Issue: Spring 2021
Laurence Kahn, ’77, has spent his life as an advocate in every sense of the word. Following his earlier experience in government and private practice, Kahn formed a volunteer team to launch Help Now! Advocacy, an all-volunteer nonprofit that specializes in crisis resolution by providing advice and negotiation on matters that fall outside the scope of attorneys or social workers.
The career path for Barbara Garavaglia, ’80, shifted while sitting for the bar exam, when she struck up a conversation with the person seated across from her, a librarian at a law firm. In 1988, Garavaglia returned to Michigan Law as a reference librarian and was shortly promoted to the head of the reference department, a position she held until she assumed the role of assistant director in 2007. From 2011 until her retirement in 2020, she served as director of the Law Library.
When you arrived for a hearing at Michigan’s 36th district court before 2020, the most important question you might face was: where do you put your phone?
Last September, Jerika Richardson, ’07, joined the National Urban League as senior vice president of equitable justice and strategic initiatives, a newly created role within one of the oldest civil rights organizations in the country. Richardson will work in close partnership with the League’s leadership and its network of 90 local affiliates to establish lasting equity and justice through policy advocacy, civic engagement, and legislative reform.
When Jonathan Brater, ’11, was appointed Michigan’s director of elections in January 2020, the upcoming election cycle was already set to be groundbreaking. And then, on the night of the presidential primary in March, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the state’s first confirmed case of COVID-19.
In Practice Spring 2021
Going to trial in the era of COVID-19 has introduced a new twist into once-familiar proceedings, especially for the complex business litigation that is typical of Bergson’s practice. “You don’t have those face-to-face moments where you have that feeling of connectivity from seeing the judge or juror’s reaction.”
Drawing on a growing concern for the region where he grew up and the country at large, George Jenkins, ’66, along with his wife, Gina, decided to launch the Gina and George Jenkins Aspirational Scholarship Fund, with the goal of benefiting students from central Appalachia.
Throughout his career in law and local government, Ford Wheatley, ’79, has firmly believed in the strength of American institutions and the nation’s democratic legacy. With a desire to ensure that this legacy endures for future generations, Wheatley established an endowed fund at the Law School to support research, teaching, and activities that reinforce the pillars of democracy.
For almost five decades, Professor James J. White, ’62, has been one of Michigan Law’s most revered professors, challenging and inspiring thousands of students in and out of the classroom. Today, he remains a beloved figure in the Quad, and the Professor James J. White Scholarship Fund has been established in his honor by several dedicated alumni.
“As a young kid, I’d always said I wanted to be a lawyer because I thought, ‘Lawyers are people who talk a lot, and they make a lot of money.’ I had learned how to be good at talking, but I wasn’t making a lot of money.”