Message from the Dean

One of the best things about Michigan Law is our close-knit community. But what’s even better is that our sense of community doesn’t end when diplomas are in hand. It informs the way we view the world beyond the Quad. As a public institution, we have an obligation to serve our community and do our part to make the world a better place. Alumni of Michigan Law know they have benefited from receiving an unparalleled legal education, and that privilege brings the responsibility of giving back.

For more than 15 years, we have tried to inculcate a sense of that responsibility in our 1Ls during their orientation week. On Service Day, incoming students spend a day working in teams as volunteers for nonprofits all over southeastern Michigan.

Together, they put in hundreds of hours helping out with the simple day-to-day tasks that keep these organizations alive. As the new 1Ls get to know their new classmates better, they also get a sense of the strong tradition of service that is such an important part of Michigan Law’s proud heritage.

That proud heritage includes thousands of our graduates who have given back in amazingly generous ways, working as leaders and volunteers with organizations that feed the hungry, house the homeless, showcase the arts, champion green spaces, and care for those in need—indeed, all the functions that distinguish a civilized and caring people.

No matter your career path or long-term time constraints, our annual Alumni and Friends Service Day, now in its eleventh year, offers a chance to serve the community and have fun, too. In 2013, some 200 alumni from New York to Anchorage participated—a new record.

I’m thrilled that the program has become so popular, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Michigan Law alumni have always enjoyed getting together. And they have always enjoyed doing good works. Alumni and Friends Service Day is an unbeatable combination of the two.

But don’t take my word for it.

To get a real flavor for the program, read the testimonials on this website from Service Day leaders and participants. And on the next Service Day, join in the fun and the satisfying work. Whether this is your first Service Day or whether you’re a seasoned volunteer, we hope to see you there.

Mark D. West
Dean
Nippon Life Professor of Law

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Thank you to all who participated in the modified 2021 Alumni Service Day! Stay tuned for more details about the 2022 event. Go Blue!

Alumni Service Day FAQs

  • What is Alumni Service Day?

    The importance of community service is one that has been encouraged for years at Michigan Law. We know that our alumni are also very active in their communities, and Alumni Service Day is organized around a project that can make a difference in a day in their communities. Whether you are planting a community garden; painting a public school; sorting food in a food bank; helping the homeless; rehabbing a home; or cleaning a river, you are sure to have an excellent time while lending a hand to a worthy organization.

  • Why isn’t my city or area listed?

    We rely on volunteer Team Leaders to coordinate local activities with administration support from our office. If your city is not listed and you are interested in being a Team Leader, please contact us at lawalumniservicedayteamleaders@umich.edu and we will provide you with the necessary information to begin planning a day of service in your area.

  • What is involved in being a Team Leader?

    Team Leaders have autonomy in selecting and planning their volunteer opportunity provided that they: organize activity for the planned date; avoid religious and political organizations or projects; serve as liaison between the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (ODAR) and the selected organization; and perform activity with the spirit of Michigan Law and the University in mind. For more information, contact Laura Gray at lawalumniserviceday@umich.edu or 734.615.4501.

  • Can my family and friends participate?

    Most definitely! Alumni Service Day is open to friends and family of our alumni community. These events are a wonderful opportunity to introduce families to community service. In fact, many of our participating locations involve activities that are family friendly and several may be appropriate for young children.

  • Why is Alumni Service Day only offered on one date?

    We coordinate our event on the same date as the University of Michigan’s Alumni Association day of service. Historically, they have selected their date based on the University’s commencement to build a sense of community with Michigan alumni both on and off campus.

  • How are organizations selected for Alumni Service Day?

    Selection of organizations comes from suggestions from Team Leaders, past volunteers, and interested alumni. The arrangement between Michigan Law and various service organizations around the country for Alumni Service Day is intended as a one-day partnership to carry out specific functions that benefit the communities where these organizations are based. The selection of these groups, and the volunteer involvement of Michigan Law alumni, does not imply that the Law School approves or sanctions all viewpoints represented by these organizations, nor should these arrangements be construed as such approval.

  • Questions?

    If you have questions, please feel free to contact Laura Gray in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 734.615.4501 or at lawalumniserviceday@umich.edu