One word to best describe the Partners in Leadership (PiL) campaign? Connection.
Yes, the annual fundraising drive—during which organizations with multiple Berkeley Law grads seek to attain 100 percent alumni giving—supports vital school programs. But participants also relish the rewarding byproduct of connecting with fellow alums.
Given that Silicon Valley is the tech hub connecting our world, it makes sense that PiL has veered into the area.
“As more people leave firms and move in-house, it’s important to continue to foster a spirit of community among those alums,” says Monique Liburd ’08, Google’s trademark counsel.
In the tech world, Liburd sees Berkeley Law graduates “on the front lines in so many areas. Who better to serve as mentors and advocates for fellow alums and current students looking to enter the industry than those of us working directly in that space?”
Liburd recently signed on as a PiL captain. Each participating organization has at least one captain who brings graduates together, encourages them to donate, and shares updates about the school and its challenges.
“It seemed like a great way to leverage my natural interest in keeping in touch with my classmates and colleagues to do something with meaningful impact for the school,” Liburd says.
Campaign co-chair David Zapolsky ’88, general counsel of Amazon.com, is thrilled to see PiL grow deeper roots in Silicon Valley. Over the past two years, Google, Eventbrite, Netflix, Dropbox, Lyft, Salesforce, and Uber have all joined the campaign.
“Many of our most accomplished alumni have gone inhouse to join some of the coolest and most innovative companies in the world,” Zapolsky says. “Yet some of our alumni programs tended to overlook this important community of lawyers in the past. We’re changing that. Adding these companies to the campaign shows how enlisting these alumni can move the needle in improving alumni engagement with Berkeley Law.”
Law firms still form PiL’s backbone, of course. During last year’s six-week campaign, participating “Mod A” organizations—those with 30 or more Berkeley Law graduates—engaged in a rousing competition for highest giving percentage.
Following dramatic shifts atop the leaderboard, DLA Piper (captained by Howard Clowes ’82 and George Gigounas ’00) surged ahead in the final week to claim first place with an 89 percent giving rate. Fenwick & West, led by Jennifer Bretan ’04, and Morrison & Foerster, led by Sara Terheggen ’07 and Allison Lauterbach Dale ’14, placed second and third.
Liburd is happy to follow their lead.
“It’s really great getting to know people within your organization who have the shared experience of attending Boalt,” she says. “I had no idea some of the colleagues I interacted with were also alums until the campaign started. Because of PiL, many of us have become more energized around supporting the law school—and each other.”