Holloran Center

for Ethical Leadership

Neil Hamilton

Professor of Law; Director, Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions

Phone: (651) 962-4866
Toll Free: (800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-4866
Office Location: Room 302

J.D., University of Minnesota Law School
M.A., Economics (Industrial Organizations), University of Michigan
B.A., Colorado College

The focus of Professor Hamilton's teaching and scholarship is the ethics and professionalism of both the legal and academic professions. He has taught the required course in Professional Responsibility and an ethics seminar for 20 years. Together with Professors Tom Holloran and Hank Shea, Professor Hamilton created two new courses, Ethical Leadership in Corporate Practice and Ethical Leadership in Litigation, which bring ethical leaders into the classroom. He played a major role in building the School of Law's national-award-winning Mentor Externship, an externship with a seminar component focused on professionalism for each student in each year of law school. He was appointed founding director of the School of Law's Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions in 2006.

Hamilton is the author of three books, over fifty longer scholarly articles and over ninety shorter articles. He is a bi-monthly columnist on professionalism for the Minnesota Lawyer and is editing his columns into a book, Ethical Leadership and Professionalism in the Practice of Law.. He is nationally known for his work on academic freedom and academic ethics with two books, Zealotry and Academic Freedom (1995) and Academic Ethics (2002).

In 2002, Minnesota Lawyer selected Hamilton as one of the recipients of its Lawyer of the Year awards. In 2003, he received both the University of St. Thomas School of Law Excellence in Professional Preparation Award, and the Hennepin County (Minneapolis) Bar Association Professionalism Award, given to the lawyer who most exemplifies the ideals of the profession. He is the first law professor to receive either the Minnesota Lawyer or the Hennepin County Professionalism Awards. In 2004-2008, Minnesota Law and Politics selected Professor Hamilton as a Minnesota SuperLawyer (top 5% of the lawyers in the state), one of two law professors in the state to be so honored.

Also in 2004, the Minnesota State Bar Association presented Professor Hamilton with its highest award, the Professional Excellence Award, given to recognize and encourage professionalism among lawyers. He is one of three law professors to receive this recognition from the profession. In 2009, Professor Hamilton received the University of St. Thomas John Ireland Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research

Professor Hamilton chaired the Hennepin County Bar Association Professionalism Committee from 2001-2003 and the Minnesota State Bar Association Professionalism Committee from 2003-2005. He has presented at over 150 CLE programs over the last 15 years, principally on ethics and professionalism. He frequently serves as an expert on professional ethics.

Hamilton graduated in economics cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa from Colorado College in 1967. He returned home to attend the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating magna cum laude and as a member of Order of the Coif in 1970. At Minnesota, he served as research and symposium editor of the Minnesota Law Review. He received his M.A. in economics (industrial organizations) from the University of Michigan in 1979.

Hamilton practiced with the firms of Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty and Bennett in Minneapolis and Krieg, Devault, Alexander and Capehart in Indianapolis before going into teaching. In 1972, Hamilton was selected as an International Legal Center/Asia Foundation Fellow and served as a visiting professor on the Airlangga University Faculty of Law in Surabaya, Indonesia, from 1972-1974. He taught at Case Western Reserve University School of Law from 1977-1980, joining the William Mitchell College of Law faculty in 1980. Hamilton was named Trustees Professor at William Mitchell in 1982, and was selected as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Singapore in 1987.

Professor Hamilton became a founding member of the University of St. Thomas School of Law faculty in 2001, serving also as the founding director of the Mentor Externship, which he now assists as faculty adviser. He served as associate dean for academic affairs for six months in 2002 and from 2003-2005. He was a visiting professor at George Washington University School of Law in the spring of 2006.

In 2012, Minnesota Laywer again honored Hamilton as a recipient of a Lawyer of the Year award by recognizing his Outstanding Service to the Profession. This is Hamilton's second Lawyer of the Year awards, thus he is now also honored with the Order of Merit. Hamilton also recently received the Dean's Award for Outstanding Scholarship.