Mitchell Hamline School of Law seeks applications and nominations for the position of president and dean
Reporting to the board of trustees, the president and dean will be a collaborative, transparent, and strategic leader who guides faculty, staff, students, and processes with empathy and integrity. This person must possess a deep commitment to student success as well as faculty teaching, scholarly engagement, and development. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of distinguished leadership and administrative skills and a demonstrated ability to attract and retain human and financial resources. The ideal candidate will have a sophisticated understanding of the changing landscape of legal education, respect and appreciation for shared governance, fundraising experience, and a strong commitment to Mitchell Hamline’s role as an innovator in legal education.
The new president and dean will need to lead the Mitchell Hamline community in a collaborative effort to create and execute a strategic vision that builds upon the existing foundation of innovative and successful programs to further distinguish the school in the modern legal education landscape. Mitchell Hamline’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, and board of trustees are eager to work with a leader who is energetic, creative, supportive, and able to inspire the law school’s diverse and highly engaged community. The new president and dean must be committed to increasing diversity among students, faculty, and staff and eager to promote the law school’s advantages to a variety of constituents. The new president and dean will be expected to maintain and reinvigorate close relationships with the Mitchell Hamline alumni and donor community to enhance current sources of revenue for the school while also identifying potential new ones.
The successful candidate will, at minimum, possess a J.D. degree or equivalent; have an outstanding record of academic and professional accomplishment; and demonstrate a commitment to service to the legal profession and the public.
- The role of the president and dean
- Opportunities and expectations for leadership
- Personal qualifications and personal qualities
Interested parties should contact Werner Boel at WittKieffer, an Oak Brook, Illinois-based executive search firm with a particular focus on higher education. Recruitment will continue until the position is filled.
About Mitchell Hamline
From a night law school founded in 1900 to train working people of modest means to the nation’s leader in blended legal education, Mitchell Hamline has always been committed to student success and to expanding access to legal education. Mitchell Hamline is the law school for motivated students who want to pursue a legal education in a way that fits their lives. Our expert faculty deliver a rigorous, practice-based experience. We offer an unmatched variety of courses, experiential programs, and opportunities to specialize. Our Saint Paul, Minnesota, location is ideal for meeting the needs of our local students, our blended-learning students from around the country and beyond, and our over 20,000 alumni.
At a glance
- Independent, private law school
- Region’s largest law school
- First ABA-approved law school to offer a blended half-online, half in-person enrollment option
- Voted best law school past two years by readers of Minnesota Lawyer
- Chief Justice Warren Burger graduated with the class of 1931 and, like Justice Harry Blackmun, was a professor and trustee here
- Second most part-time law students in the country
- Ranked in the top 5 for dispute resolution by U.S. News & World Report for 19 straight years. Also highly ranked in health law, clinical training, and part-time programs.
- Offers academic specializations in law and business, Indian law, child protection, and intellectual property law
- In addition to the J.D., we offer an LL.M. degree, dual-degree programs, and several professional legal education certificates
- Study-abroad opportunities in England, Japan, Israel, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland, Chile, Malta, the Czech Republic, and more
More about Mitchell Hamline
The school’s history and distinctions
Mitchell Hamline School of Law is built on a long, rich history of providing pioneering, empowering, and accessible legal education.
Mitchell Hamline School of Law was formed in 2015 by the combination of William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline University School of Law—bringing together two law schools that shaped Minnesota’s legal landscape for more than a combined 155 years. Mitchell Hamline operates independently of Hamline University.
The contributions of our graduates to the state, region, and nation have been varied and significant. Among our grads are the first woman to serve on Minnesota’s Supreme Court and the state’s first public defender, the nation’s first Hmong lawyer and its first Korean-American county attorney, and scores of law firm founding partners, business executives, judges, and leaders of community organizations serving veterans, children, those with disabilities, the homeless, and more.
Our motivated students
We have more than 1,100 students pursuing a J.D. The trait that best defines the student who chooses Mitchell Hamline is motivation. Whether they are second-career professionals, dreamers and idealists, recent undergrads, or individuals with a compelling personal history with the law, they choose Mitchell Hamline for a reason and with a goal in mind. They come to us from Minnesota and the Upper Midwest and, through our partially online blended-learning program, from around the country and the world. Our blended-learning students need a strong self-motivation to build and keep their own personal study schedules. Many of them have used that motivation to complete their four-year J.D. program a year or more early. Many people whose law school ambitions have been on hold for years while raising a family, establishing a career, and investing in their communities have found Mitchell Hamline to be the only school where they could finally earn their J.D.
Our community of faculty and staff
Mitchell Hamline is a community of faculty and staff committed to student success. We strive to create a welcoming and supportive environment where students feel comfortable expressing all dimensions of their social and cultural identities. We are responsive to student needs and continually shape our legal education to be relevant to students, their future clients, and the legal profession. We boost each other’s efforts for the collective good of the school and our students. Our experience and network of professional contacts provides students with up-to-the-minute knowledge of emerging trends and builds bridges to legal careers. We provide rigorous, practice-based experiences that lead our students not just to a successful future, but to the right future for them.
We are uniquely staffed to recruit and support students in our distinct mix of enrollment options. As the leader in blended-online legal education, we have a strong multimedia and instructional design team.
More than 20,000 strong, Mitchell Hamline’s alumni network includes people using their law degrees in myriad ways in law firms, businesses, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and more. The Alumni Association helps alums connect to one another through CLEs and events; support students by volunteering as mentors, speakers, and mock interviewers; and support the school through financial contributions.
