The board of trustees of Mitchell Hamline School of Law added three new members and installed new board leadership as of July 1.
The addition of the three trustees, all alumni, brings the total number of board members to 32.
- Brian Batzli ’85 is senior vice president, shareholder, and chairman emeritus at Merchant & Gould, an intellectual property law firm. A former adjunct professor at Hamline University School of Law, Batzli has been a member of Mitchell Hamline’s IP Advisory Board since 2010 and recently served as chair. He has a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota and graduated with honors from William Mitchell College of Law, where he received the Student Award of Merit.
- Christopher Pham ’09 is a senior associate at Fredrikson & Byron, handling a wide range of complex business and commercial cases. He is involved in several pro bono initiatives, volunteering as an attorney and serving on the boards of several nonprofits. He has a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, an M.A. from Chapman University, and a J.D. cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law.
- Ugo Ukabam ’02 is director and senior counsel for labor and employment law at General Mills. Previously, she was the first racial-minority female partner at Gray Plant Mooty Mooty & Bennett. A former adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law, Ukabam received the Lena O. Smith Achievement Award from the Minnesota Black Women Lawyers Network in 2009. She has an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, a J.D. from William Mitchell, and an LL.B. from the University of Nigeria.
Assuming the role of chair of the Mitchell Hamline board of trustees is Lisa A. Gray ’86, vice chair and senior legal officer at Cerberus Operations and Advisory Co. A board member since 2010, Gray has been chair of the Audit and Finance Committee, a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, and an at-large member of the Executive Committee.
She replaces former Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Helen M. Meyer ’83, who chaired the board for two years.
The new vice chair is Frank V. Harris ’75, retired executive director of Minnesota Continuing Legal Education. Harris has been chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee and was an at-large member of the Executive Committee in 2017-18. He has been on the board since 2015.
Harris takes over as vice chair from David M. Sparby ’80, retired senior vice president and group president at Xcel Energy.
Steven J. Kirsch ’76, a partner at Larson King, and Nicole James Gilchrist ’03, senior counsel at Thrivent Financial, retain their positions as secretary and treasurer of the board, respectively.