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Why I Give | Mimi Dane

February 24, 2021 | Alumni

For alumna Mimi Dane ’89, the last three decades have been shaped by one reoccurring theme: Give, Inspire, Repeat. Dane was a successful trial attorney and partner at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, now Squire Patton Boggs. As a lawyer, she enjoyed the diversity of cases, constantly learning new things, and trying to find solutions to a variety of complex issues. Also, her values and those of the firm were very much aligned. “The firm is important to me because a huge part of its culture is focused on giving back to the community and that’s something, I believe in doing.”

As a donor, Dane is part of a special tradition. Her generosity enriches the college’s legacy by helping to illuminate a career path of possibilities for exceptional students to pursue their dreams. Dane’s fondness for wanting to help students began when she was a law student at Ohio State.

Upon graduating from law school, the Class of 1989 wanted to leave something that would have a meaningful impact on the lives of future graduates. “We wanted to create a loan repayment program that would support our peers whose legal calling was in public interest law,” Dane said. “Back then, our class understood that Public Interest Law is critical work and we wanted to ease the financial burden for those who wanted to pursue those careers.”

Public Interest Law focuses on providing the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our society with access to legal services. This essential area of the law promotes the fair and just operation of laws, policies, and practices for all. For its graduation gift, the Class of 1989 established the Moritz College of Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) to support recent graduates accepting positions with government or legal services employers – employers whose needs for quality legal professionals often go unmet.

Graduates of the most recent graduating class are eligible for LRAP consideration if they accept law-related positions with local, state, or federal government agencies or public service organizations that qualify for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Those selected for LRAP will receive $4,000, which will be distributed as a loan by the college. The loan will be forgiven after the completion of one year of qualifying employment.

“That gift was established over 30 years ago and I still contribute. The LRAP program is part of my planned gift to the law school. I continue to believe that we should always support and encourage those who want to pursue a career in public service because the work they do is critical and a gift to our society.”

Although retired, Dane still enjoys bringing people together who have a shared interest in wanting to change the world and transform lives. Understanding that law students are embarking on an incredible journey, she openly discusses her career path and the life lessons she learned. “I want students to remember to take care of themselves and understand that they have the power to determine their success. Most importantly, I want them to remember that kindness and emotional intelligence will always be in style so be good to others in this world.”

After retiring from the firm, she served as CEO of Flying Horse Farms for seven years. Flying Horse Farms is a camp for children with serious illnesses and their families.  It’s a place where children can forget about their illness for a week and focus on being a kid. Her exemplary career is proof of the remarkable elasticity of a law degree while her generosity is a reminder that we can change the world beyond the framework of our existence.

For more information about the Moritz College of Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program, please contact Amy Milbourne at milbourne.5@osu.edu.