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Two from Law School Named Minnesota Lawyer Attorneys of the Year

DECEMBER 17, 2013—Professor Dale Carpenter and Dana Bartocci, two figures who are well known at the Law School and beyond, have been named 2013 Attorneys of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer, an independent newspaper that covers the state's legal industry and issues. Carpenter and Bartocci are among 41 honorees who were chosen on the basis of their leadership in the profession, involvement in major cases or other newsworthy events, public service, and excellence in the practice of law. Nominations were submitted by judges, bar groups, clients, and attorneys.

Dana Bartocci is the employer relations and alumni advisor at the Law School's Career Center, a position she took in 2009. Before that she was the professional development and pro bono coordinator at the Minneapolis law firm Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand. She previously worked in career services at the Law School and William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn. Bartocci received her J.D., as well as an M.S. in educational administration, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, after graduating with a B.A. in political science and cultural studies from the University of Minnesota.

In May of last year, Bartocci was elected the 2012-13 president of Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL), an association of more than 1,200 attorneys, judges, law students, legal employers, and others who work to advance the success of women attorneys and strive for a just society. As a way of reinforcing one of the founding principles of MWL, Bartocci chose "Creating Connections" as the theme for her year of service.

Professor Carpenter, the Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law, teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, the First Amendment, and sexual orientation and the law. He has twice been chosen as the Stanley V. Kinyon Teacher of the Year at the Law School, and he was named Tenured Teacher of the Year for 2006-07. Carpenter graduated magna cum laude from Yale with a B.A. degree in history in 1989 and received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School in 1992. He clerked for Judge Edith H. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1992 to 1993, and subsequently practiced with firms in Houston and San Francisco. He is a frequent media commentator on a variety of legal issues.

Carpenter's 2012 book, Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas, was hailed in the New York Review of Books as "a rich, meticulous, and fascinating account of the most important constitutional decision so far on the status of gays and lesbians in American society." The book was named one of the New York Times Book Review's 100 notable books of the year and won top honors in the nonfiction category at the 25th annual Lambda Literary Awards, held last June. During the 2012 election cycle, Carpenter served as treasurer and legal advisor for Minnesotans United for All Families, which raised $13 million to defeat a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have banned same-sex marriage. In the subsequent—and successful—legislative campaign to make marriage legal for all couples, Carpenter helped author the legislation and testified in its favor at the Minnesota House and Senate.

Bartocci, Carpenter, and the other Minnesota Lawyer 2013 Attorneys of the Year will be fêted at an event to be held Feb. 20, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis. Among the honorees for Attorney of the Year or Outstanding Service to the Profession will be 20 Law School alumni.