Winter 2022


Darrow Recipient Sees Giving As a Way to Pay It Back, and Forward

By Chelsea Liddy Pivtorak

Charlotta Chung standing in front of plants and fence
Charlotta Chung

For Charlotta Chung, ’11, receiving Michigan Law’s Darrow Scholarship was not just a financial boon—it also instilled in her a desire to live up to the expectations of those who had invested in her future. 

Now a transactional attorney in New York City, Chung makes a monthly gift to the Law School Fund as a way to repay the “life changing” investment that others made in her education and career. 

Recipients of the Darrow Scholarship—named after renowned trial lawyer Clarence Darrow—are chosen by a faculty committee for their outstanding academic achievements and capacity for leadership. Chung emphasizes that this scholarship not only helped her succeed in her chosen career path but has also given her an opportunity to help others. 

“I always felt I was the recipient of not just an opportunity but an expectation as well,” says Chung. “I felt that the scholarship was the Law School telling me that they saw something in me to develop and wanted to help me get there, and I’ve always tried not to forget that. Now that I’m in a position to give back, I want to help the Law School invest in other students.”

Chung has remained an active alumna on a number of fronts, including as a class agent, and directs her donations to the Law School Fund, which she appreciates for its flexibility. 

“I switched to making a recurring gift so that I didn’t have to think about it, and I knew it would be a consistent amount that the Law School could count on,” she says. “I felt the overall experience I had at Michigan was so important that I wanted to give to the school’s current priorities and support the law school experience generally.”

Through this consistent support, Chung wants to impart the message that it’s never too early to give back. 

“I try to be open about my philanthropy because sometimes giving is seen as something to do when you’re older or more established. But for me, paying it forward has always been a formative value. Whatever level of giving I could do, even when I still had loans, I made sure to do that because I’ve benefited from someone else’s investment,” she says.

Chung, who has been interested in finance since she learned about bankruptcy law in her 1L year, recently started as counsel at Wilkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York, where she represents corporations and private equity firms in financial transactions.