For Law Alumni Couple, Community is Everything
Jamie Fleckner ’98 JD and Sarah Fleckner ’98 JD met as students at UConn School of Law and got married soon after, just one week after taking the bar exam. Both say that the strong sense of community they experienced at UConn played an integral role in their law school education.
“It was a great environment, and people really supported each other,” says Jamie. “There was a real sense of community that is different from other law schools.”
Sarah says this extended to the faculty as well, with professors providing a level of support that went above and beyond.
“They provided a lot of one-on-one attention, and nothing seemed more important than talking to their students,” she says. “They were extremely accessible, and I don’t know that you get that attention at all law schools.”
The high level of faculty support coupled with a comprehensive curriculum meant that Jamie and Sarah felt well prepared for their careers.
“UConn School of Law gave me a strong foundation. I still remember some of the lessons from one of the first courses I took, a lawyering process class,” shares Jamie, who is a partner at Goodwin in Boston. “That class was taught by a practitioner, not an academic, who provided many useful tips that have stuck with me throughout my career.”
“My job was mostly writing. UConn prepared me to be an excellent researcher and writer,” says Sarah, who clerked at the Probate and Family Court and the Massachusetts Court of Appeals before leaving the legal profession to raise the couple’s three children. She is also active in their hometown of Needham, Massachusetts, and the surrounding area volunteering at various nonprofits.
That sense of community has inspired the Fleckners’ support for the law school and its students. Jamie has been instrumental in his firm’s recruitment efforts at UConn School of Law—something he says not all Boston-based firms do but that he sees as a win for both his firm and the young lawyers coming out of UConn.
“I think UConn graduates are excellent, and it’s important to find opportunities for them,” he says. “Since I’ve been fortunate in my career, I like to see that UConn students get their shot.”
Recently, in celebration of the School of Law’s centennial, Sarah and Jamie decided to expand their support of the school with a financial contribution to the Constance Belton Green Diversity Fund, which provides broad support for diversity, racial, and social justice initiatives at the School of Law.
“The legal profession has a long way to go in terms of diversity,” Jamie explains. “Efforts to increase diversity—which includes equity and inclusion—must start before people enter the legal profession. It needs to start in law school, if not earlier.”
“When thinking of how we could best support UConn and its students, we knew we wanted to give to people who didn’t have the same privilege we did,” says Sarah. “We were thrilled when we learned of this fund. It gave us an important way to support the law school and help underrepresented communities gain access to the same opportunities we had.”
“The law school is deeply grateful to Sarah and Jamie for their gift to the Constance Belton Green Diversity Fund, which supports our mission to elevate diversity, equity, and belonging at the law school,” says Eboni S. Nelson, dean of the School of Law. “Jamie has also been a steadfast champion of our graduates through his firm’s recruitment efforts, demonstrating his belief in the exceptional legal education we provide at UConn School of Law.”
Being able to support the law community they love in a way that aligns with their values made this gift especially meaningful to the Fleckners.
“Finding a way to give back is consistent with our views and our desire to support the communities that we belong to, UConn being one of them,” says Sarah.
“A fund like the Constance Belton Green Diversity Fund, which helps underrepresented communities have these opportunities, is really important to the law school and the legal profession,” says Jamie. “We are proud to support this work.”