Hamilton, Neil

Neil Hamilton

Holloran Center Director and Professor

(651) 962-4866
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-4866

1000 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Office Location: MSL 302

J.D., University of Minnesota Law School

M.A., Economics (Industrial Organizations), University of Michigan

B.A., Colorado College

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 (http://www.stthomas.edu/ethicalleadership/)

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.

Courses Taught

Number Title Credits
725 Professional Responsibility 3
732 Exec. Persp. in Eth. & Compl. 3
794 Topics 0
865 Ethical Leadership in Corp 3
930 Mentor Externship 0
950 Supervised Resrch & Writing .5

From the article "Grand Ideas: Faculty members describe the best ideas from their scholarship" St. Thomas Lawyer Magazine Fall 2011

I have focused my scholarship to promote a paradigm shift in higher education for the professions, including business, but particularly legal education, toward the formation of each student’s ethical professional identity. The “big” ideas in a series of articles, including substantial empirical research, are that: (1) ethical professional formation occurs over a lifespan, and is significantly slower in development than other skills; (2) the elements of an ethical professional identity can be clearly defined as learning objectives for the educational program; (3) the internalized moral compass of each student is the foundation; (4) students are at different stages of development in terms of ethical professional formation so educators must engage each student at the student’s current stage; and (5) we can identify educational engagements that are effective in fostering the growth of a student’s ethical professional identity.

Upcoming: Working with research fellow Verna Monson, I am putting together a book proposal to synthesize all of our empirical research and articles on professional formation.

South Carolina Law Review Symposium - "On Task?: Expanding the Boundaries of Legal Education"

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Neil W. Hamilton, Academic Ethics: Problems and Materials on Professional Conduct and Shared Governance (Praeger Publishers 2002).


"The Qualities of the Professional Lawyer"

Hamilton, Neil W., The Qualities of the Professional Lawyer (2013). Chapter in ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF THE PROFESSIONAL LAWYER (ed. Paul Haskins, ABAPublishing 2013); U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-22. 

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Neil W. Hamilton, Verna Monson & Jerome M. Organ, Encouraging Each Student’s Personal Responsibility for Core Competencies Including Professionalism, 21 Prof. Law. (forthcoming 2012).

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Neil W. Hamilton & Verna Monson, Legal Education’s Ethical Challenge: Empirical Research on How Most Effectively to Foster Each Student’s Professional Formation (Professionalism)U. St. Thomas L.J. (forthcoming 2012).

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Neil W. Hamilton, Effectiveness Requires Listening: How to Assess and Improve Listening Skills, 13 Fla. Coastal L. Rev. (forthcoming 2012).

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Neil W. Hamilton & Verna Monson, Ethical Professional (Trans)formation: Themes from Interviews about Professionalism with Exemplary Lawyers, 52 Santa Clara L. Rev. 921 (2012).

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Neil W. Hamilton, Fostering Professional Formation: Lessons from the Carnegie Foundation’s Five Studies on Educating Professionals, 45 Creighton L. Rev. 763 (2012).

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Neil W. Hamilton & Verna Monson, Ethical Professional (Trans)Formation: Early Career Lawyers Make Sense of Professionalism, 8 U. St. Thomas L.J. 129 (2011).

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Neil W. Hamilton & Verna E. Monson, Entering Law Students' Conceptions of an Ethical Professional Identity and the Role of the Lawyer in Society, 35 J. Legal Prof. 385 (2011).

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Neil Hamilton & Verna Monson, The Positive Empirical Relationship of Professionalism to Effectiveness in the Practice of Law, 24 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 137 (2011).

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Neil W. Hamilton, Ethical Leadership in Professional Life, 6 U. St. Thomas. L.J. 358 (2009).

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Neil W. Hamilton & Jerry G. Gaff, The Future of the Professoriate: Academic Freedom, Peer Review, and Shared Governance (Association of American Colleges and Universities 2009).

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Lyman Johnson & Neil W. Hamilton, Our National Challenge: A Blueprint for Restoring the Public Trust, 6 U. St. Thomas L.J. 397 (2009).

Neil Hamilton, The Formation of an Ethical Professional Identity in the Peer-Review Professions, 5 U. St. Thomas L.J. 361 (2008).

Neil Hamilton, Assessing Professionalism: Measuring Progress in the Formation of an Ethical Professional Identity, 5 U. St. Thomas L.J. 470 (2008). 

