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Dean's Message

Dean's Message

Dear Friends,

It's that time of year again. Last week, the U.S. News rankings were released. I'm pleased to report that the Law School moved up to No. 19 overall, and our health law program ranked No. 10 in the specialties category (a position it has held for a number of years). Although we prefer to use our own measures of success, we know that the U.S. News rankings are influential.

One measure of success is the recognition achieved by our faculty. Professor Dale Carpenter offers just one example. His recently released book, "Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas," has received much acclaim in The New York Times Book Review, the New Yorker, and other prominent publications. Reviewers call Flagrant Conduct an "important new book" and comment that it "turns conventional wisdom about Lawrence on its head." Professor Carpenter will be signing books at Magers and Quinn in Minneapolis on April 9, at the Law School on April 23, and in cities around the country over the summer.

The accomplishments of our students afford another key measure of success. In February, Washington and Lee University School of Law released its 2011 law journal rankings, and the Minnesota Law Review was No. 10. Also in February, 3Ls Ben Tozer and Bobby Mir went to New Orleans to vie with 228 teams in the ABA National Negotiation Competition, and they brought home the championship title. Of course, our students' achievements extend well beyond the classroom and simulation courtroom. The Theatre of the Relatively Talentless celebrated its tenth anniversary in early March with a magic carpet ride in "Alawddin: The Tale of 1001 All-Nighters." As always, students displayed a surprising array of singing, dancing, and gentle satirizing skills.

Perhaps the most important measures of our success are the many ways in which our alumni have used their legal training to build careers and transform society. If you haven't kept up with your classmates, we urge you to reconnect. Spring Alumni Weekend kicks off Friday, April 20, with an all-alumni cocktail reception in the Dorsey Foyer. On Saturday morning, April 21, I will moderate a CLE credit discussion, "Lessons From and Legal Perspectives on the Petters Business Collapse and Subsequent Fallout," with panelists Professor John Matheson, Douglas Kelley (’74), and Joseph Dixon III. On Saturday afternoon and evening, individual class reunions will be held throughout the Twin Cities. Be sure to check the e>Community website for more details and discounted tickets to the Guthrie Theater's performances of "Hay Fever" and "Time Stands Still."

And mark your calendars for the Summer CLE program, May 25-June 8. Many additional events are coming up, and you can read about them in this newsletter.

May 12 will be commencement day for the Class of 2012. The tough employment market continues to challenge law graduates across the country. It also has increased scrutiny of the career statistics that law schools report. We follow the guidelines set forth by the ABA and NALP, but to ensure transparency, we have posted more detailed career statistics at www.law.umn.edu/careers/career-facts-and-statistics.html.

We are always looking for innovative ways to prepare our students and help our graduates find rewarding employment; for them and for us, this is a critical measure of success. I hope you will partner with us in assisting this next generation of leaders.

David Wippman
Dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law