ST. PAUL, Minn. (March 31, 2008) - Hamline University is pleased to announce that Donald Lewis, co-founder of Minneapolis law firm Halleland Lewis Nilan & Johnson, has been named dean of the Hamline University School of Law. Lewis will assume the post on July 1 while remaining Of Counsel with the law firm he helped to launch twelve years ago.
Lewis, 55, has been a trial lawyer for nearly thirty years. At Halleland Lewis, his practice has centered on employment litigation and white collar criminal defense. Lewis is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the American Law Institute, and a member of the American Bar Association. He is a co-founder of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers and has served on the Board of Governors of the National Bar Associat ion. Lewis has taught as an adjunct in the School of Law since 2004 and will succeed Jon Garon, who is completing a five-year term as dean.
"Attracting someone of Don Lewis's experience confirms our belief that the School of Law continues to rise in reputation, and I am delighted he will be joining our leadership team," Hamline President Linda N. Hanson said. "He has a wealth of experience in the legal community, and has distinguished himself as an educator, a champion of diversity, and a focused visionary. Our students, faculty, and staff will all benefit from Don's leadership, innovation, and enthusiasm."
Prior to his entering private practice in 1988, Lewis served for six years as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota, working as a federal criminal prosecutor focusing on economic and tax crimes. He was also a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division for the U.S. Department of Justice. Lewis holds a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and earned his JD from Harvard Law School.
"Don will be a wonderful addition to Hamline," said Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs David Stern. "His commitment to excellence and his record of accomplishments in the Twin Cities will enable him to be a strong leader for Hamline and its School of Law."
"The School of Law is renowned for building exceptional and innovative programs within a very student-centered culture," Lewis said. "I look forward to working with the faculty and staff at Hamline and becoming its strongest advocate to the Twin Cities' business and legal communities."
Lewis has been a leader in his firm's diversity efforts. He has co-chaired the Halleland Lewis' diversity committee. The Hennepin County Bar Association has recognized the firm with three diversity awards over the past four years, including a "special achievement award" for ongoing commitment to diversity in 2006.
Hamline University School of Law is dedicated to educating students to become competent, professional, and ethical lawyers who apply legal knowledge with disciplined imagination and a global perspective that enables them to strengthen society. The School of Law is ranked in the third tier in the prestigious U.S.News & World Report magazine rankings, and is ranked fourth in the nation for its Dispute Resolution Institute. Hamline University, ranked highest for quality and value among comprehensive master's universities in Minnesota by U.S.News & World Report, is also Minnesota's first university, founded in 1854. It is among the first co-educational institutions in the nation.