Mitchell Hamline Professor Eric Janus will be honored with an “Outstanding Service to the Profession” award during Minnesota Lawyer’s 2016 Attorneys of the Year ceremony Thursday, Feb. 16, in Minneapolis. The award is given annually to recognize attorneys for their service and sacrifice on behalf of Minnesota’s justice system.
Janus began teaching at one of Mitchell Hamline’s predecessor schools, William Mitchell College of Law, in 1984. He was the school’s president and dean from 2007 to 2015. Janus is considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on policy regarding sex offenders and serves on Minnesota’s Sex Offender Civil Commitment Advisory Task Force. His latest book on the topic is Failure to Protect: America’s Sexual Predator Laws and the Rise of the Preventive State.
Two distinguished alums are also being honored with “Outstanding Service to the Profession” awards: retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Esther Tomljanovich ’55 (SPCL) and Loretta Frederick ’78 (WMCL), senior legal and policy advisor for the Battered Women’s Justice Project.
Tomljanovich graduated from Mitchell Hamline predecessor school St. Paul College of Law. She served as a state district court judge before being named to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1990. Tomljanovich retired from her seat in 1998. She was a champion of women’s rights throughout her career, both in society and the legal world. In 2010, Mitchell Hamline’s annual Tea for Women in Law fundraiser was named in her honor, to recognize her pioneering efforts to support women in the legal field.
Since 1996, Loretta Frederick has been senior legal and policy advisor for the Battered Women’s Justice Project, a Minneapolis-based organization that serves as a resource for professionals and other advocates working to prevent domestic abuse. Frederick’s current focus is on improving the ability of family courts to identify domestic violence in child custody cases. She began her career practicing family law with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services. Frederick is the founder of the statewide Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project (now known as Standpoint). Frederick serves as a trainer and consultant on domestic law and policy for legal and law enforcement officials in the U.S. and throughout the world.
Virginia Bell ’83 (WMCL) is also being honored for her work with the recently launched Collaborative Community Law Initiative, a Mitchell Hamline partner that helps recent graduates set up community-based, low bono law practices. The nonprofit law firm incubator program provides 18 months of training, on-site mentorship, office space, and other resources to new attorneys who want to provide affordable legal services to underserved populations. CCLI is especially focused on filling the “justice gap” that disproportionately affects minority residents and tribal communities in Minnesota.
Several other members of the Mitchell Hamline alumni community are being honored with individual, group, and partner awards from Minnesota Lawyer.
- Imran Ali ’05 (HUSL) Washington County Attorney’s Office
- Edward Cassidy ’81 (HUSL) Fredrikson & Byron PA
- John Choi* ’95 (HUSL) Ramsey County
- Richard L. Hendrickson ’80 (WMCL) Richard L. Hendrickson PA
- Philip Sieff* ’85 (HUSL) Robins Kaplan LLP
- Appeals Self Help Clinic, including Liz Reppe ’95 (HUSL) and Jennifer Young ’09 (WMCL)
- Latino Legal Experience Team, including Judge Peter M. Reyes* ’97 (WMCL)
- Petters Bankruptcy Team, including Mark Enslin ’04 (HUSL) and Kirstin Kanski ’05 (WMCL)
- Celeste Culberth* ’92 (HUSL) and Leslie Lienemann* ’92 (HUSL) Culberth & Lienemann LLP
- Paul McEllistrem ’94 (WMCL) and Andy Rorvig ’05 (WMCL) McEllistrem, Fargione, Landy, Rorvig & Eken PA
- Reese Frederickson ’06 (WMCL) and Michelle Skubitz ’96 (HUSL) Pine County Attorney’s Office
- Charles Ramsay* ’95 (WMCL) Ramsay Law Firm PLLC
- Richard Ruohonen* ’96 (HUSL) and Charles Slane* ’96 (WMCL) TSR Injury Law
- Steve Schleicher ’95 (WMCL) United States Attorney’s Office
* Denotes Circle of Excellence, an attorney who has been named Attorney of the Year more than once.