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Alumni E-News
January 2012

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


Dear ,

Happy New Year!  I invite you to become an active member of the Law Alumni Association in 2012.

The Alumni Association, founded in 2007, is led this year by Board President Brooke Swenson ’06.  The Board, comprised of 20 members, welcomes seven new directors: Adam Brown ’06, Elizabeth Drotning Hartwell ’06, Jenny Weigel ’08, Christina Hilleary ’09, Frank Aba-Onu ’10, Santo Cruz ’10, and Marie Reigstad ’10.  They are joined by the newly selected Secretary/Treasurer for the Board, Christopher Wheaton ’08. 

The goals and objectives of the Alumni Board include the responsibility to maintain and support relationships among law alumni, and also to foster a spirit of public service.  To this end, the Alumni Board has several committees that help meet these goals.  The Program Committee and Social Committee are just two of the Alumni Association Committees.  These committees are open to membership by any law graduate expressing an interest in serving on the committee. 

The Program Committee, co-chaired this year by Angie Hoppe ’07 and Neil Kolatkar ’06, evaluates programming options such as CLEs and service projects that help maintain and foster a strong sense of community and commitment to public service among UST Law graduates. The Social Committee, co-chaired by Torrie Schneider ’05, Amanda Bloomgren ’06, Joe Buri ’09, and Sean Welk ’09, evaluates and recommends social events that maintain a sense of community and social engagement among alumni.   These committees meet 3-4 times a year, with the first meetings taking place on January 18 (Social Committee) and January 19 (Program Committee). We will utilize web conferencing for these meetings for graduates that may not be able to meet in Minneapolis.  If you are interested in serving on either of these committees, please contact me at nfjackson@stthomas.edu or (651) 962-4863. 

There are many other opportunities to partner with the Alumni Association outside of the two committees mentioned. I welcome the opportunity to chat with you about these opportunities.  Feel free to contact me at your convenience. 

I look forward to another year of serving the Alumni Association and its 1000+ law alumni members. I look forward to hearing from you in 2012. 

Nicole Fredricks Jackson
Director of Law Alumni Relations


Alumni Phone Calls to Admitted Applicants

Thank you for those that responded to our call this fall for alumni to reach out to admitted St. Thomas Law students.  We received a great response, but can likely get even more alumni involved.  We are looking for alumni (you, namely) to call admitted applicants beginning in mid-January.  Alumni are often in a better position to answer the questions of “what can I do with my law degree?,” “was it difficult to find a job?,” “why is St. Thomas a good fit for me?.”  This alumni phone campaign will run through April.  If you would be willing to call a small number of  admitted applicants for the Campaign, please email lawschool@stthomas.edu with the subject line, “Alumni Phone Campaign”.  You will receive follow-up information in mid-January.  
And, as raised by these phone calls in past years, one of the first questions admitted applicants ask is: What are alumni doing now that they have graduated?  We need each and every one of you on the Lawyer Search to show the deep roots we’ve fostered in the legal community in our first ten years.  Please take the next five minutes and fill out your profile.  Currently, only around 26% of alumni have registered to be included in Lawyer Search.   That is just a few hundred out of the over a thousand St. Thomas law grads in the past 10 years.  We can do better.  Just go to http://www.stthomas.edu/law/lawyersearch.  
Laura Hammargren, Class of 2008, Alumni Admissions Liaison
Kate Nilan, Class of 2006, Alumni Admissions Liaison

School of Law News

School of Law welcomed to full membership in the American Association of Law Schools
At the first Session of the 2012 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, January 5 the House of Representatives of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) voted to recommend that the University of St Thomas School of Law be admitted to AALS membership. Dean and Ryan Chair in Law Thomas M. Mengler, Associate Dean Rob Vischer and a small group of faculty were on hand to be welcomed into membership.

 “We are delighted to become members of the Association of American Law Schools, which has been dedicated throughout its history to the improvement of legal education and promotion of outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service at American law schools,” Dean Mengler commented.  He added that this recognition is further proof that the School of Law continues to make progress towards the goal of being a nationally recognized law school with a distinctive mission. More...

Nine named to School of Law dean search committee

Dr. Sue Huber, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, announced the appointment of a search committee for the dean of the University of St. Thomas School of Law. More...