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Neil Hamilton, Professionalism Clearly Defined, 18 Prof. Law. 4 (2008).

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Neil Hamilton & Lisa Montpetit Brabbit, Fostering Professionalism Through Mentoring, 57 J. Legal Educ. 102 (2007). 

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Neil Hamilton, Faculty Professionalism: Failures of Socialization and the Road to Loss of Professional Autonomy, 92 Liberal Educ. 14 (2006).

Neil Hamilton, Faculty Professionalism: An Opportunity for Catholic Higher Education to Vitalize the Academic Profession’s Social Contract, 25 Current Issues in Catholic Higher Educ. 177 (2006).

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Neil Hamilton, Understanding the Intersection of Business and Legal Ethics, 1 U. St. Thomas L.J. 781 (2004).

Neil W. Hamilton, Counseling the Post-Enron Corporation Using the Lawyer’s Independent Professional Judgment, 14 Prof. Law. 24 (2003).

Neil W. Hamilton, The Six Ethical Systems that a Lawyer Must Navigate, 14 Prof. Law. 18 (2002).

Neil W. Hamilton, The Ethics of Peer Review in the Academic and Legal Professions, 42 S. Tex. L. Rev. 227 (2001).

Neil W. Hamilton, Academic Tradition and the Principles of Professional Conduct, 27 J.C. & U.L.  609 (2001).

Neil W. Hamilton, The Future of Callings—An Interdisciplinary Summit on the Public Obligations of Professionals into the Next Millennium: Report on the Conference Held April 24-25, 1998, 25 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 45 (1999).

Neil W. Hamilton, The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board: An Unconstitutional and Confused Delegation of Executive Power to Leglislators, 25 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev.1203 (1999).

Neil W. Hamilton & Kevin R. Coan, Are We a Profession or Merely a Business?: The Erosion of the Conflicts Rules Through the Increased Use of Ethical Walls, 27 Hofstra L. Rev. 57 (1998).

Neil W. Hamilton, Foreword: Symposium on Zealatory and Academic Freedom, 22 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 333 (1996).

Neil W. Hamilton, Contrasts and Comparisons Among McCarthyism, 1960s Student Activism and 1990s Faculty Fundamentalism, 22 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 369 (1996).

Neil W. Hamilton, Buttressing the Neglected Traditions of Academic Freedom, 22 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 549 (1996).

Neil W. Hamilton, Are We a Profession or Merely a Business? The Erosion of Rule 5.6 and the Bar Against Restrictions on the Right to Practice, 22 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 1409 (1996).

Neil Hamilton & Virginia B. Cone, Mitigation of Antitrust Damages, 66 Or. L. Rev. 339 (1987).

Neil W. Hamilton & Anne M. Caulfield, The Defense of Natural Monopoly in Sherman Act Monopolization Cases, 33 DePaul L. Rev. 465 (1984).

Neil Hamilton et al., A Comparison of Governance of Publicly-Owned Mass Transit, 6 Can.-U.S. L.J. 1 (1983).

Short Pieces

Neil W. Hamilton & Verna E. Monson, Answering the Skeptics on Fostering Ethical Professional Formation (Professionalism), 20 Prof. Law. 3 (2011).

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Neil Hamilton & Verna Monson, The Link Between Effectiveness and Ethical Professional Identity, 3 St. Thomas Law. 22 (2010).

Neil Hamilton, The Financial Sector’s Catastrophic Failures of Prudence, 2 St. Thomas Law. 12 (2009).

Neil W. Hamilton, A Crisis of Ethic Proportion, Inside Higher Ed, June 12, 2009.

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Neil Hamilton, The Financial Crisis and Catholic Higher Education, Update Newsletter (Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities 2008), at 11.

Neil Hamilton, Faculty Autonomy and Obligation, 93 Academe 36 (2007).

Neil Hamilton, Tribute to Dean James Hogg, 21 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 658 (1996).

Book Reviews

Neil Hamilton, Academic Freedom’s Duties: A Review of Stanley Fish’s Save the World on Your Own Time, 36 J.C. & U.L. 295 (2009).

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Neil Hamilton, The Profession and Professionalism are Dead?: A Review of Thomas Morgan, The Vanishing American Lawyer, 20 Prof. Law. 14 (2010).

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