A special thank-you to the outgoing St. Thomas School of Law Alumni Board members for their years of dedicated service, including Joe Johnson ’07 J.D./MBA, past president, and the following directors: Megan Mejia Lange ’17 J.D., Jeff Storms ’06 J.D., Alli Yttreness ’11 J.D., '15 LL.M. and Riki Rodriguez ’18 J.D.
Congratulations to the incoming alumni board members! What’s next? We asked incoming president Kate Nilan Uding ’06 J.D., general counsel at Luther Automotive Group, about the upcoming year.
What do you like best about being on the alumni board?
I feel incredibly lucky to have made so many deep connections to my fellow classmates, the professors, deans, and my mentors while in law school. To be able to foster that connection (or reconnection) to the broader St. Thomas Law community is likely the best thing, but I also appreciate the ability to serve as a sounding board for leadership at the school, and serve as a representative within the alumni association. I hope the alumni board provides that opportunity for the broader alumni association, and each new class of alumni.
What are your priorities during your year as president?
As the law school graduates its 20th class of students, it is an exciting time to lead the alumni board, and my priorities are focused on: (1) engaging alumni in the search for the new law school dean, (2) finding new ways to reconnect in person with alumni across classes (look for more information soon about a new law alumni gala in 2024!), and (3) providing resources for professional development, service, and connection for the entire alumni community.
In addition to your work on the board, you are also a law student mentor. Are there other ways you are active in the community?
The introduction to our broader legal community was so important to me as a law student that I feel honored to be that bridge for current St. Thomas Law students through the Mentor Externship Program. We all find and seek out mentors at every stage in our career, and some of the mentors I was introduced to through St. Thomas Law continue to mentor me to this day, and provided such a safety net of support in those early years of practice. Selfishly, I also know that each student at the school will be an alumni colleague of mine in a few short years, so making those connections early serves our community well.
Pro bono service continues to be an integral part of my practice, and serving as a lawyer at Children’s Law Center has been an important way for me to serve unrepresented youth experiencing turmoil in their lives. I hope that over this next year, we can shed more of a spotlight on all the different ways our alumni are serving the needs of the disenfranchised, underrepresented, and unrepresented individuals looking for refuge in our legal system and in our communities.
Why should alumni engage with the law school and/or the alumni association? What are some ways they can get involved?
There are so many resources available to St. Thomas Law alumni, and the board has a deep desire to reach as many alumni as possible to deepen the connections and ties to the law school. We have a number of committees that are always in search of new members – the Alumnae Committee, the Engagement & Philanthropy Committee, the Outreach & Connections Committee, the Practice Group Committee, the Service Committee, and the Social Committee – and we welcome input on how we might better serve the law school and alumni association.
Is there anything else you want to say to the law alumni community?
I, along with the full Alumni Board, am here to listen, serve and engage with all of you, and represent your voices to the larger St. Thomas Law community. I have always appreciated the open-door policy of all the faculty and administration, and I would love to hear ideas – and critiques – from the broader Alumni Association.