Our 2018 Law Firm Challenge is off to the races, heading to our June 30 finish. We thank all of our participating alumni and firms for joining us in this, our 16th, year. Thanks to your support, our challenge is one of the stand-out alumni outreach and fundraising initiatives at UCLA Law and has gained recognition as one of the very best in the nation.
Our goal, as always, is to increase our impact and break last year's records, when 91 firms participated in the challenge, 78 percent of alumni at those firms pitched in, 53 firms saw 100 percent participation from Bruin alumni, and overall the Law Firm Challenge contributed approximately $1.2 million to UCLA Law. These are great results! We have come a long way since 2002, when we launched the challenge with just four firms. But we still have room to grow.
We can and should increase our financial support at this critical time, when UCLA Law is competing with far better-endowed peer schools for the best and brightest students, while at the same time leading top 20 schools in providing access to opportunity and diversity. In recent years, we have recognized those firms whose partners are most active in giving at a Leadership Level. In 2017, 25 firms earned gold stars for having at least half of their partners make a gift of $1,000 or more. We hope that many alumni at your firms, who have been giving consistently for the last few years, will consider increasing their investment in our great law school this year.
We must not lose sight of the larger mission of the challenge, namely to encourage our alumni to stay engaged with UCLA Law after graduation and support it — not just with money, but also with time, energy and talent. It is more important than ever that our alumni spend time on campus, recruiting and mentoring students and helping them prepare for their lives as lawyers in a rapidly changing world. The more than 150 representatives at our challenge firms and their colleagues are doing this, and we encourage you to join us. Our work together gives our law firms an opportunity for greater involvement with UCLA Law and greater exposure in the Los Angeles legal community. All of this is highly important and great fun.
Thanks for all you do to make our Law Firm Challenge the best in the nation and a very important part of the school's success.
If you and your firm are not already participating in the challenge, we encourage you to join us. Please contact Jennifer Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Thank you for your great support of UCLA Law and the challenge. See you at the finish line!