2020 Faculty and Staff Appreciation
Dean Garry W. Jenkins invites faculty and staff to join in a virtual celebration of the milestones and achievements of our Law School community.
A Message to Faculty and Staff from Dean Garry W. Jenkins
Congratulations to Faculty and Staff on Your Milestone Anniversaries!
Congratulations and Farewell to Brad Clary
Congratulations to Professor Brad Clary ’75 on his retirement after more than 20 years on the faculty at Minnesota Law. For more than two decades, Professor Clary has been a driving force behind the excellent reputation of Minnesota Law’s legal writing and moot court programs. He has taught legions of law students to write effectively and prepared them for their legal careers by imparting wisdom derived from his decades in private practice. After more than 20 years on the job, Brad has retired from his role as clinical professor of law. Read more about Brad’s distinguished career on his faculty page.
Farewell and Congratulations to Professor Laura Thomas
Governor Tim Walz has appointed Professor Laura Thomas as a District Court judge in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District. Laura will be chambered in Minneapolis in Hennepin County. She will leave the Law School in late June to assume her role on the bench in July. Read more about Professor Thomas’ appointment.
Departmental Milestones and Updates
View each department below for a video, infographic, or an update.
Chief of Staff
2019 - 2020 has been quite a year for the Career Center. We welcomed Anne Sexton and Alison Plavin as new members of the team. Alison Kennedy transitioned into a new career counselor role and Wendy Griak took on leadership of Career Center programming. There was never a dull moment this year. With the changes to the NALP guidelines, the Career Center started working with 1L students even before the start of the school year, with career counselors reaching out to welcome our 1Ls and hosting a full day of workshops during the 1L orientation. We expanded our off-campus interview program into the Houston market and also celebrated a successful recruitment season in DC, NY, Chicago, as well as locally. The Professional Essentials Milestone program has blossomed under Wendy’s leadership with 27 students successfully completing the program this year. During the pandemic, the team has quickly pivoted to offer students resources, virtual workshops and networking opportunities, career counseling via zoom and telephone, and under Anne and Alison’s leadership several key summer employment opportunities for students. Through it all, we’ve continued to love what we do and celebrate our successes.
Communications & Events
The Curriculum Office truly operates as a team, and I am grateful to each team member!
Selom Aboni will be leaving the Law School in mid-July to begin law school at Mitchell Hamline, where she has been accepted into the Mitchell Hamline Fellows Program. We will miss Selom tremendously, but we so appreciate all of her excellent support of our adjunct faculty and we will benefit for a long time from her work streamlining our processes. For summer fun, Selom plans to bike a lot. Thank you and Congratulations, Selom!
Our undergraduate student worker, Lucas Yoakum, will graduate in May with a Bachelor degree in Finance and International Business from the Carlson School of Management. In August, Lucas will begin work as a Finance Analyst at Pentair. For summer fun, Lucas plans to do a lot of running, and spending time at his family’s cabin. Thank you and Congratulations, Lucas!
In March, we welcomed Julia Bach. Julia is a graduate student in the College of Education and Human Development, she is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction but will transfer to the Ph.D. program in August. Julia will be working 50% time throughout the academic year, supporting adjunct faculty and course scheduling.
Our undergraduate student worker, Wil Hezlep, will be a summer intern with Wipfli in Minneapolis, and will continue working with us through the academic year as well. He is pursuing a Bachelor degree in Finance and Strategic Management. For summer fun, Wil hopes to visit friends, family, and the lake as much and as safely as possible.
Some Good News: Minnesota Law Remote Teaching Edition
And, congratulations to the promotion of Francis Shen to Professor of Law, the promotion of Jennie Green to Clinical Professor of Law, and the promotion of Ryan Greenwood, as a member of the Law Library faculty, with the title Associate Law Librarian effective with the start of 2020-21.
Faculty Admin Team
Human Rights Center
International and Graduate Programs
International Programs team Kara, Hannah, and Karen did a coffee “cheers” to celebrate the end of a successful LLM year, and to gear up for two LLM start-dates next year - both fall and spring semester, instead of just fall.