Our promise to students: Earn a J.D. in a way that fits your life.
Mitchell Hamline prepares students from all walks of life to begin serving as lawyers and leaders as soon as they graduate.
Our multiple enrollment options are designed to let them earn a J.D. without putting other commitments in life on hold—or even relocating to the Twin Cities. In addition to full- and part-time on-campus schedules, we offer a blended option that brings students to campus a couple of times a semester and lets them spend the rest of the time completing their work online, with a schedule that they control entirely each week. Once enrolled, students can switch between options as life needs change.
Immersion in experiential learning begins right away. Many 1Ls volunteer in the community through the Minnesota Justice Foundation and work as research assistants. Upper-level students can work in legal settings through externships and residencies and represent clients—under the supervision of experienced faculty—through one of our 13 clinic offerings. Students have the opportunity to participate in law review and other journals as well as dozens of student organizations. They also take part in more than 20 moot court and other competitions, in which Mitchell Hamline teams have had a strong record of success.
We make these experiences available across our enrollment options.
The newest evolution of blended learning launches in fall 2020
It is a single enrollment option that includes the best elements of the Hybrid, Executive, and Weekend offerings. It is a four-year program that can be finished in three years. It has substantial on-campus time that includes case-study workshops; a flexible design that allows students to customize their schedules and content; and an “asynchronous” structure that allows students to complete the online portion of their studies entirely on their own schedule.
Campus, community, the Twin Cities
We are Minnesota’s law school—with the majority of the state’s lawyers counted as our alumni. Our home state is also a center of business, trade, culture, and natural beauty. Our campus is centrally located between downtown St. Paul, a center of government and culture, and downtown Minneapolis, a center of industry and entertainment.
We live, study, and teach the law, working to make it just and accessible. We are dedicated to:
- Serving as a gateway to opportunities that enable students to further causes about which they are passionate
- Preparing students to compete successfully for jobs that exist today while positioning them to excel in jobs yet to be created
- Expanding access to legal knowledge throughout society, among lawyers and non‐lawyers alike
- Providing access to high‐quality legal education for people from a wide variety of backgrounds
- Advancing the rule of law and justice for all
Mitchell Hamline School of Law is an autonomous, nonprofit institution governed by a board of trustees. The dean serves as both dean and president of the law school.
Board of trustees
The 33-member board is made up of alums from William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline University School of Law, along with some non-alums. It includes law firm founders and partners, corporate CEOs and general counsels, nonprofit leaders, prosecutors and public defenders, judges, and higher-education leaders. The board meets regularly throughout the year, both in whole and in committee. The board approves the annual operating budget; approves the retention, promotion, and tenure of tenure-track faculty; approves the hiring of the president and dean; and performs the oversight and strategic policy-making role appropriate to a fiduciary of the law school.
President and dean
Responsible for all aspects of the organization and operation of the law school; a member of the tenured faculty. Regularly attends faculty and board meetings.
Students’ interests are represented through the Student Bar Association. The SBA promotes and supports a wide variety of student organizations related to education, professional growth, and social activities.
Fortune 500 companies in healthcare, technology, legal information, retail, and agribusiness bring teachers, students, and guest speakers to our classrooms.
We are Minnesota’s law school on Saint Paul’s beautiful, historic Summit Avenue, just minutes from the airport, both downtowns, and federal, state, and several county courts.
Our ideal location
The state’s diverse economy, and the concentration of jobs in the Twin Cities, provide firsthand professional experiences during law school that often lead to future employment.
- the nation’s best park systems
- destination museums
- live music
- live theater
- major league sports
- four seasons of natural beauty
MSP International is a centrally located hub offering direct flights to and from nearly every other major city in the United States and Canada and easy access to and from campus.
Procedure for candidacy
Applications, inquiries, and nominations are invited. Electronic submissions are strongly encouraged. A complete application will include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and contact information for five professional references. This search will be conducted with respect for the confidentiality of candidates. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates. This position is open until filled.
Communication concerning this search may be sent via email to Werner Boel, LL.M. and Shelley Arakawa, J.D., the WittKieffer consultants assisting Mitchell Hamline School of Law with this search, at MitchellHamlinePresident@wittkieffer.com.
Materials that cannot be sent via email may be mailed to:
Mitchell Hamline School of Law–President and Dean
3414 Peachtree Road, Ste 352
Atlanta, GA 30326
404-233-1370 | Fax: 404-261-1371
President and dean search team
WittKieffer is a global executive search firm with 50 years of experience serving organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life. They are industry experts skilled at creating tailored solutions that suit each of their clients, and their depth of experience includes work with both market leaders and market disruptors.
Stakeholder listening groups conducted
Search consultant selected
Search consultant meetings on campus with stakeholders
Search committee reviews and approves leadership profile.
Active candidate advertising, recruiting, screening, and interviewing
Candidate materials reviewed by search committee
Committee selects candidates for campus interviews
Campus interviews and reference checks
Search committee seeks to identify 3–5 final candidates
3–5 candidates invited for second-round interviews with key campus constituent groups and individuals
Faculty vote on finalists
Search committee makes recommendation to board of trustees
Preferred candidate is identified; offer is extended; agreement is reached on terms; and new president and dean is announced
Mitchell Hamline School of Law is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, veteran/military status, disability or handicap, age, sexual orientation, status with regard to public assistance, or any other protected class status. Members of marginalized and underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.