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Perspectives

Perspectives is the University of Minnesota Law School's publication for alumni, faculty, students, staff, and supporters and is published twice a year.

Fall 2014 Perspectives: The Wide World of Sports Law

There's a whole lot more to being a sports lawyer than hobnobbing with elite athletes. As writer Cathy Madison reports in our fall 2014 cover story, based on interviews with six alumni and a member of the Law School Board of Advisors, today's sports law can encompass everything from litigation to estate planning and can touch on myriad areas of the law: property, torts, corporate, tax, environmental, employment, antitrust, intellectual property, real estate, and more. As one alumnus put it, sports law is "a combination of hard-core legal work and dealing with characters of all kinds." It's those characters—athletes, of course, but also team owners, media moguls, league commissioners, corporate titans, and rabid fans—who ensure that sports law never gets dull.

Professor Mark Kappelhoff came to the Law School in 2012 as director of the Criminal Justice Clinic. Before that he spent 14 years as a federal prosecutor, working on such high-profile cases as the Rampart police corruption scandal in Los Angeles and United States v. Kil Soo Lee, the largest human trafficking case ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice. In "Theory at Work," Cathy Madison sketches the life and career of a man whom U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez calls "the whole package—a superb trial lawyer, a great tactician and strategist, and a wonderful manager and leader."

In September, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg came to the Law School to meet with students and sit down for a public conversation with Professor Robert Stein (’61). Writer Todd Melby reports on her much-anticipated visit, which included moments of great legal seriousness (Ginsburg's comments on recent Supreme Court decisions, such as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby) as well as personal stories and reflections and a few memorable instances of the justice's dry wit and excellent comic timing.

Additional stories include a report on the University's new Energy Transition Lab, which will be housed at the Law School; a profile of Professor John Matheson, who often rewrites pop songs and show tunes and belts them out in class to help students master key concepts in business law; a report on the Center for New Americans' highly successful first year, which included a case accepted for full plenary review by the U.S. Supreme Court; news of a second prestigious Andrews Legal Literature Award for the Law Library; announcements of two gifts to the GENERATIONS campaign that will support students pursuing public service careers; and a tribute to the late Professor Russell W. Burris, a pioneer in computer-assisted legal instruction.

Also in this issue: summaries of news, awards, and activities across the Law School; profiles of students, alumni, and new and visiting faculty; staff hires and promotions; a recap of the 2014 commencement exercises; class notes; and much more.

Send comments to Cynthia Huff, Director of Communications, huffx070@umn.edu.

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