January 6, 2010 15:41 Age: 4 yrs

GIVING BACK: A Letter from the Alumni President

By: Halli Cohn 90L

It is clear we must leverage technology—specifically social networking—to reach a broader group of alumni.

Greetings from the Emory Law Alumni Association. I am pleased to report the newly constituted governing body of our alumni community — the Emory Law Alumni Board — recently completed its second meeting. By all measures, we have succeeded in creating a diverse, energized and committed group of alumni who are dedicated to serving our students and you in the next year.

The board is actively fulfilling its mission to provide meaningful opportunities for alumni to remain engaged in the Emory Law community through strategic alumni programming and student-alumni interaction. To that end, we have divided into working groups.

The first group is focusing on alumni serving students. Over these last few months, I have been impressed with how quickly board members seized upon the importance of organizing activities between students and alumni to assist our students in refining their career goals and aspirations. Soon, board members likely will call upon you to serve as mentors and resources to our students. I encourage you to accept their invitation.  
The board believes assisting Greg Riggs 79L, associate dean for student services, with creating an optimal student experience will influence third-year students’ commitment to Emory Law as alumni.

The University alumni board has spent two years investigating similar “student-to-alumni experience” initiatives for undergraduates. We hope to leverage that research to benefit Emory lawyers. (We have four fantastic representatives on the University board, who we look forward to partnering with as well, President Paul McLarty 63C 66L, Susan Hoy 74L, Isabel Garcia 99L and Chris Bly 99C 02L.)

Simple ideas — such as creating a student friendly database of alumni who can answer questions about a career path and providing networking opportunities with alumni over winter and spring breaks — go a long way in demonstrating our concern and commitment to our students’ success.

The second working group is focusing on “alumni serving alumni.” This group will concentrate on providing opportunities for our nearly 10,000 alumni to reconnect with one another, as well as our school.

Approximately 17 percent of alumni have at least one “touch point” with Emory Law each year. Board member Doug MacGinnite 92L succinctly identified our opportunity: “That means we have 83 percent of alumni we need to reach.”

Ideas include expanding cle seminars, enhancing the reunion experience, organizing meaningful and worthwhile networking gatherings and providing career guidance when our alumni face employment crossroads, among other things.

It is clear we must leverage technology—specifically social networking—to reach a broader group of alumni. Prior to our first meeting, Carlos Kelly 97L sent me a LinkedIn request with a message about how he had been waiting for an opportunity to do something—to give back to the school.

I am convinced that there are many more alumni like Carlos who simply need to be connected with Emory Law so they can share their gifts with our students and one another. Social media could be the easiest way possible to jumpstart that conversation.

Finally, if you have suggestions for the board—things for us to consider, projects to tackle or programming options—please contact us. If you want to get involved and don’t know where to begin, let us know.
We are here to serve you and our school.

Halli Cohn 90l

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