“Our primary motivations are helping people and teaching students. It’s that simple,” says Laura Thomas, associate professor and primary supervising attorney of the Family Law Clinic, which is expanding its reach from Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka Counties into Dakota County. Thomas, a family law expert with extensive experience as a practitioner of family law and general civil litigation, is increasing the pipeline of cases to ensure students have rewarding, career-enhancing experiences—and to address the pressing needs of underserved communities. In July 2015, Thomas also became director of clinical education at the Law School, overseeing one of the largest clinical education programs in the country.
“Collectively, the clinics at the University of Minnesota Law School provide a range of legal representation to Minnesota’s indigent and working poor. By March in any given year we have more than 400 open files. We are essentially a full-service law firm, representing our clients in asylum, bankruptcy, tax, family, criminal, juvenile justice, detention hearings and more. This breadth in practice areas echoes the business model in law firms, and it instills in our students an understanding of client service.”
Director, Clinical Education Program;
Co-Director, Law in Practice;
Primary Supervising Attorney, Family Law Clinic;
B.A., Political Science, University of St. Thomas magna cum laude;
J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law
After working and studying around the world, MIRTHA MONTOYA LOPEZ (LL.M. ’17) chose the University of Minnesota Law School because of the top-ranked LL.M. program and the many interdisciplinary opportunities available to students. She plans to take the New York bar exam and obtain professional experience in the U.S. before returning to her native country of Peru.
“The professors here are so accessible and open. Their advice helped me focus my professional goals and interests and take advantage of many networking opportunities.”
Mirtha Montoya Lopez (LL.M. ’17)
Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, 2014;
Attorney, Muñiz Ramirez Perez—Taiman & Olaya Lawyers, Lima, Peru;
Attorney, Metropolitan Municipality of Lima, Lima, Peru;
Legal assistant, programs in Lima, Peru; Surat, India
Everything the law cares about involves the brain, according to associate professor Francis Shen, who joined the faculty because of the robust resources and opportunities for cutting-edge neurolaw work across the University. Here, he has found a faculty that is willing to take risks and an interdisciplinary culture that promotes a special brand of collegiality.
“There isn’t any better place to study science and the law than the University of Minnesota. Increasingly, it’s becoming important for students to have knowledge of multiple fields. Neuroscience advances offer stunning possibilities, but this promise depends on the path that is forged from lab to law. From patents to genetics to medical devices to treatment of criminals, our students can study the myriad intersections of law and science.”
McKnight Land-Grant Professor and Associate Professor of Law;
Executive Director of Education and Outreach for the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience;
B.A., University of Chicago;
J.D., Harvard Law School;
Ph.D., Harvard University
The exceptional international law faculty drew Amanda McAllister (’17) to the University of Minnesota Law School. Here she has found many ways to explore and hone her strong interest in international and human rights law. “The multiple opportunities to be part of the school’s legal programs have been the most valuable part of my experience,” she says. “Everyone can find their place here. Even though law school is structurally competitive, there is a real emphasis on cooperation and compassion here that fosters a sense of community.”
“The Human Rights program has given me the opportunities to network and perform fieldwork in Washington, D.C. and Belfast, Northern Ireland. To come out of law school with these significant and well-rounded experiences makes me feel prepared to work in this worthwhile field.”
Amanda McAllister (’17)
Associate, Gray Plant Mooty;
Human Rights Litigation & International Advocacy Clinic, student director;
Legal Writing Program, student instructor; Law Review, Note & Comment editor;
Professor Fionnuala Ni Aolain, research assistant;
Human Rights Watch Advisory Project, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, researcher;
Benjamin B. Ferencz Fellowship in Human Rights and Law at World Without Genocide
As a student in the Minnesota Law Public Interest Residency Program, AMAN KHALID (’18) is spending his third year of law school working in the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office. This innovative initiative connects leading public interest and government organizations with high-achieving students who work full-time during their third year of law school for the organizations and have a guaranteed, full-time, paid legal position with the same organization the year following graduation.
“The Residency Program has been a crucial part of my development as a lawyer, giving me an opportunity to gain much needed practical experience while also giving me security for the immediate future. The legal community in the Twin Cities is fantastic in that it’s tight knit and cares about courtesy and cordiality.”
Aman Khalid (’18)
Saeks Fellow, Minnesota Law Public Interest Residency Program, Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office;
Civil Rights Moot Court, participant;
South Asian Law Students Association, Latino Law Students Association;
“Assault and Flattery” intramural basketball, captain
Experiential learning is a top priority at the University of Minnesota Law School. We offer one of the nation’s largest and most distinguished clinical education programs, a unique first-year Law in Practice course, abundant corporate externships, capstone courses focused on solving real-world problems, extensive legal practice skills courses, and your choice of 11 concentrations.
The Twin Cities is one of the most energetic, livable and literate communities in the country, distinguished by a nationally renowned park system with hundreds of miles of trails and an amazing chain of lakes, the largest theater community outside New York, and an internationally renowned music scene. Add to that distinctive neighborhoods, numerous professional sports teams, a new light rail system just steps from the Law School’s front door, and ready access to federal, state and local courts and the state capitol. More
Civility, cooperation and support define the University of Minnesota Law School. While our faculty are some of the most accomplished scholars in the world, they also are eager to mentor and readily available to help you succeed. Our collegial culture emphasizes teamwork, problem solving, leadership and persuasion, skills that are essential beyond law school for all fields of employment. More
The exceptional faculty at the University of Minnesota Law School bring real-world experience, practice, and leading research into the classroom. Passionate about their vocation and committed to integrating theory and practice in their teaching, they are demanding but eager to mentor and readily available to help students succeed along their chosen paths.