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    10.31.14 All for One: The Team Challenge
    Brooklyn Law School - Professor Jodi Balsam

    The Law School’s Team Challenge was created to encourage alumni at law firms and companies to reconnect with their alma mater. Within each firm or company, volunteer Team Captains take the lead in inspiring their BLS colleagues to join together to meet the 100% Team Challenge: a gift of any amount made to BLS during the fiscal year 2014-2015 counts toward participation. By participating in the Challenge, alumni help raise essential funds, increase overall alumni giving participation, strengthen the BLS network, and enhance the profile or their law firm or company.

    This past fiscal year, under the leadership of Chairperson Francis J. Aquila ’83, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, and a member of the Law School’s Board of Trustees the Team Challenge has grown to include 36 employers. “The Challenge has been a great generator of team spirit and pride for the Law School,” says Aquila. “It provides critical support for the annual fund, engages matching gifts, and reconnects graduates with their fellow alumni. Most importantly, it has an impact on future generations of students.”

    Under the leadership of Scott Hazan ‘73, Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen, P.C. has achieved 100% participation for the past four years in a row. Hazan describes how “The  Team Challenge represents both a wonderful opportunity to get to know your colleagues at your firm who have the same law school background and at the same time provide an opportunity to give back.”

    Deborah E. Riegel ‘93, along with Gary Rosenberg, led the firm Rosenberg & Estis, 100% participation this year. “The most special aspect of being a Brooklyn Law School student and alumnus is that BLS has truly created a community that supports students both during their tenure at the law school and after they are graduated and begin to practice,” Riegel says. “The Team Challenge is a natural extension of that philosophy because it encourages alumni at the participating firms to work together  and to “pay it forward” to new students and reminds us all of the many great things BLS has done for each of us along the way.  It is my honor to lead the Rosenberg & Estis team, together with Gary Rosenberg, and to be able to give back to BLS.” 

    Under the leadership of Michael D. Grohman ’83 and Frederick Cohen ’67, Duane Morris LLP has achieved 100% participation in the Law School Team Challenge for four years in a row. Grohman describes how “The Team Challenge serves as a wonderful reminder to all BLS graduates at our firm of how we would not be enjoying our current successes without the foundation that BLS has given to each of us.  It similarly reminds us that part of our obligation, having shared in such success, is to help those who are now beginning their careers at BLS as we were fortunate enough to do years ago.”

    Michael A. London ’97 has led the firm Douglas & London, P.C. too 100% participation for four years in a row. He explains that “When I first learned about the BLS Team Challenge, and how success was actually measured via participation, I decided to try and ensure that my firm's BLS alumni (of which we consistently have 4 or 5) would hopefully participate. Well, it turned out that we have achieved 100% participation for the past 4-5 years, and no one wants to be the one to let the team down. At the same time we are able to help raise funds for BLS and be reminded how much BLS has meant to each of us in our own way.”

    Under the leadership of Lara R. Sheikh ’01, Togut, Segal & Segal, LLP has achieved 100% participation this year. “It has been an honor to serve as a leader in the Team Challenge since it began a few years back,” Sheikh says. “The Team Challenge has provided an opportunity to talk with BLS colleagues at my firm, Togut, Segal & Segal, about why I choose to support BLS in a meaningful way and to encourage them to do the same. I am so grateful to BLS both for providing an excellent foundation for my legal career, and also for the BLS community that continues to support me professionally. I take great pride in being part of the tradition of giving back to BLS.”

    Five law firms deserve special recognition for achieving 100% participation: Togut, Segal & Segal, LLP, team captain Lara R. Sheikh ’01; Rosenberg & Estis, team captains, Gary M. Rosenberg ’74 and Deborah E. Riegel ’93; Otterbourg, P.C, team captain, Scott L. Hazan ’73; Duane Morris, LLP, team captain Michael D. Grohman ’83; and Douglas & London, P.C, team captain Michael A. London ’97. For a complete list of all firms and companies participating in the Team Challenge please click here.