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Strategic Initiatives: John Mooty and Bruce Mooty

Strategic Initiatives: John Mooty and Bruce Mooty

JANUARY 9, 2012—John Mooty (’44) and Bruce Mooty (’80) practice law at the same firm—Gray Plant Mooty of Minneapolis. The pair also spends a lot of time together outside the office. And now the father and son have teamed up to create the John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law and Business.

"This is a great opportunity for us to jointly give back to the Law School by establishing a chair in the area where we have both practiced for our entire careers," Bruce says. "It also shows the great love and respect we have for each other."

They didn’t always work together. After finishing his studies at the Law School, Bruce worked at another Twin Cities firm, Briggs and Morgan, for 14 years. John’s cancer scare some two decades ago prompted Bruce to make the switch to Gray Plant Mooty. John is happy he did. "It’s been an absolute delight to have the privilege to practice with him," John says. Adds Bruce, "We like each other’s company immensely."

Both men have strong business experience. John helped turn around National Car Rental and chaired the board at International Dairy Queen before participating in the sale of the company to Berkshire Hathaway. Bruce has vast mergers and acquisitions experience: He has represented the buyer of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the seller in the 2005 Minnesota Vikings transaction.

The newly endowed chair will be part of the Law School’s new Corporate Institute, which combines current business-oriented activities with new programs to provide more business-related legal opportunities for students, faculty, and alumni. "The more opportunities students have to interact with the business community, the better," Bruce says.

"The gift is a tremendous help for us," says David Wippman, Dean of the Law School. "One of the Law School’s priorities is engaging more effectively with the business community in the Twin Cities. This is one way to do that."

Under the umbrella of the new Corporate Institute, students can pursue a business law concentration, participate in the Business Law Clinic and corporate externship programs, and pursue a dual J.D./M.B.A. degree in collaboration with the Carlson School of Management.

Expanding the connections between the law and business communities will also benefit the region. "This is extremely important for our state," John says. "It will help Minnesota stay competitive in the world economy."