A working law office
Named for one of its co-founders who would go on to become the first woman on the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Rosalie Wahl Legal Practice Center functions as a law office within the law school. Students represent low-income renters, prisoners, nonprofit groups, immigrants, and others. They assist parents in child protection cases, draft contracts, and file patent applications.
The center houses our clinical program, which has been among the top-ranked in the nation for the past 11 years, as well as skills courses, the externship program, and public service initiatives. It’s where students work directly with faculty to develop lawyering skills. And it’s a valuable resource for people in need of pro bono legal services.
It is the heart of Mitchell Hamline’s practical legal education.
Rosalie Wahl, a native of Kansas, entered William Mitchell College of Law—a predecessor school of Mitchell Hamline—in the early 1960s at age 37 and attended school at night while raising four children. She had a fifth while in law school. Upon graduation, she went to work in the state public defender’s office, arguing numerous appeals on behalf of indigent criminal defendants. She joined the faculty at William Mitchell in 1971, helped establish the school’s clinical program in 1973, and was appointed to the court in 1977. In her 17 years on the bench, she earned a reputation as the voice for those living on the edges of society—the poor, the accused, and the powerless.