook the role that philanthropy plays in day-to-day life at Michigan Law. From now until October 13, the Nannes 3L Challenge will keep the importance of private support front and center.

Each fall, the Nannes 3L Challenge provides students with an opportunity to begin giving back to the Law School, to gain exposure to philanthropy before leaving campus, and to see the direct impact of their gifts on campus life. Through the Challenge—which was conceived and is funded by John Nannes, '73, a partner in Skadden Arps's Washington, D.C., office—3Ls can designate $250 to the Law School student activity of their choice in exchange for their commitment to make a contribution to the Law School in each of the first four years after they graduate.

Most gifts made by recent graduates benefit the Law School Fund, which is the Law School's annual source of expendable support. Law School Fund resources are used to impact many aspects of life at Michigan Law, including scholarships, summer fellowships, experiential learning opportunities, faculty recruitment and retention, and student organizations. Building awareness of the Fund's importance is a key goal of the Nannes 3L Challenge. "Planting the seed in students' minds about the importance of giving back is really important to me," says 3L Dayna Chikamoto, co-chair of the Nannes 3L Challenge Committee. "A lot of students don't realize that their education—even if they don't receive a scholarship—is being subsidized by private donors. A lot of that comes from alumni. So I think it's really important for students to get in that routine of giving back to the school."

The Challenge is open to the first 200 3Ls who sign up, and there is friendly rivalry among students to get their friends to commit to the Challenge and to designate funds to their favorite organizations—so that the money will be available to students during their last year of Law School.

"The groups and activities that I have been involved with on campus have really benefitted from the 3L Challenge, so it was a no-brainer for me to help lead this year's effort," said co-chair Mike Brown, a 3L who was the co-chair of the Student Funded Fellowships auction, co-chair of Outlaws, and a comments editor of the Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review. "Last year Outlaws was able to send two teams to a moot court competition in Los Angeles, and that wouldn't have happened without the funds we received from the Nannes Challenge." (It was money well-spent: One of the teams earned top honors.)

The Challenge also reinforces the fact that that MLaw culture lasts a lifetime. "We have all benefited from alumni support," said Chikamoto. "We want to make sure that we pay it forward."

This year's Nannes Challenge runs October 5-13. Nannes committee members will be available during lunchtime in the Aikens Commons to answer questions and accept signed Challenge forms. In addition to Brown and Chikamoto, this year's Nannes committee includes 3Ls David Angel, Tim Cross, Sam Edandison, Melanie Gertz, Kya Henley, Robert Hines, Katherine Lewis, Britney Littles, Nikita Mehta, Evan Nichols, Liam O'Sullivan, Megan Richardson, Ryan Rott, and Amanda Urban, and 2Ls Abe Matsui and Lexi Peacock.

Learn more about the Nannes 3L Challenge.

Read more feature stories.

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