Spring/Summer 2023

Features

All Articles in This Issue

Exterior detail of Reading Room Tower Exterior detail of Reading Room Tower

Briefs Spring/Summer 2023

News in Brief: Spring/Summer 2023

News and updates from the Law Quad.

Nadia Shihata, standing in front of a court house Nadia Shihata, standing in front of a court house

In Practice Spring/Summer 2023

Nadia Shihata, ’03: The Women Who Finally Stopped R. Kelly

Nadia Shihata, ’03, had taken down drug dealers, an Albanian crime boss, and other nefarious characters. This time, she and a team of prosecutors were leveling charges against Robert “R.” Kelly, an R&B superstar.

Christopher Perras, standing in front of the window in the University of Michigan law library Christopher Perras, standing in front of the window in the University of Michigan law library

In Practice Spring/Summer 2023

Christopher Perras, ’11: Hate on Trial

Christopher Perras, ’11, specializes in prosecuting hate crimes as a special litigation counsel in the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice.

Allie Greenleaf Maldonado Allie Greenleaf Maldonado

Class Note

Allie Maldonado, ’00: Making History

When Allie Greenleaf Maldonado, ’00, first donned the robes of a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals at her January swearing in, she became the first tribal citizen to sit on the court. 

Virginia Morrison Virginia Morrison

Class Note

Virginia Morrison, ’03: From Lawyer to Brewery Owner

Virginia Morrison, ’03, left her employment law practice to become CEO of Second Chance Beer Company, based in San Diego, which not only produces award-winning craft brews but also gives rescue dogs a second chance at life. 

Cox and Burnett Cox and Burnett

Class Note Spring/Summer 2023

Eric Cox and Rob Burnett, ’17: On the Ground Floor in FinTech

Eric Cox and Rob Burnett, ’17, first met in their Law School supersection, and the self-described best friends now work alongside one another at Netcapital, a tech firm in the nascent but beginning-to-boom financial technology sector.

Kate Powers Kate Powers

Class Note

Kate Powers, ’20: Holding War Criminals to Account

Kate Powers, ’20, serves as the executive director of Global Accountability Network (GAN), an organization that works to bring justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. 

Carl E. Schneider, ’79 Carl E. Schneider, ’79

In Memoriam

Professor Emeritus Carl E. Schneider, ’79

Carl E. Schneider, ’79, the Chauncey Stillman Professor Emeritus of Law, died on May 6, 2023. He was 75. 

Sam Zell, ’66 Sam Zell, ’66

In Memoriam

Sam Zell, ’66

Sam Zell, ’66, an entrepreneur and maverick in the business world, died May 18, 2023, at his home in Chicago. He was 81. 

Paul and Sylvia Bateman Paul and Sylvia Bateman

Impact

Fundraising Effort Connects Michigan Law’s Past and Future

For Paul and Sylvia Bateman, Michigan Law’s Black Alumni Reunion is a chance to gather with their classmates and meet other alumni—and an opportunity to support the next generation of Black students in the Quad.

Lynda and Joe Zengerle Lynda and Joe Zengerle

Impact Spring/Summer 2023

At Michigan Law, Good Times Never Seemed So Good

Even before their first 1L class, Lynda and Joe Zengerle were an anomaly among their classmates: they were married to each other. Now more than 50 years removed from those halcyon days in Ann Arbor, Lynda and Joe remain as steadfast a team as ever—and steadfast supporters of the institution they love. 

Elaine Johnston, LLM ’87 Elaine Johnston, LLM ’87

Impact

Alumna Establishes International Scholarship for LLM Students

Elaine Johnston, LLM ’87, credits Michigan Law with helping to forge her career path—and intends to pay it forward through a new scholarship that will benefit international students. 

Charles and Susan McKee Pavlica, ’81 Charles and Susan McKee Pavlica, ’81

Impact

New Scholarship Supports First-Gen Students

Recognizing that first-generation students may face distinct challenges, Susan Pavlica has established the Wilfred and Roberta McKee Fund at Michigan Law. The scholarship is named for her parents, who supported her law school dreams.

Ginny and Peter Gustafson, ’70, began their journey together when they met as dance partners in a U-M Winter Weekend student event at Hill Auditorium. Ginny and Peter Gustafson, ’70, began their journey together when they met as dance partners in a U-M Winter Weekend student event at Hill Auditorium.

Impact

A Match Made at Michigan: Couple Supports Scholarship Funds Across U-M

Ginny and Peter Gustafson, ’70, began their journey together when they met as dance partners in a U-M Winter Weekend student event at Hill Auditorium. Longtime supporters of their alma mater, the Gustafsons’s most recent gift is directed to the elements of U-M where they feel the most connection: scholarship funds at the Law School, Stamps School, and LSA. 

Ray and Sarah Kepner Ray and Sarah Kepner

Impact Spring/Summer 2023

Like Father, Like Daughter: U-M Family Funds New Scholarship

One of the proudest moments for Ray Kepner, ’77, was watching his daughter Sarah Kepner Hamilton graduate from Michigan Law in 2005. In honor of this family legacy, Kepner and Hamilton have jointly established a new scholarship fund to benefit future generations at the Law School. 

Students celebrating at Senior Day Students celebrating at Senior Day

@UMICHLAW Spring/Summer 2023

Celebrating Senior Day, 2023

The Class of 2023 and their families and friends convened at Hill Auditorium on May 5 to celebrate Senior Day—a gathering far removed from the start of their 1L year, which began on Zoom at the outset of the pandemic. 

