Fall 2020

Lacey Sikora and family standing outside the stadium


With Gift to Law School Fund, Alumna Pays It Forward

When it came to choosing law schools, Lacey Sikora, ’99, couldn’t wait to leave her Atlanta hometown. “I’d never even been in the state of Michigan before, but when I stepped onto the Law Quad for the tour, I just loved it,” she recalls. “You walk through the classrooms, and there’s just a real sense of history there, it was beautiful and very appealing to me. I thought, ‘sign me up.’”

After being accepted to Michigan Law, she had to make some preparations. “It was the first time I had lived outside of the South, so the first thing my mom and I did was buy a parka,” she says, laughing.

Sikora took full advantage of all the opportunities that law school had to offer, forming close bonds with her section-mates and taking part in various activities on and off campus. “After my second year in school, I worked at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, which did not pay summer law clerks at the time. In order to afford this opportunity, I applied for a student funded fellowship at Michigan, which provided me a stipend. This was really pivotal because I ended up working for the commission in Chicago for several years after graduation,” she says. It’s memories like these that have helped Sikora retain a long-term connection to Michigan Law, and even to co-chair the committee for her 20th Reunion in 2019.

Along with her husband, John, a practicing litigation attorney at Latham & Watkins, Sikora has given annually to the Law School. The couple recently decided to increase their philanthropic commitment with a significant gift to the Law School Fund. “My husband and I want to give people the same opportunities we had because we both feel strongly that education can make a huge difference in people’s lives,” she says.

Currently, in between raising two teenagers, Sikora is a contributing reporter for her local newspaper who often writes about the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes in her community of Oak Park, Illinois. But she credits her law school experience with shaping her life’s direction. “Michigan Law was really pivotal in forming who I still am. It’s made me a person who is more curious, critical, and thoughtful. One thing that you really learn in law school is to look at things from other perspectives, and not take situations at face value. You really have to delve into it and consider all the sources, all the material, and all the background. And that is something that I continue to use in my day-to-day life,” she notes.

“I believe in the power of education and am incredibly grateful for my experiences. Law school is a place that gathers people from so many different backgrounds and affords them a chance to make a great life,” says Sikora. —CLP