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Two at Law School Make 'Best Brains' List

NOVEMBER 3, 2008—The MPLS/St. Paul magazine, known for its collections of "bests" in the Twin Cities, added a new category in its November 2008 issue: "best brains." Myron Orfield, the Law School's Julius E. Davis Professor of Law, and Jane Kirtley, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and an affiliated faculty member at the Law School, were among those named.

Intelligence by the magazine's definition is broad-based comprehension of today's complexities and the ability to put it to concrete use. Selectors were looking for the kind of brain power that shows "good judgment, a wide range of interests, attention to innovation, and a knack for efficient problem-solving," said writer Brian Lambert in the article's introduction.

The magazine started its unscientific poll with an invitation to readers to email names of "the smartest people you know." The people named received a questionnaire and a request for their recommendations. Those recommended also got a questionnaire. Pleading limited space, MPLS/St. Paul ended its list at 130 best brains, all but 13 located and using their wisdom in the Twin Cities.

Orfield and Kirtley shared the list with such luminaries as former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz ('84), University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks, and U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim ('80).

Portrait of Professor Myron Orfield

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Myron Orfield's Bio

Portrait of Professor Jane E. Kirtley

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Jane E. Kirtley's Bio