Mitchell Hamline awarded 217 graduates their J.D. degrees, and two students Master of Laws degrees, at spring Commencement on Sunday, May 21, at 2 pm in the auditorium of the Minneapolis Convention Center. The class of 2017 joined the more than 19,000 members of Mitchell Hamline’s alumni community.
82 graduates were recognized during the ceremony for their commitment to public service. They performed more than 50 hours of pro-bono client representation during their time in law school, well beyond clinic course requirements.
The graduates selected Professors Morgan Holcomb, Mehmet Konar-Steenberg, Jim Morrow ’78 (WMCL), and John Sonsteng to hood them.
The graduates also chose Professor Knapp to give the charge to the class. Knapp is director of the clinical program, one of the top-ranked programs of its kind in the nation. He joined the faculty in 1989 after six years in private practice at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly in St. Paul.
The Mitchell Hamline May 2017 class Honors Speaker was Raoul Shah of Eden Prairie, Minn. Shah served as an editor of the Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice, earned seven Cali awards, and is a recipient of the Constance L. Bakken Fellowship. He earned undergraduate degrees from the University of Minnesota in psychology and in the sociology of law, criminology, and deviance. He has been working as an intern with the U.S. attorney’s office and as a clerk in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis. He previously worked as a summer associate at Nilan Johnson Lewis, an extern at the U.S. District Court in Minnesota, an intern at the Center for Homicide Research in Minneapolis, and in several positions in law enforcement and corrections. In 2013, he received a “Superior Contributions to Law Enforcement” award from the U.S. Secret Service. After law school, Shah is planning to clerk for a year at the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and he has accepted a position as an assistant county attorney in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office starting in August 2018.
The Honorable Margaret H. Chutich was the ceremony’s keynote speaker. Chutich was appointed as an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2016 by Governor Mark Dayton. Prior to her appointment to the state Supreme Court, Justice Chutich served on the Minnesota Court of Appeals for four years. Before her appointment to the bench, she had a long and varied career in public service and private practice.