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Alumni E-News
December 2011

News  - Faculty ResearchAlumni Success Stories  -  CLEs & Other Events  -  CPD News and Resources  -  Update Contact Information


Dear ,


Happy Holidays! It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us and that the Alumni Christmas Party is on Thursday, December 8, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. We look forward to coming together as a community during this Christmas season and connecting with our graduates and their families. Remember to bring along non-perishable food items for Second Harvest Heartland. Pre-registration is not required; however, please register on-line


After we’ve wrapped up the holiday season, we look forward to a spring semester filled with many opportunities for graduates to re-connect with the law school, its mission, its faculty, its students, and fellow alumni. 


If you are seeking an opportunity to further integrate your faith tradition into your personal and professional life, Professor Susan Stabile is hosting an overnight alumni retreat on Friday, March 2, at the Benedictine Center in St. Paul.  Single and double rooms are available for the retreat. Registration closes on February 17. To learn more, visit the upcoming events calendar below. 


If you are seeking an opportunity to see the professional work of our law faculty, Professor Mark Osler’s work on “The Trial of Jesus,” an enactment of the sentencing of Christ, is going on the road to Chicago, IL, Boston, MA, Nashville, TN, Jefferson, TN, and Oklahoma, OK (to learn more click here).  We encourage graduates living outside of Minnesota to attend this event and meet Professor Osler.  To learn more about the “Trial of Jesus,” visit The Huffington Post and CNN, or view the presentation on YouTube.


If you would like to continue to build your professional skills and competencies, we are planning several free or low cost CLEs for this spring. The Alumni Relations Office will host a CLE in March on “Creating a Successful Solo or Small Law Firm Practice” and the Law Journal will host a symposium titled “State and Federal Sentence Commutations: Past, Present, and Future.”  To learn more, visit the upcoming events calendar below.

Finally, if you would like to build a relationship with a student, including a prospective student, we have several opportunities.  The Law School Admissions Office seeks alumni to make welcome calls to admitted applicants beginning in mid-January.  If you are willing to make these calls, please email lawschool@stthomas.edu with the subject line, “Alumni Phone Campaign.”  In addition, the Office of Mentor Externship Program is building its list of prospective mentors for next year, including mentors that live outside of Minnesota.  If you would like to help our students build the practical skills and emotional intelligence necessary for a successful professional life, please contact the Director of the Mentor Externship Program Judie Rush at rush5391@stthomas.edu

Have a wonderful Christmas and may many blessing come your way in 2012.

Nicole Fredricks Jackson
Director of Alumni Relations

School of Law News

Professor Levy-Pounds named one of the 2011 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans

The Minnesota Jaycees, recently named University of St. Thomas School of Law Associate Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds to the list of the 2011 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans. The 11 honorees will be recognized at a special awards celebration held on Saturday, December 3, 2011 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. More...


Professor Osler contributes to CNN on the death penalty debate in Oregon

Professor Mark Osler's opinion piece, "Oregon's death penalty halt merciful and right" was one of the highlighted pieces on their website over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Osler is a national expert on criminal law and sentencing issues.  As a professor of law and former federal prosecutor, Osler argues in the piece that Governor Kitzhaber's questions about the death penalty are valid, and that Gov. Kitzhaber should go beyond the executive clemency order and commute death row sentences. More...

School of Law Negotiation Team repeats as regional champion

The University of St. Thomas School of Law Negotiation team is advancing to the national competition after winning the regional competition held at the University of Minnesota last weekend.  Twenty-two teams from schools as close as the William Mitchell College of Law and as far away as Texas Tech University School of Law participated in the American Bar Association Law Student Division Negotiation Competition. More...

Visit the School of Law news page to see more news.   

Alumni Success Stories

Alumni of the University are doing great things in the communities that they serve.  Visit Alumni Success Stories to read more and to see other amazing things that UST Law alumni are doing in the communities that they serve. Recently we learned of the following success stories:

  •  Cory Wessman ('04) and his wife, Heather, recently created a new ministry/foundation known as Hope for the Mourning. The foundation they’ve started helps parents that are grieving the death of an infant or young child.  If you know parents in this situation, contact Cory or Heather with contact information for the grieving parents and they will follow-up with the parents directly. Learn more at www.hopeforthemourning.com.