Black Alumni Reunion at University of Michigan law school. Black Alumni Reunion at University of Michigan law school.

@UMICHLAW Spring/Summer 2023

The 2023 Black Alumni Reunion: "Celebrating Our Legacy, Empowering Our Future"

Michigan Law’s Black Alumni Reunion brought together more than 200 alumni and their guests to support, learn from, and celebrate the Law School’s Black community, and to promote the matriculation and success of Black students at Michigan Law. It was the fourth edition of the Black Alumni Reunion and the first to take place in person since 2017.

Beauty image Michigan's Coastline Beauty image Michigan's Coastline

@UMICHLAW Spring/Summer 2023

Forty Years of Protecting the Great Lakes Watershed and Training Environmental Lawyers

Forty years after its introduction, what is now known as the Environmental Law and Sustainability Clinic continues to provide invaluable hands-on learning experience for students, using litigation and other means of advocacy to advance environmental priorities in the Great Lakes region and beyond.

Leah Litman won the American Constitution Society’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg Scholar Award, while Christopher Walker won the Federalist Society’s Joseph Story Award. Each award is the respective organization’s highest honor for rising scholars. Leah Litman won the American Constitution Society’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg Scholar Award, while Christopher Walker won the Federalist Society’s Joseph Story Award. Each award is the respective organization’s highest honor for rising scholars.

@UMICHLAW Spring/Summer 2023

Leah Litman, ’10, and Christopher Walker Discuss Their Rising-Scholar Honors and the Collegiality of Michigan Law

Litman and Walker were honored by two organizations at different ends of the policital spectrum, which they say highlights Michigan Law’s collegial atmosphere. In fact, the two have worked together on a number of projects this year, including teaching Federal Courts. 

Faculty gathered in March for a pandemic-delayed celebration of Bruce Frier and Christine Whitman’s retirements. They are pictured at the dinner with Dean Mark West (center). Faculty gathered in March for a pandemic-delayed celebration of Bruce Frier and Christine Whitman’s retirements. They are pictured at the dinner with Dean Mark West (center).

@UMICHLAW Spring/Summer 2023

Faculty Celebrate Frier and Whitman

Faculty gathered for a pandemic-delayed celebration of Bruce Frier and Christina Whitman's retirements from the faculty.

The Black Law Students Association held the annual Butch Carpenter Banquet on March 25, in conjunction with the Black Alumni Reunion. The winner of the Butch Carpenter Memorial Scholarship is Jalen Rose (right), who is pictured with runners-up Kamryn Sannicks and Braxton High. Rose is working with the Federal Public Defender Program in Chicago this summer. The Black Law Students Association held the annual Butch Carpenter Banquet on March 25, in conjunction with the Black Alumni Reunion. The winner of the Butch Carpenter Memorial Scholarship is Jalen Rose (right), who is pictured with runners-up Kamryn Sannicks and Braxton High. Rose is working with the Federal Public Defender Program in Chicago this summer.

@UMICHLAW Spring/Summer 2023

Student Orgs Celebrate Outstanding Students

The Law School’s affinity groups held their annual banquets during the winter semester to celebrate another year and to award scholarships and fellowships to second-year students in the community.

University of Michigan athletic Students in a classroom University of Michigan athletic Students in a classroom

Features

The Business of College Sports

Name, image, likeness (NIL)—three words that have created enormous changes for student-athletes and collegiate sports. We spoke with two Michigan Law alumni—one historically in favor and one against compensation for athletes—who have engaged on this topic over the past several years in friendly debate with each other.

Students visited Sylvester Manor, a plantation built by slaves whose history precedes the American Revolution. Students visited Sylvester Manor, a plantation built by slaves whose history precedes the American Revolution.

Features Spring/Summer 2023

Slavery’s Legacy in Architecture and Law

Slavery and the Built Environment, a Problem Solving Initiative class taught by Luis C.deBaca, ’93, examined the historical narrative of monuments in the US, including those with racist legacies. Students in the fall 2022 semester examined the history of Sylvester Manor to better understand how land use and regulation of supply chains have been shaped by slavery and its legacies. 

Interior view of the Supreme Court Interior view of the Supreme Court

Features

Behind the Bench at the Supreme Court

For 20 years, Jeffrey Minear’s dealings at the Supreme Court followed a familiar pattern. As a litigator in the Office of the Solicitor General, he would prepare a brief, present argument, and await the ruling—a process he repeated more than 50 times. That all changed in 2006, when a new mandate became his daily task at the Court: perform such duties as may be assigned by the chief justice.

Jeff Titus walks in the woods after being exonerated. Jeff Titus walks in the woods after being exonerated.

Features Spring/Summer 2023

Jeff Titus Celebrates Life (on the) Outside

Titus, a Michigan Innocence Clinic client, was exonerated and released from prison in February. He was convicted in 2002 of killing two deer hunters in a state game area in the southeast corner of Kalamazoo County, Michigan.

University of Michigan Gymnast performing a routine University of Michigan Gymnast performing a routine

Cover Story

Athletes as Entrepreneurs

With recent changes to NCAA rules, student-athletes now have the opportunity to earn income from their name, image, and likeness (NIL) through third-party deals. At U-M, members of the Zell Entrepreneurship Clinic are at the forefront of NIL work, helping student-athletes understand the laws and start their own businesses.