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Sponsors become donors to support students during COVID-19 pandemic

When Penn State Law in University Park transitioned its annual Careers in the Law event to a virtual one due to COVID-19 concerns, Assistant Dean of Career Services Magen Mihok offered the sponsoring firms a choice: a full refund or a donation to Penn State Law’s Future Fund to support students impacted by COVID-19. The result was a true embodiment of the 'We Are' spirit.
Careers in the Law

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – When Penn State Law in University Park transitioned its annual Careers in the Law event to a virtual one due to COVID-19, Assistant Dean of Career Services Magen Mihok offered the sponsoring firms a choice: a full refund or a donation to Penn State Law’s Future Fund to support students impacted by COVID-19. She was deeply moved when all of them rapidly responded to provide a donation.

“I had hoped one or two of them would donate their contribution back to the school,” said Mihok. “I was overwhelmed by the WE ARE spirit of everyone involved with Penn State Law and the University, as I have been countless times over the past few weeks.”

The firms that chose to sponsor and then donate to Penn State Law ranged from large international firms to smaller private practices. One of these firms was King & Huffines – Attorneys at Law of Beaver, Pa., owned by Class of 2016 Penn State Law alumni Austin King and Matthew Huffines.

“As far as the decision to donate, it was easy. It wasn’t even a decision. I’m proud to be a Nittany Lion and Penn State Law helped set me up for where I am today,” said King. “Specifically, the practice-oriented classes and clinics gave me the skills I needed to open my practice right out of school. I doubt I would have gotten that level of training at other law schools. I just hope our donation can help another student take the same untraditional path that I chose.”

Alumni played a large role in this unexpected act of giving. Almost every sponsor’s donation was facilitated by a Penn State alum. Sponsoring firms with alumni like Alan Gedrich, Smeal College of Business alumnus and partner at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP of Philadelphia; Curt Toll, Penn State Dickinson School of Law alumnus and shareholder at Greenberg Traurig of Philadelphia; and Christina Henry, Penn State University alumna and Legal Recruiting Coordinator at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP of New York City, in addition to Richards, Layton & Finger of Wilmington, DE, a regular employer of Penn State Law students and alumni, all stepped up to support Penn State Law students.

“As a Penn State alum, I am particularly proud to be able to support Penn State Law students, and we look forward to continuing our partnership,” said Henry.

This decision to support Penn State Law students is a wonderful example of the many ways that the Penn State lawyers community is coming together during a time of need. They are participating actively in the virtual Careers in the Law event and a lecture series for students, Law in the Time of COVID, and are helping our students navigate this challenging career environment.

Virtual Careers in the Law 2020 will be held via Zoom on Friday, April 17, beginning at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

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