Neil Hamilton portrait

Neil Hamilton

Co-Director, The Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions; Thomas and Patricia Holloran Professor of Law
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School
M.A., Economics (Industrial Organizations), University of Michigan
B.A., Colorado College
Holloran Center, Room 302
(651) 962-4866
Toll Free
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-4866
1000 LaSalle Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2015

Neil W. 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 editor of the Minnesota Law Review. Hamilton 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 1972-74. He taught at Case Western Reserve University School of Law from 1977-80, joining the William Mitchell College of Law faculty in 1980. Hamilton was named Trustees Professor of Regulatory Policy at William Mitchell in 1982, and was selected as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Singapore in 1987. He joined the University of St. Thomas as a founding faculty member in 2001, and served as associate dean for academic affairs in the spring of 2002 and 2003-05. In August, 2006 he became the founding director of the Thomas Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions (

He has taught both the required course in Professional Responsibility and an ethics seminar for 25 years and Administrative Law for 33 years. He also created the first Ethical Leadership course at a law school that he co-teaches with Professor Tom Holloran. He has also taught Business Ethics, Antitrust, Regulated Industries, Banking, Business Organizations, Contracts, and Civil Procedure. Rated by students as an outstanding teacher, Hamilton believes that respect for students is the key to foster learning and professionalism.  Within a few short years, students become peers at the bar. He believes that students, alumni and professors at St. Thomas can help shape cultures of high professional ideals that reflect the first ethical principles and faith of each lawyer.

Hamilton is the author of three books, over fifty longer articles, and one hundred shorter articles. His scholarly focus is on the process of formation of an ethical professional identity for students and practicing professionals. He is a bi-monthly columnist on professionalism and ethics for the Minnesota Lawyer. He is nationally known for his work on academic freedom and academic ethics. The American Council on Education published his most recent book, "Academic Ethics: Problems and Materials on Professional Conduct and Shared Governance."

In 2012 received a Mission Award for Outstanding Scholarship.  The same year Minnesota Lawyer named him a recipient of the Outstanding Service to the Profession award.  In honor of his repeat as a Lawyer of the Year Hamilton earned the Order of Merit.  In 2002, Minnesota Lawyer had 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 Professionalism Award, given to that lawyer who most exemplifies the ideals of the profession. He is the first law professor to receive the Minnesota Lawyer and Hennepin County Professionalism awards.

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 ever to receive this recognition from the profession. In 2009, the University of St. Thomas honored Professor Hamilton with the John Ireland Presidential Award for Excellence as a Teacher/Scholar.  He received a Dean's Award for excellence in teaching in 2011.

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J-term 2023 Courses

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Spring 2023 Courses

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