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Dean's Message

Dean's Message

Spring is in the air in Minnesota, and with it comes the 2012 U.S. News rankings, released today. I'm pleased to report that the Law School has moved up to No. 20, a spot we share with George Washington University Law School. 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.

This week, our students are on break after much studying and a rousing production of "Harry Torter and the Magical Law School" by the Theatre of the Relatively Talentless (TORT), but preparations are in full swing for several spring events.

Later this month, Wilma B. Liebman, chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, will present a lecture at the Law School entitled, “Reviving American Labor Law.” Her visit is especially timely in light of what is happening in our neighboring state of Wisconsin. It should prove to be a provocative lecture.

On April 7, Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, and I will present a live “conversation” at the Coffman Union as part of the University’s Great Conversations series. On the following day, she will present the Horatio Ellsworth Kellar Lecture in Law at the Law School. I hope you can join us. More information on these and many more events can be found on our events calendar.

Spring Alumni Weekend starts April 15. All those attending will get an extension on the federal tax deadline until the following Monday, so no excuses. Please plan to attend the kickoff reception starting at 4:30 p.m. in the Dorsey Foyer. We will have a special program and guests and exciting announcements that you won’t want to miss. Saturday includes a CLE opportunity and class reunions. On Sunday, you can run off any weekend excesses at the ninth annual Race for Justice. Proceeds go to the Loan Repayment Assistance Program of Minnesota. Please join us for a weekend of remembering and reconnecting.

Our 3Ls are looking ahead to the 123rd Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, taking place at Mariucci Arena this year due to renovations at Northrop Auditorium. We are honored to have former Vice President Walter F. Mondale as our commencement speaker. Among our many exceptional graduates will be Lindsey Yock, who completed her J.D. magna cum laude in 2008 and will complete her M.D. this spring. As our first J.D./M.D. joint degree graduate, she is creating another first in Law School history.

Early this summer, we will welcome two new faculty members. Christopher Roberts will join us on May 24 and will teach torts and administrative law. He completed a joint doctoral program in public policy and sociology at the University of Michigan in 2010 and received his J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2000. His primary research interests are human rights, international law, legal history, and social theory. On June 30, Jessica Clarke will join us from a two-year associates-in-law fellowship program at Columbia Law. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2003. Her primary teaching and research interests are civil procedure, employment discrimination, and family law.

You’ll find many additional announcements and more news regarding our faculty and students in this newsletter.

Alumni, mark your calendars for the Summer CLE program, May 31 to June 11.

We hope to see many of you on Alumni Weekend. Happy spring to all!

David Wippman
Dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law