Hamline News

Dean’s Dinner Engages and Inspires Legal Community


More than 200 members of MN Bench and Bar Attend Gala at MIA featuring Pepperdine Law Dean Kenneth Starr and Dean Guy Charles from University of Minnesota (shown here from right to left with Dean Garon).

The annual Dean's Dinner, held November 12 at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, was an engaging, delightful evening of stimulating conversation, inspiring remarks by guest speakers and a moving tribute to Dean Garon, who has announced plans to resign as dean at the end of this academic year. The event drew more than 200 members of Minnesota's bench and bar, distinguished representatives of Minnesota's business communities, legal educators and scholars, including numerous members of Hamline's faculty (a complete photo slide show, a video, and an audio recording of all Dean's Dinner speakers, are available).

Hamline University School President Linda Hanson took the opportunity to pay a warm tribute to Dean Garon and his contributions to Hamline Law School since becoming dean five years ago.

blatz-sheranMN Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz (ret'd) with MN Chief Justice Robert J. Sheran(ret'd). Justice Sheran served as Hamline Law School Dean from 1993 to 1994.

Dean Garon then introduced the evening's key keynote speakers, Pepperdine Law School Dean Kenneth Starr and Guy-Uriel E. Charles, a co-Dean of the University of Minnesota Law School. Dean Charles graciously agreed to speak when a family emergency prevented Dean Veryl Miles from appearing as previously announced.

Dean Charles noted that lawyers "occupy an extremely important role in our society." He acknowledged the precarious and courageous stance being taken by lawyers in Pakistan as they protest the loss of the rule of law in their country. "They are the first and last line of defense between what is good and what is true," he said.










From left to right Hamline Vice-President David Stern, GLS Dean Mary Rockcastle, and Law Professor Jill Barclift

Dean Charles acknowledged the changing role of lawyers due to globalization but stressed that the fundamentals of legal education must remain strong. Dean Starr spoke about the importance of lawyers in taking moral positions and providing pro bono services, a position also advocated by Dean Veryl Miles in notes read by Dean Garon in her absence.  A full copy of Dean Miles' letter is available here.

Dean Starr also said "something must be done about the explosive growth of tuition costs" and the "arms race" going on among law firms hiring new associates. "These things are destabilizing our profession and leading to a decline in mentoring in the profession." He said the escalating salaries mean young lawyers must put too much emphasis on billable hours. "This is completely eating at the heart of who we are and the higher angels of our being," he said.

Starr, dean and professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, is admitted to practice in California, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. In the 1970s, he clerked for The Honorable David W. Dyer of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, and for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. While in private practice, he was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

In addition to working in the private sector, he has served as Counselor to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith, Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Solicitor General of the United States, and Independent Counsel on the Whitewater matter. As Solicitor General, he argued twenty-five cases before the Supreme Court involving a wide range of governmental regulatory and constitutional issues of commercial importance. He has served as dean of the Pepperdine School of Law since 2004.

Dean Charles, serves as Interim Co-Dean, along with Fred Morrison, at the University of Minnesota Law School. Dean Charles joined the University of Minnesota Law School in the Fall of 2000. He clerked for The Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. While at the University of Michigan, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Journal of Race & Law. From 1995-2000, he was a graduate student in political science at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the Law School, he taught as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toledo School of Law.

Sponsors of the 2007 Dean's Dinner include Dwight Opperman, Key Investments, Inc. (emeritus); Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP (presidential); Briggs and Morgan, Faegre & Benson LLP, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., Gilbert Mediation Center, Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc., Imation Corp., Larson King, LLP, Lindquist & Vennum PLLP, Maslon, Edelman Borman & Brand, LLP, Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly LLP, Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. (supporting); Barna, Guzy & Steffen, LTD, and Moss & Barnett (contributing).

deansdinner-facultyHamline Law Faculty from left to right Marilynne
Roberts, Kenneth Salzberg, Kimberly Holtz,
and Mary Trevor