Our energy system is in the midst of a major transition. Our power sources are shifting from coal to more natural gas and renewables. We need to upgrade our aging grid to accommodate those new sources. As our grid becomes "smarter," we need it to be responsive and reliable. And new greenhouse gas emissions regulations and the need to make our grid resilient as the climate changes add further complexities. This energy transition has the potential to spark innovation in business and the public sector, leading to new jobs and better outcomes for the community and our environment. Reaching that potential requires strong leadership. To provide that leadership, the University of Minnesota is launching the Energy Transition Lab with former state senator Ellen Anderson (’86), senior advisor on energy and environment to Governor Dayton, as its inaugural executive director.
Prof. Paul Vaaler, a member of the faculty of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, has been named the inaugural holder of the John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law and Business. The appointment is made jointly by the Law School and the Carlson School, and as holder of the chair, Vaaler's principal responsibility will be to foster collaboration between the two institutions and to conduct research and teaching at the intersection of law and business.
Christopher Soper will begin as assistant director of legal writing on June 30, 2014. A Cornell Law School graduate, Soper has clerked for Judge James Loken on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, served as a staff attorney for the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and worked for Dentons (formerly known as Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal), where he engaged in a high-profile bankruptcy and civil litigation practice that gave him writing and federal trial experience. He has co-authored several pieces on insurance law, bankruptcy law, and intellectual property law, and has been an adjunct instructor in the Law School's legal writing program.
Law School career counselor and adjunct professor Vic Massaglia has been named the recipient of the prestigious Jules Kerlan Outstanding Achievement Award for 2014. The award, given at the Minnesota Career Development Association (MCDA) spring conference, honors an individual who, over a career of 15 years or longer, has demonstrated a strong commitment to human development, earned statewide or national recognition for his or her career development activities, and become an influential figure in the field. Pictured to the left are Vic Massaglia and Irene Rossman, past president of MCDA.
A new study by the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity (IMO) at the University of Minnesota Law School shows that lack of access to credit continues to plague communities of color and low-income areas in the Twin Cities. Income differences alone do not explain the lending disparities. If the home loan portfolios of the region's banks simply reflected the actual distribution of homeowners and household incomes, more than 13,300 additional loans (representing an increase of 55%) would have been made to diverse and majority non-white neighborhoods between 2009 and 2012. Nearly one fourth of this shortfall is attributable to the region's largest lender, Wells Fargo Bank.
Beginning this September, the Law School will offer a one-year Master of Science in Patent Law Program specifically for scientists and engineers. Developed by Associate Dean Sharon Reich Paulsen and Professors Tom Cotter, William McGeveran and Ruth Okediji, the unique program will prepare students for a variety of careers, including patent prosecution, portfolio management, technology licensing and innovation. Chris Frank, who holds a B.S. in chemical engineering and a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law, has been hired as director. His previous experience includes patent prosecution and portfolio management for clients ranging from individual inventors to Fortune 500 corporations.
In this issue's cover story, "Far and Away," writer Cathy Madison talks to five Law School alumni about practicing law abroad, which brings a complex mix of pleasures and pitfalls. The issue also contains much more, including the newly established Center for New Americans, Professor David Weissbrodt's "Theory at Work," the Law School's new Master of Science in Patent Law Program, a new master's degree in international and European tax law available through Sweden's Uppsala University, TORT, a profile on Professor Kristin Hickman, new studies from the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, a celebration of the Humphrey Fellowship Program's 35th year, a tribute to the late Joan Adams Mondale, and announcements of new scholarship programs made possible by recent Gifts to GENERATIONS donors.
The Law School hosts its second annual Mock Trial Scholars Program for high school students August 4-8, 2014. The program gives high school mock trial participants an opportunity to practice and improve their trial advocacy skills, while also providing them with a taste of life as a college student.
For the second annual Stein Lecture on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, Professor Robert A. Stein (’61) will sit down with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for a conversation about current topics of national interest. More information will be available soon at www.law.umn.edu.
The 2014 Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice symposium will be held on Friday, October 10, and will honor the work of University of Alabama law professor Richard Delgado, one of the nation’s most celebrated experts on civil rights, constitutional law, and critical race theory. More information will be available soon at www.law.umn.edu/lawineq/index.html.
Since 1914, the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, has celebrated Homecoming, a week dedicated to honoring the spirit of the maroon and gold. This year’s Homecoming (Oct. 12-18) will celebrate the tradition’s centennial with events such as community service opportunities, cheer and lip sync competitions, sports tournaments, and the Homecoming parade, concert and football game. The Homecoming 2014 theme, "Forever Gold," celebrates school spirit and encourages members of the campus community to embrace their pride in the University of Minnesota.
Judge Jed Rakoff, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, will give the William B. Lockhart Lecture this fall. More details will be available soon at www.law.umn.edu.
The Minnesota Law Review's 2014 symposium, "Offenders in the Community: Reshaping Sentencing and Probation," will be held on Friday, October 31, and will spotlight novel efforts in the field of probation and parole reform. The keynote speakers are two preeminent criminal legal scholars: Michael Tonry, University of Minnesota Law School, and Mark Kleiman, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
The University of Minnesota Law School held its 126th commencement ceremony May 17 at the newly renovated Northrop Memorial Auditorium. Law School Dean David Wippman welcomed the Class of 2014, their families and friends, and several special guests: University of Minnesota Regent David McMillan (’87), executive vice president of Minnesota Power; Arlene Carney, the University's vice provost for faculty and academic affairs; and the keynote speaker, United States Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.
The Law School welcomed graduates and their families for the 2014 Student Awards and Recognition Ceremony, held May 16 in Lockhart Hall. The event acknowledged outstanding student achievement among those in the Class of 2014.
During the weekend of April 25-27, 2014, the Law School and Humphrey School of Public Affairs commemorated the 35th anniversary of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program with a series of public and private events. The kickoff event was a special panel discussion entitled "Living the Legacy of Hubert H. Humphrey." The panels featured Humphrey Fellowship Program alumni who attended the University of Minnesota, Humphrey family members and former colleagues of Hubert Humphrey, as well as a prerecorded video message from former President Jimmy Carter, who made the official announcement of the creation of the Humphrey Fellowship program shortly after Humphrey's death in 1978.