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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 2013 Perspectives: Theories of Evolution

Ponytailed crusaders in jeans and rumpled jackets versus corporate big shots in bespoke suits—that's how a great many people imagine environmental law. But that Hollywood scenario, if it was ever true, is a far cry from today's reality. In our fall 2013 cover story, writer Cathy Madison speaks with six Law School alumni whose practices demonstrate that environmental law is a complex, nuanced, ever-evolving field that offers fascinating challenges and a sense of contributing to the common good for attorneys on all sides of the issues.

In October, the Law School marked its 125th anniversary with a week of events both scholarly and celebratory, culminating in a sold-out gala at McNamara Alumni Center. Perspectives' coverage includes reports on the William Lockhart Lecture and a deans' panel on the future of legal education, plus plenty of photos from the gala. There's also a special magazine insert that traces the Law School's illustrious history through the achievements of its deans.

Over the past 20 years, Professor Stephen Befort (’74) has become one of the nation's foremost experts on and practitioners of alternative dispute resolution. In "Theory at Work," writer Karen K. Hansen takes an in-depth look at Befort's work as an arbitrator and mediator—most of which takes place in often-rancorous employment and workplace settings. It's an absorbing look at a man whose work and teaching are dedicated to helping disputatious parties find common ground.

A new required 1L course at the Law School is emerging as one of the most significant curricular innovations in recent years. Designed by associate professors Prentiss Cox (’90) and Laura Thomas, Law in Practice combines classroom learning with small-group simulations that not only reinforce legal concepts but also give students an invaluable context for the rest of their Law School instruction. Writer Kathy Graves reports on an in-house development that will soon be marketed to law schools nationwide.

Additional stories include a report on Law and Inequality's symposium on the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright and other seminal events in the struggle for civil rights; a profile of Professor Fred Morrison, a man with 220 collectible silk ties and a lifetime of global legal experience; the Minnesota Law Review's annual symposium, this year devoted to the topic "The Future of Organized Labor: Labor Law in the 21st Century"; a look at some new initiatives the Law School Career Center is using to help students find jobs; and profiles of recent donors to Gifts to GENERATIONS—including the class of 1963, whose 50th reunion gift set a new record.

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; guest and faculty lectures; photos and coverage of the 2013 commencement ceremony; class notes; and much more.

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

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