PUBLISHED:June 03, 2009

Duke Law honors Law Firm Challenge winners

Duke Law School recognized Williams & Connolly and McDermott Will & Emery as the winners of its inaugural Law Firm Challenge during a celebratory event at Sidley Austin in Washington, D.C., on May 19.

Dean David F. Levi and Reggie Love T '04 spoke to more than 80 members of the Law School community including alumni, faculty, and current and incoming students at the event. Love, President Obama's personal aide and a member of Duke's 2001 NCAA Champion basketball team, reflected on the lessons in teamwork he has learned in sports and politics and highlighted the collaborative spirit among Law School alumni as demonstrated by the success of the Law Firm Challenge.

The Law Firm Challenge matched D.C. alumni against one another in an effort to reach 100 percent participation in Annual Fund giving at their respective firms. Alumni at 10 firms together raised more than $180,000 for Duke Law during the month-long, volunteer-driven competition.

Four firms reached the requisite participation level for giving, necessitating a tiebreaker of largest average gift to determine the winners. Williams & Connolly topped those firms employing six or more alumni while McDermott Will & Emery finished first among firms employing five or fewer. Jones Day and Dow Lohnes were the other two firms to reach the 100 percent participation level. In keeping with the competition's March Madness theme, Williams & Connolly and McDermott Will & Emery received basketball-shaped trophies that will eventually be passed on to future winners of the annual challenge.

Board of Visitor Member Peter Kahn '76 and Law Alumni Association Board Member Paul Pantano '80 served as volunteer organizers for the Law Firm Challenge. The effort generated a 59 percent participation rate among the alumni working for the competing firms. The average participation rate among all Duke Law alumni is 26 percent.

The following firms competed in the Law Firm Challenge (team captains in parentheses): Dow Lohnes (David Wittenstein '81); Fulbright & Jaworski (Rick Robinson '82); Hogan & Hartson (Prentiss Feagles '76); Jones Day (Miguel Eaton '06); McDermott Will & Emery (Paul Pantano '80); Morgan Lewis & Bockius (Chris Mixter '77); Sidley Austin (Terry Hynes '79); Sutherland Asbill & Brennan (Doug Siegler '86); Williams & Connolly (Peter Kahn '76); and WilmerHale (Jeff Davidson '77).

See the Law Firm Challenge photo gallery.