Hamline News

School of Law Names New Dean for Experiential Education and Curriculum


Professor Katherine (Kate) Kruse, a highly regarded leader in the national clinical legal education community, has been named Hamline School of Law’s associate dean for experiential education and curriculum. Dean Kruse joined Hamline in 2012 as professor of law and director of clinics and has worked since then to bolster Hamline’s leading-edge, high-impact experiential education programs.

The appointment of Dean Kruse signals increased investment in Hamline’s historic commitment to innovating hands-on legal education. Hamline Law faculty recent approved the Hamline Experiential Progression, which significantly increases the number of skills credits required for graduation and adds a requirement that every second-year student enroll in at least one small-enrollment “practice lab” to engage in simulated exercises that help put their classroom learning into a law practice context. Dean Kruse played a leading role in developing the labs.

“Kate Kruse has already demonstrated the ability to harness the great things we do in experiential education and align them in even more meaningful ways for our students,” said Hamline Law Dean Donald M. Lewis. “This next phase will be even more exciting, as she and the Hamline faculty take experiential education to another level. She is a true innovator, and her work makes this is a very exciting time to be a Hamline Law student.”

According to Dean Kruse, “What makes this opportunity so compelling is the opportunity to work with colleagues who take experiential education seriously and approach it thoughtfully. A lot of schools offer skills courses, clinics and externships. At Hamline, the faculty is committed not only to offering these courses, but to figuring out how they fit together into a program of legal education that successfully bridges students from law school to law practice.”

Dean Kruse has served in a variety of national leadership roles, as President of the Clinical Legal Education Association and has been an Editor-in-Chief of the Clinical Law Review. From 2003 to 2009, she served has Co-Chairperson of the Clinical Scholarship Committee of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Clinical Legal Education. In addition, she has also served on a wide range of professional committees and boards and has published extensively. She joined Hamline from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she was Professor of Law and Director of the UNLV Innocence Clinic. She earned her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1989, graduating first in her class, and having served as an Articles Editor on the Wisconsin Law Review. She had previously earned an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. from Oberlin College. After
graduation, Professor Kruse clerked for United States District Court Judge Barbara B. Crabb, then Chief Judge for the Western District of Wisconsin.