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Michelle Miller ('86) to Speak at Class of 2013 Orientation

AUGUST 6, 2010—Michelle Miller (’86), vice president and senior counsel in employment law and chief diversity and inclusion officer at Medtronic, will present the Bearmon Orientation Keynote Address on August 31, the first day of the Law School’s Orientation Program for incoming students.

Miller was named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America” by Savoy Professional business magazine in 2008 and one of 102 “Women Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity Journal in 2007. At Medtronic, her responsibilities include identifying and addressing legal, policy, diversity, and inclusion issues as well as overseeing employment and immigration law, the Office of Workplace Inclusion, and the Office of Issue Resolution. She is a member of the Council of Diversity Executives of the Conference Board and of the Executive Leadership Council and a charter member of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers. She was recently appointed to the Board of Governors at the University of St. Thomas Law School.

After completing a B.A. at Indiana University and an M.A. in counseling at Southern Methodist University, Miller worked as a counselor and a college administrator. She graduated from the Law School in 1986, then practiced with Leonard, Street and Deinard, and joined Medtronic in 1996. She has served as a special master for the Federal District Court of Minnesota and the Eastern District of Michigan on employment discrimination class actions. Her widespread community service has included work with Twin Cities Diversity in Practice and the volunteer youth service organization The Link, service as Racial Justice Commissioner for the Minneapolis YWCA, and membership on the boards of the Minnesota State Bar Association Labor/Employment Law Governing Council and Minnesota Women Lawyers. She has also shared her expertise with Law School 1Ls at the Dean’s Leadership Breakfasts.

Orientation will begin with welcoming remarks from Law School Dean David Wippman, other Law School administrators, and Law Council President Catherine Kedzuf (’11). Joining 1Ls in the audience will be transfer and visiting students, who will arrive a day early for their August 30 orientation. The Bearmon Address, made possible by an endowment from Lee Bearmon (‘56), will follow the welcoming comments. Designed to foster awareness, interest, and research in legal ethics, the lecture is a critical component in helping students mark the transition to their professional educational experience.

The Orientation Program runs through September 3 and is designed to give new students a solid foundation in the purpose of a Law School education: to learn how to think like a lawyer and to act like a lawyer. Faculty members will introduce the Law School academic experience, effective case briefing, and the basics of legal research, analysis, and writing. Structured study group programs, Career Center services, Law School technology resources, and public interest and service opportunities will be covered. An overview of University and Law School resources that are available to support both academic and personal success will be offered.

Students will also have the opportunity to meet student leaders and local Bar Association representatives, as well as hear from current students and alumni on the topics of life balance and academic success strategies. To help families support students on their Law School journey, a special session is scheduled for parents and partners, which is designed to introduce the demanding schedule and requirements of law school.

Various social activities are scheduled with faculty, staff, and student leaders to welcome new students and help everyone become better acquainted before classes begin September 7.


Michelle Miller

Michelle Miller
Photo courtesy of Medtronic


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