Law school to host sixth annual Hatting Mock Trial Invitational - Judges needed
On Saturday and Sunday, January 21-22, 2012, the School of Law and the UST Pre-Law Society will host the Hatting Mock Trial Invitational, a four-round undergraduate mock trial tournament.  Twenty teams from the following schools will compete: University of Arizona, Macalester College, University of Wisconsin - Superior, Carleton College, Luther College, Grinnell College, Concordia College-Moorhead, Hamline University, University of Minnesota - Duluth, College of Saint Benedict & Saint John's University, Gonzaga University, University of St. Thomas, and University of Missouri - Kansas City.  We need judges for the following rounds: Saturday, January 21 at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, January 21 at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, January 22, at 8:30 a.m., and Sunday, January 22 at 1:00 p.m.

If you have questions, please contact Professor Jerry Organ at jmorgan@stthomas.edu or Nicole Fredricks Jackson at nfjackson@stthomas.edu. If you are available to volunteer, please contact Sybil Dunlop at sybildunlop@gmail.com and indicate which round you are willing to judge.  

Alumni Success Stories

Alumni of the School of Law 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:

  • Molly Hamilton ('05) was named one of the 2011 Attorneys of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer.  Congratulations, Molly!
  • Michael Will ('06) was awarded the Deb Oberlander New Lawyer Award from the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association.  Congratulations! 
  • Three law graduates, Amy Lanser ('11), Jessica Megorden ('10), and Michael Will ('06) will be speakers at the MDLA 2012 Mid-Winter Conference in February 2012.
  • Sarah Demers and Rita Berg started a blog about their experiences establishing solo law practices.  Learn more at http://solospectacular.blogspot.com/.

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.


    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.)

    A Chip Off the Old Iceblock: How Cryopreservation has Changed Estate Law, why Attempts to Address the Issue have Fallen Short, and how to Fix it by Professor Benjamin C. Carpenter
    For thousands of years, the process for determining one’s heirs remained unchanged. For a woman, her heirs were fixed at her death; for a man, his heirs were fixed no later than nine months after his death. Then came cryopreservation and, with it, the ability for individuals to conceive children years after their death. This development has created many — largely unanswered — questions. While posthumous conception implicates numerous moral, ethical, and legal issues, this Article focuses on the legal status of posthumously conceived children in the estate law context. More...


    Killing Al-Awlaki: The Domestic Legal Issues by Professor Robert J. Delahunty
    The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, by a US drone strike in Yemen last September, caused considerable controversy. Some critics of the Obama Administration's decision to target and kill al-Awlaki objected that the President lacked statutory authority to conduct military operations against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Other critics argued that al-Awlaki may have been an effective publicist and recruiter, but had not been shown to be engaged in AQAP's operational activities against U.S. targets. Still others claimed that as a U.S. citizen, al-Awlaki had a constitutional right to more due process than he had been given by a so-called "death panel." This essay examines the domestic legal arguments on both the "powers" side (i.e., whether the President had sufficient legal authorization) and the "rights" side (i.e., that al Awlaki was entitled to greater process). It focuses on open source material relating both to al Awlaki and AQAP. It concludes that under domestic law, the killing was lawful.  More... 


    The Jurisdiction of the Court of Federal Claims and Forum-Shopping in Money Claims Against the Federal Government by Professor Gregory C. Sisk
    Over the past decade, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has issued a series of opinions clarifying the jurisdictional priority of the Court of Federal Claims (CFC) under the Tucker Act over claims against the United States that are means to a monetary end, even if cleverly or mistakenly drafted as suits for injunctive or declaratory relief under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) that could be filed in District Court. Because the APA expressly excludes judicial review in District Court when an “adequate remedy” lies in another court, the CFC retains its traditional and exclusive jurisdiction to hear claims against the Federal Government that are adequately remedied by a money judgment. 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   

    January 27

    CLE: Health Care Reform

    February 2

    Dialogue as a Virtue


    March 2-3

    Law Alumni Retreat: Lent - A Time of Conversion

    March 15

    CLE featuring The Honorable Michael Mukasey, former Attorney General of the U.S. and former Chief Justice of the U.S. District Court (more details coming soon)

    March 22

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

    April 20

    CLE: Law Journal Spring Symposium: State and Federal Criminal Sentence Commutations: Past, Present, and Future (note: the date for this event has changed from March 16)

    April 25

    Mentor Externship Appreciation Reception

    May 14

    Law Journal Alumni Banquet  

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

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