This fall marks the Law School's 125th anniversary. More than 500 alumni and friends attended a gala dinner at the McNamara Alumni Center in early October as we celebrated the many ways our alumni have used their legal training to benefit society. Twenty-three alumni were honored for their contributions, and we will continue to highlight the work of other alumni in the months ahead.
As we look to the future, we expect to continue to grow our international programs. In late August, 68 LL.M. students arrived a few weeks prior to our J.D. students to get a jump-start on orientation with an introductory course on American law. This is an enrollment increase of 145% over last year. Our students explain why they've chosen this Law School in the video on the news/event page of this newsletter. The video will give you a sense of the excitement and appreciation that our students feel for the University of Minnesota Law School.
This fall we also welcomed 11 Humphrey Fellows from all over the world. They are all established legal professionals in their home countries—judges, human rights lawyers, law enforcement officials, and government leaders, among others.
Increasingly, our J.D. class also includes a large number of international students. This year, 9% come from outside the United States.
This past spring we received a generous grant from the Robina Foundation to establish a Center for New Americans. Professor Ben Casper (’97) has been hired to direct the center and teach a new Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic. Ben has more than 16 years of experience litigating cases before immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, U.S. District Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Two other clinics will be housed in the center—Professor Steve Meili's Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, and a new Detainee Rights Clinic, taught by the recently hired Professor Linus Chan.
The Center for New Americans advances the mission of the Law School's clinics: to address societal needs while enriching our students' legal education. But what makes this center unique is that it will operate in formal partnership with six other organizations: the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, the Advocates for Human Rights, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, and the law firms Dorsey & Whitney, Faegre Baker Daniels, and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.
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Dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law