Minnesota Law

Fall 2021
From The Dean

Our Leadership Is Based in Service

Commitment to services has been deeply imbued in the mission of Minnesota Law since its founding nearly 135 years ago as a public law school at a land-grant university. Generations of law students, alumni, faculty, and staff have contributed to the local community, state, nation, and world in countless ways, making a global impact and continuing our legacy of service.

Our alumni’s commitment to service is unparalleled, from holding key leadership positions, serving on bar commissions and committees, performing countless hours of pro bono work, volunteering extensively in their communities, and engaging in numerous philanthropic endeavors, including generously supporting their alma mater. And what support our alumni give! The results of our Driven to Lead campaign speak for themselves: more than 6,000 donors gave over $106 million, exceeding our goals and advancing our mission to educate those who will continue our legacy of service (see story in "In Brief"). 

As dean of the Law School, I could not be prouder of the way our students and faculty contribute to the Twin Cities community and weave service into their professional lives. From the 26 clinics at Minnesota Law that have helped thousands of individuals and families to the faculty members who influence policy across the country (see Professor Susan Wolf in our “Theory at Work” feature), our institutional commitment to service is evident.

Our alumni serve as judges and justices, senators, governors—even vice president of the United States. And thousands of our alumni sit on nonprofit boards in their communities, mentor students and new attorneys, and commit to pro bono each year. Minnesota Law lawyers live our mission of service every day through choices and actions.

Our current students’ own actions provide the greatest evidence of the continuing legacy of the Law School’s commitment to service. Over a single year Minnesota Law students dedicated more than 58,000 hours to pro bono, supporting individuals and communities and makinga significant impact on law and policy. The difference the students make through this work is tremendous, as are the skills and professional values gained through these experiences, cementing in our students a lifelong commitment to serve.

Despite the challenges of this time, Minnesota Law continues to educate and inspire future lawyers. This fall, we admitted one of our most diverse and academically accomplished first-year classes in the Law School’s history (see our story on the Class of 2024). As we welcome our new class and welcome back our returning students, we take seriously our responsibility to prepare all students to tackle society’s challenges head on—and to serve. With the continued support of our alumni community, I cannot wait to see what great things we will accomplish together. 

Onward and upward! 

Garry W. Jenkins
Dean and William S. Pattee Professsor of Law