Boalt’s Steinhart Courtyard buzzed with activity on August 30 as about 100 students got a chance to informally meet alums representing 22 well-known law firms-and vice versa. Boalt graduates attending the first-ever Spotlight on Leadership reception shared insights about everything from the specialties to the work culture at their firms with students seeking summer positions and eventual fulltime jobs.
On hand were alums whose firms had achieved 100 percent participation in Boalt’s Partners in Leadership law firm giving program. Launched two years ago, Partners in Leadership seeks annual gifts to the school from every Boalt graduate at each participating firm. “But for Boalt, where would I be now?” said James Ganulin ’59, of counsel at Fresno-based Baker, Manock & Jensen. All eight Boalt graduates there donated to the program.
Along with the satisfaction of giving back to Boalt, participants said Partners in Leadership-and the August 30 reception–gave them valuable exposure to Boalt students, who are highly prized job candidates. “It helps firms stand out more,” said Varya Simpson ’91, senior counsel at Nixon Peabody, where all 16 alums supported the law school this past year.
Students also praised the event. “The most important part for me of working somewhere is a sense of the people,” said Sara Adibisedeh ’06, who is interested in intellectual property litigation and stopped by the Morrison & Foerster table for some information. Students said they welcomed the opportunity to ask questions in a casual, one-on-one setting.
Greg Broome ’90, a partner at Thelen Reid & Priest, was pleased to answer queries about his national firm and its San Francisco office. The market for Boalt students is “very competitive,” Broome noted. “Any leg up we can get with a student is helpful.”
In the 2004-05 fiscal year, some 33 law firms and one major corporation participated in Partners in Leadership, with 22 of those firms obtaining contributions from every Boalt graduate.