Dean's Blog - Fall 2009

Dean's Blog - Fall 2009

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Dean Donald Lewis


Available in both video and text format for your convenience


Welcome to our first-year law students and welcome back to our 2Ls, 3Ls and 4Ls.

This is my first blog for the 2009-2010 school year.  Cindy Bielke, who is our communication manager, and I conceived of this blog last year, which was my first year as dean. We felt this was the best vehicle to stay in touch with you.

For those of you who have not visited the blog before, it is a weekly opportunity for me, as dean, to highlight important events, to acknowledge contributions and achievements of our students, staff and faculty, to address issues of concern that affect the law school community, to give advice and counsel to you on your study and career plans, and to otherwise reach out and connect with you on the web.

So I hope you continue to check us out every week throughout the year.

I am thrilled to see our entering class of 1Ls this August.  Let me give you a quick profile of that class. We have a total of 208 students in the 1L class; 140 full-time weekday, and in the Founder’s and weekend program, 61 part time students–53% of the entering class are women–54% from the state of Minnesota.  Our diversity is steady–about 10% of the underclass are students of color—we can always do better. And on our traditional measures of quality, our median LSAT scores and GPAs are creeping upwards a few points every year and that is a very good thing. 

But I continue to be amazed at the backgrounds and non-traditional achievements of our students.  Let me give you a few examples.

We have a student who is a rising star in the Latino community. He played a pivotal role in the re-branding and re-launching of a magazine known as Vice-Versa, a magazine that serves Minnesota’s Latino community. 

We have a 3/3 student; that is a student who has completed her undergraduate studies here at Hamline in three years she could start her law school studies a year early.  She also happened to star on the Hamline cross country track team. 

We have a brother and sister (although they are not twins) pair in the first-year class from Mississippi.  We also have a Honduras native who speaks fluent Spanish, French, German and basic Mandarin and who worked as a foreign language expert at an institute in China. 

And last, but certainly not least, we have the star of the hottest, hottest video on YouTube this summer.  He is the groom in the legendary JK wedding dance (he’s the K of the JK) and is a 1L.  If you haven’t seen this video, you must check it out.  The link is

As for events, today I want to feature our Academic Success Program which is led by Alice Silkey, one of our faculty members.  The program will conduct four workshops this fall devoted to building skills important to your success in mastering the J.D. program. The first workshop is this week; the subject matter will be “Putting it Altogether: Case synthesis and Note Taking” presented by Professor Carol Swanson.  She will provide some practical tips on how to survive and thrive as a first year law student.  There are going to be two sessions–one of them is Thursday, August 27 and if you missed that one, another is this coming Saturday, August 29, both starting at 11:–30 a.m. in room 101.

So that’s it for today.  Again, welcome back and we’ll see you next week. 


Posted by Zoe Miron at 08/25/2010 11:31:15 AM