Assistant Professor of Law
Hetal Dalal is an assistant professor in Legal Writing. Dalal has wide-ranging expertise in non-profit, tax, labor and employment, campaign finance, corporate governance, and public interest law as well as associated litigation and transactional skills. She has a longstanding interest in the link between rhetorical skills and the preservation of democratic values and a well-informed citizenry. Dalal has served as in-house counsel for The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and its predecessor organization, which she co-founded, since 2010. This organization—which has 100 staff members, a $30 million budget, and affiliated community organizations with 600,000 members in 35 states—is one of the country’s leading organizations advocating for racial equality and economic justice. Dalal worked in-house at ACORN, developed an independent immigration practice representing businesses and employees, and served as an Associate Attorney at Fulbright & Jaworski. Dalal graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School, where she was a board member of the Minnesota Justice Foundation, participated in the Immigration Law Clinic and the Criminal Defense Clinic, as well as the student run Asylum Law Project. She clerked for the Honorable Kathleen A. Blatz, then Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Writing is thinking. Writing well necessitates thinking well, and thus teaching writing includes teaching how to recognize and develop well-formed ideas and arguments. In my view, teaching legal writing is an exercise in strengthening democracy: Our goal is to develop law students into lawyers and citizens who can understand the rules that govern our democracy, communicate that understanding to a diversity of audiences, and shape those rules to expand the promise of equity and opportunity within our dynamic democracy.
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School
B.A., University of Redlands, Johnston Center, Redlands, CA
The Center for Popular Democracy: in-house counsel, 2014–
Leadership Center for the Common Good, Washington, D.C.: 2010–13
ACORN, Brooklyn: in-house counsel, 2012–13
Wilson Law Group: of counsel, 2007–09
Aronson & Associates: associate attorney, 2005–06
Fulbright & Jaworski: associate attorney, 2002–05
Minnesota Supreme Court: law clerk to Chief Justice Kathleen A. Blatz, 2001–02
Leadership and Service
Gender Justice, board member and treasurer, 2019–
Kingfield Neighborhood Association, board member and past chair, 2011–18
City of Minneapolis Capital Long Range Improvement Committee (CLIC), 2013–14