Firm Challenge FAQs

What is the Firm Challenge?      

The Firm Challenge is a variation on the Law School’s former Law Firm Representative Program. We are inviting law firms with two or more alumni to join the race and compete against other firms for the honor of being one of the firms with the highest percentage of alumni to make a gift to the Law School. The winning firms will receive special recognition and prizes. The Challenge aims to strengthen our alumni’s connection to the Law School through events, volunteerism, and fundraising.

How are the Winners of the Challenge Determined?      

The firm(s) within each group to achieve the highest participation rate of alumni giving will be declared the winners. For purposes of the Challenge, a gift of any size and to any designation made to the Law School between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 (the Law School’s fiscal year) will count toward your firm’s participation rate. This includes, among other things, all outright gifts and pledge payments, a contribution to a Reunion Class Gift Fund, a gift that is restricted to a specific area of the Law School, or a gift to the Annual Fund.    

What are the Incentives for Firms to Win the Challenge?

The winning firms in each Group will have the opportunity to “sponsor” and attend an event with students at the Law School free of charge. Additionally, the results of the Challenge will be posted on the Law School’s website and printed in the Record. The results also will be prominently displayed during on-campus interviewing, increasing the winning firms’ visibility among our students. 

What is the Role of Firm Representatives?

Partner and associate Firm Representatives serve as ambassadors of the Law School by encouraging giving among fellow alumni at their respective firms, circulating information about exciting developments at the Law School, and keeping their colleagues apprised of the firm’s standing in the Challenge to help inspire 100% participation. 

What is the Timing of the Challenge?

This year's Challenge officially kicked off in December 2018. The Challenge runs throughout the Law School’s fiscal year (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019). All gifts made during this period will count toward your firm's participation rate. The "Final Sprint" of the Challenge will take place from May 19 to June 30 (the last six weeks of the fiscal year), during which time Firm Representatives will contact fellow alumni at their firms to encourage them to make a gift and to keep them informed of the firm’s standing in the Challenge. The Final Results of the Challenge will be announced in mid July.  

What is the Overarching Goal of the Challenge?

The goal of the Challenge is for each participating firm to achieve 100% participation. Our objective is to strengthen the Law School’s relationship with alumni and the broader legal community, as well as to encourage consistent giving among alumni. The Challenge also benefits participating firms by assisting with recruiting efforts and highlighting each firm’s commitment to philanthropy. Further, the Challenge benefits alumni at these firms by building camaraderie within the firm and vitalizing alumni networks in the larger community. 

What is the Dean's Circle?

The Dean’s Circle, our giving society, honors alumni and friends who contribute annually at the following membership levels:

Benefactor: $25,000+  
$10,000 - $24,999
Fellow: $5,000 - $9,999
Partner: $2,500 - $4,999
Advocate: $1,000 - $2,499

Please note that matching gifts can count toward these giving levels.

All Dean’s Circle members will be recognized in the fiscal year 2019 Honor Roll of Donors (for gifts made between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019) that is published in Fall 2019. Additionally, members will receive invitations to special events, such as intimate gatherings with the Dean of the Law School, the President of the University, and leaders in business and law.

Where Does the Money Go?

Gifts to the Law School are critical to maintaining the educational excellence of our institution. The Challenge is an important component of the Law School’s Annual Fund, which provides vital resources and support for Chicago’s students, faculty, and programs. Please peruse our Giving to the Law School links to learn more about how we put your dollars to excellent use. 

How Can I Get Involved in the Challenge? 

To enroll your firm in this year's Challenge, learn more about becoming a Firm Representative, or inquire about hosting a breakfast or lunch event with Dean Thomas Miles, please contact Oral Blankson at 773-834-5479 or We also welcome any suggestions or feedback relating to the Challenge.