Another school year has commenced in Madison. The Terrace is open, and trees and flowers in beautiful bloom. First-year students are finding their way around the Law School and trying out their new language; faculty members are preparing for class.
While the rhythm of the academic year has begun here, it has probably been a long time since most of you organized your lives around the school calendar. Yet what we do here depends on all of you. That’s true in several ways, all reflected in this issue of Gargoyle.
First, we depend on you for financial support. About one-fifth of the Law School’s budget comes from private giving. We commemorate that fact every spring with what we call One-Fifth Day — an event to which we invite the UW Law School community to celebrate and appreciate the very significant roles our donors play in supporting our students, our faculty, and our mission. (There are also cookies.) If you’re a donor, and you’ve received a thank-you postcard from a student recently, One-Fifth Day is why.
Though we can’t reach everyone on One-Fifth Day, we want to make sure that those of you who support the Law School financially are recognized and appreciated. That is why this issue of the Gargoyle includes our inaugural Donor Honor Roll of giving. It reflects gifts received between June 1, 2013 and May 31, 2014, from alumni and friends of the Law School. If you are a donor, thank you!
Second, it is not just through giving that our alumni support us. You’re also a tremendous resource for students and recent graduated, with information to share, networks to connect to, and guidance, mentorship, and feedback to offer. In the current environment for legal employment, engaging our alumni community is more valuable than it has ever been.
We’ve created a way to make that happen: an initiative called Alumni Network Connect. Alumni Network Connect is a database of UW Law alumni who volunteer to be contacted by students or recent graduates. You opt in to the network (you can opt out anytime), and tell us about your practice, location, and experience, so that students with appropriate interests can reach out to you.
Our emails inviting you to be a part of the database have been rolled out gradually. If you haven’t received yours yet and would like to be part of the network (or if you weren’t sure when you got that email what it was all about), you can sign up to particulate at law.wisc.edu/connect. We’ll also have staff with laptops available at upcoming alumni events to help you get involved. My sincere thanks, in advance, for being part of this extraordinary Badger resource for our students and recent graduates.
Third, each of you in your own way has blazed your own trail through the profession, and you serve as a model to your students of what is possible with a UW Law degree. Every issue of Gargoyle gives us a chance to tell some of your stories. In this issue, we’ll catch up with Brewers VP Marti Wronski (as well as the team’s famous rescue dog, Hank); share reflections from JAG Matthew Jaladoni on his time in Afghanistan; and hear from our very own admissions dean (and ’07 grad) Rebecca Scheller.
I often day that what we do here at the UW Law School is transform lives through legal education, and these stories — and the many others made possible by your support — show how that remains true every day.
Thank you for all you do for us.
— Dean Margaret Raymond