January 6, 2010 15:18 Age: 4 yrs

GIVING BACK: Board Members Focus on Engaging Alumni, Strengthening School

By: Wendy R. Cromwell

The board has been tasked with two key areas—alumni serving alumni and alumni serving students.

John Maggio 96L (left) and Kareem Maddison 03L discuss alumni board projects during the August meeting.

“I’m an Emory alumnus and lawyer,” says Rob Kaufman 75L. “It’s my duty to advance the interests of the school and its students. It’s the duty of my profession.”

Kaufman, managing partner of Kaufman Miller & Sivertsen, and 19 other fellow alumni agreed to serve on the new Emory Law Alumni Association Board that has been charged with engaging alumni through strategic ­programming and student-alumni interaction.

“This very talented group of people was concerned and interested in advancing our school for our students and alumni,” Kaufman says.

Some, like Kaufman and Della Wells 86L, have served the school since graduation.

“I’ve stayed involved with the law school from my student days beginning in 1983,” says Wells, a partner at Alston & Bird in Atlanta. “I felt my experience at the law school made a huge difference for me and equipped me for my career.”

All are enthusiastic about the opportunity to help strengthen Emory Law.

“When I was asked, I was ready to help,” says Carlos Kelly 97L, a stockholder with Henderson Franklin Starnes & Holt in Fort Myers, Fla. “I do believe the experiences I had at Emory Law fueled my intellectual curiosity.”

“I had a great experience and loved it,” says Jackie Pampel 02L, a senior tax attorney at Baker & McKenzie in Chicago. “I got a great legal education and want to give back to the school. I really like the direction the law school is going and want to be a part of it.”

Kareem Maddison 03L, managing attorney at Morris Hardwick & Schneider in Tucker, Ga., agrees.

“I am excited about engaging alumni with our students and new graduates and aligning the two—getting them more connected and increasing the networking,” Maddison says. “I want the two groups to talk with each other. Connecting alumni and students is the most important reason why I joined the board.”

The board has been tasked with two key areas by alumni association president, Halli Cohn 90L,—alumni serving alumni and alumni serving students.

“Given the current economy, I think we all could benefit from the help and experience of other Emory alumni,” Maddison says. “We need to develop networking functions for all practice areas. These networking functions need to appeal to different age groups.”

Wells recommends the board assess its resources before deciding what programs to implement.

“For example, we could build on current faculty continuing legal education or other practice enrichment programs,” Wells says. “cle programs taught by faculty could keep Emory active and relevant in the lives of our alumni, as well as draw alumni, faculty and students together.”

Pampel would like to engage alumni in encouraging ­others to get involved.

“If you see your pals from law school coming to an event, you might be more interested in coming to that same event,” Pampel says. “We also need to have more interesting and broader programs. We need to provide something that our alums can’t get somewhere else.”

Kelly agrees. “The most important role for the board is making meaningful contact with fellow alumni and students. The interpersonal relationships are key. We need to have handfuls of people reaching out; otherwise, engaging with alumni and students will be impossible.”

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