Emerita Professor of Law
B.A., University of Florida
M.A., University of Illinois
J.D., College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law
Ph.D., University of Illinois
Mary Jane Morrison joined the Hamline Law faculty in 1981. She has been admitted to practice before the Minnesota Supreme Court, Virginia Supreme Court, and United States District Court in Minnesota, and is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Ramsey County Bar Association, Virginia State Bar Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association, and Phi Kappa Phi. She has been a member of the American Bar Association, National Lawyers Guild, and American Philosophical Association.
Professor Morrison retired from teaching in 2012 and was named emeritus professor in May 2013. At Hamline Law, she primarily taught analysis of statutes, treaties, and constitutions in courses on the United States Constitution, criminal law, and state constitutional law, particularly with respect to the Minnesota State Constitution; and seminars on advanced-topics in constitutional law and criminal law. She also for several years taught intellectual property and international intellectual property and occasionally taught contracts, remedies, or torts.
Since 2007, Professor Morrison has volunteered as an Ombudsman for a Department of Defense agency that mediates issues under USERRA. From 2002 through 2012, she was chair of the Human Rights and Research Committee of an organization with group homes for developmentally disabled adults; was a volunteer guardian ad litem for abused children in Ramsey County for five years; and served on the Legal Redress and Political Action Committee of the St. Paul Branch of the NAACP for two years. Through an ABA project, she advised Albania, Lithuania, and Romania on developing their constitutions. She also has served on several state, local, and minority bar association boards of directors, committees and task forces. Since 1981, and continuing in her retirement, she has provided pro bono legal work on issues under federal and state constitutions and civil rights statutes.
Professor Morrison speaks to professional and lay audiences on notable decisions from the United States Supreme Court’s most recent term and on issues of current interest under the Minnesota Constitution.
- Appointed assistant director of ombudsmen for the Minnesota Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR)
- Named MN ESGR ombudsman of the year
- Named MN ESGR Region 7 volunteer of the year
- Recognized for completing 10th year of service in ESGR, during all of which she has been an ombudsman, mediating issues between employers and their National Guard or Reservist employees arising under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), in the course of which she also sometimes has to navigate through parts of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
- Recognized at the 40th anniversary of The Phoenix Residence Inc. as a “person who made a difference” in the lives of the disabled residents. For 12 years, she was the outside person whose consent was required under federal and Minnesota law before chemical or physical restraints could be applied to disabled residents.
- Joined a neighborhood book club. The first book was “The Song Poet,” by St. Paul’s Kao Kalia Yang—a wonderful book.
- After having no dog to keep her from six-week travels in 2015 (Far East) and 2016 (Old World, including Berlin, where she worked for U.S. Army, Berlin Brigade, 1966-67), and after years of searching, she finally was able to adopt a four-year-old female Golden Retriever, her fourth GR, in addition to the three GRs she has fostered over the years
- Interviewed by Minnesota Lawyer, Star Tribune, MPR, etc. about several clauses of the Minnesota Constitution, particularly those touching acts by the governor, Legislature, Minnesota Supreme Court, and a few Minnesota district courts