Institutional Advancement Newsletter – January/February 2023

Tempus Fugit!

Is it just us or does time fly in 2023? The Annual Meeting has come and gone, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, Cupid is out of arrows, and soon we’ll be springing forward in daylight. Before more time passes, we’re thrilled to introduce the members of the 2023 Section on Institutional Advancement Executive Committee. We look forward to engaging the section in another year of professional development and camaraderie!

Co-chairs: Liz Field, Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing, George Washington University Law School
Stephanie Silvestri, Director of Annual & Leadership Giving, Seton Hall University Law School
Co-Chair Elect: Robin Fulton Langhans, Director of Alumni Relations, CLE & Special Events, Penn State Dickinson Law
Secretary: Brian M. Costello, Executive Director, Marketing & Communications, Loyola Law School
Treasurer: Colleen Taricani, Assistant Dean for Communications, University of California Irvine School of Law

Members at Large:
Victoria Grantham, Senior Executive Director, Communications and Marketing, Fordham Law School (past co-chair)
Katey Morlino Howerton, Associate Dean for Advancement, William and Mary Law School
Mary Ann Soden, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, the University of California Irvine School of Law (past co-chair)
Courtney R. Stombock, Associate Dean of Advancement and Alumni Engagement, Emory University School of Law

Upcoming Events

The Healing Effects of After-Death Communications and Recognition
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
12:00 pm EST / 9:00 am PST
Moderator: Liz Field
Discuss how marketing and communications and DAR colleagues recognize, memorialize and communicate the death and retirements of key and influential community stakeholders to various audiences. We will discuss best practices and lessons learned. Please come with examples and questions from your own schools.
Click here to register! (FREE)

Expanding Fundraising and Alumni Engagement Capacity through Partnerships
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
3:00 p.m. EST / 12:00 pm PST
Moderator: Courtney Stombock
During this session, we will share and discuss ways to partner with teams within the law school and across the university, especially development and alumni engagement, to increase engagement and fundraising success. Whether you work for an independent law school or are part of a large university advancement system, there will be tips that everyone can use to develop meaningful partnerships.
Click here to register! (FREE)

IA Section Social: Commencement Cheers & Tears
Tuesday, May 9, 2023
3:00 p.m. EST / 12:00 p.m. PST
Break out the regalia and cue Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance – it’s graduation time! Gather with your IA colleagues to celebrate (or commiserate!) about this annual milestone.
Registration forthcoming

IA Section Virtual Conference – Save the Date!
June 14-15, 2023
Hats off to the 2023 Virtual Conference Planning Committee, especially co-chairs Judy Asbury (Lewis & Clark Law School) and Andy Yang (Stanford Law School). The committee also includes Brian Costello (Loyola Law School), Ben Ginsburg (University of Pittsburgh School of Law), Robin Langhans (Penn State Dickinson Law), and Sondra Tennessee (University of Houston Law Center).
Details & registration forthcoming

AALS IA Section Annual Meeting Recap

L-R: Liz Field (co-chair), Stephanie Silvestri (co-chair elect), Mary Ann Soden (co-chair) and Brett Shahian, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications at Loyola Law School at the Welcome Reception 1/5/23

Institutional Advancement held two excellent, well attended panels at the AALS Annual Meeting this January in San Diego. Focusing on topics with relevance to members in all sections – utilizing social media and attracting external funding – we saw participation from IA sections members, faculty, and other law school administrators.

The annual meeting was an opportunity to network with colleagues at the conference and in the area for coffee and lunch, connecting peers from Emory, Houston, Cal Western, Lewis & Clark, and Berkeley with the IA Executive Committee members in attendance. Key themes from the panels were building trusting relationships and staying true to your mission (personal or institutional). The experience of being imbedded in the main meeting opened up the full meeting agenda to IA attendees, giving our section leaders new ideas for 2024.

Collaborative Cultivation: Attracting External Funding to Centers, Institutes and Clinics moderated by Mary Ann Soden (at podium). L-R: Danielle M. Conway, Dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law, Penn State Dickinson Law; Kelly Rimmer, Director of Development and Alumni Affairs, Penn State Dickinson Law; Robert Fellmeth, Price Professor of Public Interest Law and Executive Director, Center for Public Interest Law and Children’s Advocacy Institute, University of San Diego School of Law; Elisa Weichel, Administrative Director and Sr. Staff Attorney, Children’s Advocacy Institute, University of San Diego School of Law; Veronica Alexander, Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations, Berkeley Law; Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, Berkeley Law

Who’s Following You? A How-to for Faculty Seeking to Develop a Social Media Persona and Influence moderated by Liz Field (L) with panelists Karen Sloan (Reuters Legal), Orrin Kerr (Berkeley Law), and Matt Hall (San Diego Tribune)

Way to Go!

We don’t believe in thankless work, so please send us a note about a job well done, an accolade for a colleague, or a successful event or project you or your team has recently undertaken! You can submit kudos to celebrate yourself or a colleague on this quick and easy form.

Professional Development

Good Read

U.S. News on making a series of modifications in this year’s rankings

Good Listen

Hosted by Maggie Freleng, a Pultizer prize winner and renowned podcast host and producer of Suave, Murder in Alliance and Unjust and Unsolved, Wrongful Conviction with Maggie Freleng features intimate conversations men and women who have spent years in prison for crimes they did not commit. Some have been fully exonerated and reunited with family and friends while others continue to languish in prison with some even facing execution on death row.

Good Watch

Through a powerful lecture and archival film, civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson draws a sobering timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States.

Sharing is Caring

January/February Topic – Alumni Couples and Faculty Pairs

How does your law school connect with its alumni couples? Whether an annual sweethearts post on social media, special events, or fundraising initiatives, we’d love to hear how you are stewarding those who found their person while earning their law degrees. Bonus points if you have tips on working with faculty couples, too! Share your strategies and programming on our Section Sharing Sheet on the Institutional Advancement Website!

Did You Know?

Did you know you can share your law school’s upcoming symposia for inclusion on the AALS website? You can also review a list of upcoming symposia at law schools around the country. Visit

Questions? Comments?

Feel free to reach out to your 2023 IA Section Officers:

Access past newsletter issues and archived webinars on the Institutional Advancement website