Milligan Scholarship Fund Established


Law Firm Partner, "Jack and Bobby" Creator / Best-Selling Author are Inaugural Donors


Anne Cohen, a partner at the New York law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, along with Brad Meltzer and his wife Cori Flam, have joined to initiate the Dean James Milligan Scholarship Fund at ColumbiaLawSchool.   Meltzer is a creator and producer of the WB's "Jack and Bobby," as well the best-selling author of The Tenth Justice, The Zero Game and other legal thrillers.   He is a 1996 graduate of the School, Flam is a 1995 graduate, and Cohen received her J.D. in 1985.   Milligan, the School's admissions dean for 25 years, died suddenly in January.   He was 56 years old.   Cohen, Meltzer and Flam were admitted to the School by Milligan and have fond memories of him.


"During my senior year of college, I'd taken more ‘artsy' electives than standard academic ones, and in my interview, Dean Milligan asked me whether the courseload was too easy," said Brad Meltzer.  "Then, he asked me about D.W. Griffith's controversial film, ‘The Birth of a Nation.'  We talked about the film, its controversy, its impact.   As I left his office, I realized Dean Milligan was testing me to see whether I'd taken the course seriously, or just considered it a blow-off class with a lot of Woody Allen movies."   A few weeks later, Meltzer received his acceptance letter with a hand-written note from Dean Milligan.  "When I saw him as a 1L and told him my name, he cut me off and asked, ‘How's the writing going?'"


"Columbia is a vibrant place in large part because Jim Milligan was determined to populate the LawSchool with interesting and engaged students," said Anne Cohen.


Milligan Scholarships will be awarded to Columbia Law School J.D. students based on merit and need.    Fundraising on the scholarship fund continues, with appeals underway to the thousands of graduates admitted to Columbia Law during James Milligan's 25 years as admissions dean.


"Jim Milligan was in many ways the soul of Columbia Law," said Dean David Schizer. "A scholarship fund in his name will continue his legacy."


"On the day of my graduation, Dean Milligan was on stage as we accepted our diplomas," said Brad Meltzer.   "I still remember looking him in the eye and saying the one thing I'd practiced in my head as I waited to be called:  ‘Thank you for changing my life.'"