Creating a Digital Alumni Engagement Strategy at Berkeley Law

August 2023 — By BrightCrowd

Many students choose to continue their education post-college or university and attend law school in hopes of earning their Juris Doctorate. Given the prestige associated with the legal industry, students face fierce competition as they strive to obtain a spot at some of the most renowned institutions. Although the average acceptance rate within the United States is 41%, the most notable programs admit less than 15% of applicants yearly.

Berkeley Law is a well-respected institution that garners worldwide attention. With nearly 8,000 applicants each year, and a typical class size of 384 students, the program is ranked 10th in the country by the U.S. News & World Report. The university not only takes pride in its ability to provide students with a top-notch curriculum that paves the way for a successful legal career but finds gratification in the school spirit that graduates illustrate well beyond completing their studies. As a result, the school places importance on maintaining meaningful connections among Berkeley alumni.

How Covid-19 Impacted Alumni Engagement

The Covid-19 pandemic put a temporary halt to all in-person events and gatherings. People were encouraged to remain at home when possible and adhere to strict social distancing guidelines when in public. For Berkely, this presented a challenge when it came to implementing law school reunions – they could no longer rely on traditional methods of encouraging alumni interaction, such as alumni reunions or homecoming festivities. The school needed to develop a new community engagement strategy that would attract alumni despite recently pivoting into the digital world.

Like many other businesses, organizations, and colleges, Berkeley turned to virtual reunions. Looking to maintain, while simultaneously growing, relations with Berkeley law alumni, the school turned to digital books. This alternative mode of alumni engagement introduced a virtual engagement option (and eventual hybrid option) for those alumni who still wish to participate in their law school reunion and reconnect or network with other Berkeley alumni.

How Digital Books Brought Berkeley Alumni Together

Berkeley Law started to use digital books as part of its new community engagement strategy in 2020. Once the book was set up by a staff member or organizer, invitations to join the book were then sent out to members of the graduating class that was being celebrated. With the ability to quickly create each book, the school could reallocate resources to other departments or initiatives.

Once participants received their invitations to their respective books, they were encouraged to fill out their pages in a way that felt authentic and meaningful to them. The books included standard reunion questions and prompts to help participants provide valuable information for their fellow peers.

The school also incorporated personalized touches such as the school logo and other familiar branding to help reiterate its mission and approach to success, increase school spirit, and highlight its ongoing pride for its current and former students.

How Alumni Took to BrightCrowd

It can be challenging to ascertain the effectiveness of a new alumni engagement strategy without the proper metrics and pre-determined key performance indicators (KPIs). However, given the nature and setup of BrightCrowd’s digital service, Berkeley Law quickly identified its engagement efforts' success over the 2020-2023 timespan.

A few of the significant findings include:

  • Many alumni immediately began to fill out their profiles upon receiving their invitation
  • Nearly 3,000 pages have been created by Berkeley Law alumni
  • Over the last three years, the school has seen an average participation rate of 41%

As the old saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding” – the data obtained indicates that the school’s efforts to integrate a digital book into its law school reunions was well-received. In fact, the school was so pleased with BrightCrowd’s success that as of 2023, they’ve decided to expand their efforts and apply the use of digital books to other groups within the school – using BrightCrowd’s unlimited package, Berkeley Law hopes to include books for incoming students, graduates, and more.

Contact BrightCrowd today to learn more about how digital books can help you increase alumni participation through a unique alumni engagement strategy.