Minnesota Law

Spring 2020
Why I Give

Why I Give: Dafei Chen ’00

Dafei Chen ’00

If you ask Dafei Chen ’00 about the financial commitment he’s made to Minnesota Law, he offers a poetic answer: “I’m just following a Chinese custom: a favor of a drop of water should be paid back in the form of an oozing spring. I appreciated the Law School’s education and I try my best to contribute to the Law School. It’s that simple.”

Chen, a corporate lawyer focusing on venture capital, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and capital markets, says what he enjoys most about his career is getting to work with and learn from “outstanding entrepreneurs who are trailblazers in their respective fields.”

Why did he choose to pursue his J.D. at Minnesota? The Law School, he says, “posted me more friendly international mails—there was no email at that time— than other law schools.” Once here, Chen found a favorite professor in John Matheson (“in Contracts, he made complicated legal theories simple to understand”) and an experience of winter that, he states diplomatically, “made me appreciate the summers more.” Indeed, what he misses most about his time at the University is “the excitement of seeing any sign of spring.”

As an international alum, staying in touch with the Law School can be a challenge. But for Chen, it’s worth the effort. “A human being,” he says, “has a natural desire to be part of a community that makes him or her proud.”

HOMETOWN: Puning, Guangdong, China


GIVING: Lockhart Club Member

WHAT WE WON’T FIND ON HIS RESUME: Enjoys going to farmers’ markets on weekends “to find the freshest ingredients to cook for my family and friends— and so far they seem happy with my work products.”

ADVICE TO FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS: “You are on a great starting point. Make it your second nature to apply the critical way of thinking that the Law School is teaching you. Enjoy lifetime learning and try to make a positive difference.”

There are many ways to give back to the University of Minnesota Law School. Find yours.