  • Megan Sprecher (’07), who works as an attorney in the Community Advocacy Program a medical-legal partnership between The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and the MetroHealth System, recently was involved with filing a civil rights complaint against the Cleveland School District on behalf of parents that had significant language obstacles in dealing with the district.  As a result of the civil rights law suit, as part of the settlement agreement, the District promised to do more for parents with limited English proficiency.  To learn more, check out http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/10/cleveland_school_district_pled.html.  

If you know of a law graduate that recently started a non-profit, received an award, published an article or was featured in a story, let us know by sending an email to lawalumni@stthomas.edu

    Additionally, we continually collect class notes section for inclusion in the St. Thomas Lawyer magazine.  We'd love to share your updates with the School of Law community.  If you have something to share, please contact the Director of Alumni Relations, Nicole Fredricks Jackson, at lawalumni@stthomas.edu, or send a note to your Class Notes editor at the email link below:

    • Class of 2004: Liz Odette and Susan Beltz
    • Class of 2005: Jenni Lohse
    • Class of 2006: Ian Dobson
    • Class of 2007: Chuck Berendes
    • Class of 2008: Kelly Binford Micheletti
    • Class of 2009: Erin Lord
    • Class of 2010: Garin Strobl and Meghann Kantke   
    • Class of 2011: Pamela Steinle or Callie Lehman   

    Faculty Scholarship and Research

    Our faculty, ranked #38 in the country in terms of scholarly impact, continues to produce books and articles that engage the legal profession and contribute to a deeper understanding of the law in a variety of fields.  The following are some of the recent articles published by our faculty.  By clicking on the title, you will be taken to the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) web page where you can download the entire article for free.  (SSRN ranks law schools based on the number of downloads, and St. Thomas has consistently finished among the top 75 schools despite our relatively small size.)

    Exposing the Cracks in the Foundations of Disability Law by Elizabeth Rose Schiltz
    Abstract: The theologian Stanley Hauerwas has described people with intellectual disabilities as “the crack I desperately needed to give concreteness to my critique of modernity. No group exposes the pretensions of the humanism that shapes the practices of modernity more thoroughly than the mentally handicapped.” Indeed, modern practices with respect to the mentally handicapped are undeniably puzzling. More...


    Terrorism and Trade: A Reply to Professor Bhala by Robert J. Delahunty
    Abstract: Raj Bhala argues that the Doha Round is “a failed counter-insurgency operation.” This paper examines and criticizes that claim. More...

    How Do Lawyers Serve Human Dignity? by Robert K. Vischer
    Abstract: The conception of human dignity that prevails within the legal profession is roughly interchangeable with individual autonomy. That is, lawyers serve the cause of dignity by facilitating the client’s autonomy. More...

    Marriage and Divorce in a Multicultural Context: Table of Contents and Introduction by Joel A. Nichols
    Abstract: American family law makes two key assumptions: first, that the civil state possesses sole authority over marriage and divorce; and second, that the civil law may contain only one regulatory regime for such matters. These assumptions run counter to the multicultural and religiously plural nature of our society. They are also wrong. This book elaborates how those assumptions are descriptively incorrect, and it begins an important conversation about whether more pluralism in family law is normatively desirable. More...    

    Update Your Contact Information

    Have you moved? Did you change jobs? Do you want to receive e-mail at a different address?  Let us know by filling out the Law Alumni Update form that is now available on-line.

    Career & Professional Development Resources   

    Click here to learn more about the career resources and job opportunities available for graduates. 


    Upcoming Low/No Cost CLE Opportunities and Other Events

    December 8   

    Alumni Christmas Party

    December 9

    CLE: Balancing the Budget featuring Katharine Tinucci ('09), press secretary to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, and Professor Gregory Sisk, Cardinal Laghi Distinguished Chair in Law

    January 27

    CLE: Health Care Reform

    March 2-3

    Law Alumni Retreat at Benedictine Center

    March 16

    CLE: Law Journal Spring Symposium: State and Federal Criminal Sentence Commutations: Past, Present, and Future

    March 22

    CLE: Starting a Successful Solo Practice (more details coming soon)

    April 25

    Mentor Externship Appreciation Reception

    May 14

    Law Journal Alumni Banquet  

    Nicole Fredricks Jackson, Director of Law Alumni Relations
    University of St. Thomas School of Law, Alumni Relations Office

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