Giving Students Opportunities of a Lifetime

Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brian Arnfelt describes his time in the National Football League as a great foundation for building a legal career. “Playing football taught me to roll with the punches—or tackles—and be quick on my feet,” says Arnfelt, who spent his 1L summer as a judicial extern with the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, and his 2L summer interning at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Now a 3L, Arnfelt uses the skills he developed on the field and in the classroom as president of the Real Estate Law Society and associate editor of the Michigan Business and Entrepreneurial Law Review. “Just like in football, I have to read people, quickly analyze a situation, and adapt in the classroom and in the courtroom.” These skills served Arnfelt particularly well as one of four Venture Fellows selected to participate in the ZEAL Venture Capital Lab, a Law School program that offers students the opportunity to work on investment deals with two local funds. “I gained a business perspective and a legal perspective,” says Arnfelt. “It was an intense but worthwhile experience—the best opportunity I have had at Michigan. It really opened my eyes to what is out there.”