I am writing this letter on New Year’s Day, but the message applies all year. The theme is simple: Our Law School needs our help.
There are roughly 23,000 living graduates of the University of Texas School of Law. Our graduates reside all over the world, excelling in every facet of society - industry, business, finance, government service, elective office, the judiciary, and, of course, the practice of law. They are leaders in their communities and members of almost every prominent law firm in the country. Most of us recognize that our legal education afforded us opportunities we could not otherwise have experienced. We owe our achievements and success, personal and financial, to the legal education we received at U.T. It is disappointing, therefore, that only about 16 % of our alumni contribute to the Law School’s Annual Fund, much lower than our peer institutions.
Until recent years, our Law School relied primarily upon State funding, and the tuition was modest. Now, the Law School receives little money from the State for anything other than the physical plant, utilities, and certain staff/fringe benefits, and tuition has necessarily increased accordingly. If we want the Law School to continue to recruit and retain the highest caliber of legal educators, to attract the brightest and most sought-after law students, to maintain our national standing, and to offer a cutting-edge curriculum that will allow our graduates to compete in a world economy, we alumni must meet our responsibility.
Each of us is a member of the University of Texas Law School Alumni Association. The Annual Fund is the responsibility of our Association. The Fund provides the Law School resources it requires to offer students basic legal education and creative new initiatives. By your support, you demonstrate your gratitude for the legal education you received and help make this same education available to future generations.
Increasing Annual Fund participation is critical to the future success of the Law School. That is our main goal for this year. Please join in supporting your Law School today, at whatever level and in whatever amount you can. Your gift, large or small, will help us reach our goal.
Also, please take the opportunity to visit your Law School home this year. Wonderful things are happening there. You will be proud to see the physical improvements, hear about the innovative clinics, Centers, and seminars, observe our brilliant student body, and meet our distinguished faculty.
Thank you for supporting the Law School with your time, talent and resources. Together we can substantially increase alumni giving in 2013.