Neil Hamilton, professor in the University of St. Thomas School of Law and founding director of its Thomas Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, has been named interim dean of the law school. He began the position in May with the departure of Thomas Mengler, who became president of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Susan Huber, executive vice president and chief academic officer of the university, said a search committee for a permanent dean continues its work and hopes to identify an individual this fall. Hamilton indicated he will not be a candidate for permanent dean.

“In consulting with School of Law faculty and staff, I found unanimity in the idea of appointing Neil as an interim dean,” Huber said. “He is held in the highest regard both in the School of Law and in the legal community, and I know he will do an exceptional job.”

Hamilton received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Colorado College in 1967 and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1970. He also has a master’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan (1979). He practiced with law firms in Minneapolis and Indianapolis before entering the teaching profession.

He taught in law schools at Airlangga University in Indonesia and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland before joining the William Mitchell College of Law faculty in 1980. Hamilton joined St. Thomas’ School of Law as a founding faculty member in 2001 and served as associate dean for academic affairs in spring 2002 and from 2003 to 2005. He became Holloran Center director in 2006. He has taught a required course in professional responsibility and an ethics seminar for 25 years, and at St. Thomas he created the first Ethical Leadership course, which he co-teaches with Holloran. Hamilton also has taught courses in administrative law, business ethics, antitrust, regulated industries, banking, business organizations, contracts and civil procedures.

His honors include Lawyer of the Year from Minnesota Lawyer magazine (2002), Hennepin County Professionalism Award (2003) and the Professional Excellence Award from the Minnesota State Bar Association (2004, one of only three law professors ever to receive this recognition). St. Thomas honors include the School of Law Excellence in Professional Preparation Award (2003), the John Ireland Presidential Award for Excellence as a Teacher/Scholar (2009) and a Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2011).

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