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I'd thought take time today to brag a little bit about the law firm that bears my name. That's why we're taping this post at the new offices of the Halleland Lewis law firm in downtown Minneapolis.
While I serve as Hamline's law dean, I remain "of counsel" to Halleland Lewis, the law firm which I co-founded in 1996. "Of counsel" means that I don't practice on a day-to-day basis, but consult and market with the firm on an as-needed basis. That way we can keep my name on the door.
When Halleland Lewis was formed, its office space got a lot of attention because it was designed to be client-focused and to foster a team approach to legal practice. On November 2, our offices moved to One Financial Plaza. The new space continues to reflect those core values of client service and collaboration.
This building is unique in downtown Minneapolis because of its Modernist architecture: simple in design, without ornamentation, and with emphasis on form. The office features floor to ceiling windows, and we configured the space to be very open so that daylight is shared with all staff. There are no corner offices for partners; my legal assistant has the same size office that I do. The prime spaces along the windows are assigned to conference rooms used by our clients or for firm events. We name each of our conference rooms after departed jazz or rock musicians-this is the John Coltrane Room-and each features a flat screen for state-of-the art presentations.
More importantly, we are a "green" law firm. We designed the space to achieve LEED certification: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. That means our design is efficient in the use of water, energy and materials. For example, much of the décor was locally manufactured from recycled materials. Shading devices on our windows manage changing sunlight levels. And you won't find bottled water here; it is served hot or cold from filtered dispensers.
The environmental focus of our new office was featured on the November 14 edition of Almanac on TPT. Check it out online at http://tinyurl.com/yksmh4x
My continuing relationship with the Halleland Lewis firm is important to both me and the law school. It enables me to remain in touch with the legal profession, particularly in this challenging economy. I can pass on that information to our faculty, and more importantly to our students who are seeking to enter the legal job market. Once in a while, lightning strikes from the contacts I make in the skyways of downtown Minneapolis-sometimes a job vacancy, sometimes a potential donor. So, it's worth the time to drop into this new green space a couple hours a week.
On another subject closer to campus, I want to congratulate the regional winners of the National Moot Court Competition. They are: Samantha Harker, KrisAnn Norby-Jahner, and Noelle Volin.
Both Hamline teams beat competitors from the University of Minnesota in the regional semifinals this past Saturday, which meant that two Hamline teams faced each other in the regional finals. I was privileged to witness the final match in the William Mitchell auditorium. Again congratulations to our finalists, and also to the runners up
Ryan Flynn and Jenifer Kopischke, all of whom did outstanding jobs.
Kudos also go to the coaches, Hamline alums Joshua Dorothy and Nadege Souvenir.
Now on to the national competition this January in New York City!
This is my last blog of the semester. Happy Thanksgiving. Good luck on your exams. And best wishes for the Holidays!
I'll see you again in January.