Go to the U of M home page.
e-Perspectives International logo

Dean's Message

Dean's Message

Moving Ahead to Keep Pace

We kicked off our Spring Alumni Weekend on April 15 with a vibrant and well-attended reception at the Law School and were pleased to see more than 200 alumni from various years renewing connections. At the reception, the Law School announced the public phase of a $70 million funding campaign, anticipated to run for the next five years.

GENERATIONS. The Campaign for the University of Minnesota Law School, the campaign theme, recognizes the school’s tradition of educating leaders for a changing world. It also reflects the strong connections between generations of Law School graduates, with each generation building on the work of past generations and paving the way for future generations.

For more than 120 years, the Law School has graduated students who have gone on to represent the school and the profession with distinction, both at home and around the world. A successful campaign is essential to carrying on that tradition.

With state funding disappearing, the Law School, like other top public law schools, is moving rapidly to financial self-sufficiency. Under this new funding model, the Law School must rely more than ever before on the support of its alumni and friends.

Scholarships are a top priority of our campaign. Today’s students face a difficult job market while carrying an average debt of more than $90,000. Greater scholarship support will allow us to continue to attract the most promising students, and allow them to pursue the careers of their choice.

Other major campaign goals are to add faculty, expand programs in core areas of strength, support curricular innovations, and strengthen the many additional elements essential to a top legal education—the Law Library, the clinics, and much more.

Half of the campaign goal has already been raised, under the leadership of campaign co-chairs Bruce Mooty (’80), a principal of Gray Plant Mooty, and Elliot S. Kaplan (’61), a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi. We’re very grateful to the donors who have supported this early phase of the campaign with their generous gifts. We are confident that others will follow their lead and hope you will join us. You can learn more about the campaign at www.law.umn.edu/generations.html.

I'm pleased to report that the Law School has moved up to No. 20 in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report rankings released earlier this spring. Our health law program remains at No. 10 in the specialties category. In a new ranking, for which 750 recruiters and hiring partners were surveyed, the Law School is No. 18 in a tie with six other schools. Although we prefer to use our own measures of success, we know that these rankings are influential.

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in the University’s Great Conversations series with former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson. The Conversation will be available online and will be found on our Web site in the weeks ahead. Robinson also gave the Horatio Ellsworth Kellar Distinguished Visitors lecture at the Law School and talked about her past and current human rights efforts. During her visit, she reflected on the human rights strengths of the Law School and the broader Twin Cities community and encouraged students to make public service an important part of their professional identity.

You’ll find many additional international activities in the news, events, faculty, and student sections of this newsletter.

Commencement is May 14 and will take place at Mariucci Arena due to renovations at Northrop Hall. Along with graduates receiving J.D. degrees, 34 graduates will receive LL.M. degrees and will return to their home countries with the knowledge and experiences they gained at the Law School. LL.M. students are a critical part of our Law School community. We hope to expand the program and confer increasing numbers of LL.M. degrees over the coming years.

We hope you enjoy this edition of e>P International and that you will keep us informed of your activities by completing the short form at www.law.umn.edu/llm/class_notes.html.

David Wippman, Dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law