Legal Writing & Moot Court
It’s been a year of transitions and changes in the Legal Writing Department.
Brad Clary, who spearheaded the legal writing and moot court programs since their inception, retired this spring. Brad is synonymous with legal writing and advocacy inside the law school, within the local community, and on a national level. Brad received the Phillip Blackwell award this past January at the annual AALS meeting. Brad is renowned for his litigation skills, his teaching talents, and perhaps most importantly, his role in mentoring and guiding so many of our students and alumni. Fortunately, Brad will continue to teach as a Professor Emeritus.
Last summer, Renee Anderson retired summer after many years of service at the University and Law School. Renee was instrumental in helping expand both the legal writing and moot court programs.
The department, however, is poised to continue providing excellent legal writing and advocacy training to our students. Chris Soper remains the Director of Legal Writing and will continue to run first year legal writing. Randall Ryder joined the team last September, and now oversees the moot court and competition teams.
Chris added another member to his family this past March - a third little girl! The other Soper girls are 6 and 4, respectively. The Ryder family also has three little Gophers (9, 7, and 2). As a result, all legal writing department meetings now involve thoughtful discussions on raising three children.
Master of Science in Patent Law
The MS Patent Law degree program hired Delaney Cole as Program Assistant, who was recently admitted to Medical School at the University of Minnesota. Also in 2019-20, the MSPL program admitted its largest cohort in the history of the program.
Office of Admissions
“I appreciate the flexibility the Admissions Team has shown with a quick pivot to all virtual recruitment during the spring semester. With the assistance of the Communications team and lead student ambassador Michelle Cardona Vinasco, comprehensive admitted student events happened on short notice and a full slate of prospective student information sessions are scheduled through the summer. The events have been well-received by attendees and demonstrated the importance of virtually showing the Minnesota Law community to those who can’t travel to campus. The team has been thinking outside the box and is excited to incorporate more virtual programming into our regular recruitment outreach. Thank in advance to all who help make this happen!” —Robin Ingli, Director of Admissions
Office of Advancement
Advancement has had a great year, with highlights that include:
- Welcoming Elliott Gore, Clara Jung, and Jackie O’Reilly to our Advancement team
- Raising $7.3 million for the Law School in overall production, exceeding our goal of $6.5M. Our Annual Fund was on track to set a new record prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, and has still raised over $810,000 to date towards a goal of $1.2 million.
- Hosting 18 national and local events to engage Minnesota Law alumni here and across the country.
- Exceeding our Driven to Lead campaign goal of $80 million, launching a faculty and staff drive (with 100% participation from faculty!) and continuing to work toward a new campaign record for the Law School.
- Innovating new ways to raise funds and awareness for specific areas of the Law School, including a successful Give to the Max Day, Coaster Campaign, completing the Spannaus fund, and kicking off fundraising for the new Clary, Weissbrodt, and Auerbach funds.
- Rapidly adjusting our fiscal year end work plan to develop appropriate and sensitive messaging and approaches to continue raising critical support for the Law School during COVID-19.
Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
The 2019-20 academic year afforded Robina staff many opportunities to further its mission of engaging in original interdisciplinary education, research, and policy analysis to achieve transformative change in sentencing and correctional policies and practices.
In addition to ongoing projects, work commenced on the “Aligning Supervision Conditions with Risk and Needs” project and the “Reducing Revocation Challenge.” “Profiles in Parole Release and Revocation: Examining the Legal Framework in the United States,” a multi-year series which examined the legal and statutory framework of parole release decision making processes in 34 states, was completed and “Levers of Change in Parole Release and Revocation,” a report highlighting the significant discretion paroling authorities hold in making release decisions, was released.
Additionally, Institute researchers Erin Harbinson, Julia Laskorunsky, and Kelly Mitchell contributed research to a newly released Pew Charitable Trusts framework which details the challenges facing community supervision systems around the country and outlines specific policy changes that states can make to achieve improved outcomes.
Welcome to New Staff in 2019-2020
Click on each photo below to learn more about the newest members of the Minnesota Law team!