Providing law students with the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to succeed as business leaders and business lawyers
The Changing Face of Legal Education
“A legal education is excellent preparation for a career in business, and William Mitchell has a rich history of educating students who graduate and go on to become entrepreneurs and business leaders. With its long-time emphasis on practical outcomes and strong academic offerings, Mitchell is uniquely positioned to serve those students whose interests range beyond the traditional practice of law.”
—Jann Olsten ’74
Co-founder of Archiver’s, a Minnesota-based company with more than 40 stores across the country
Executive Director, Center for Law and Business
The world is changing rapidly for U.S. law schools and their graduates. Law and business are intertwined as never before. There is an unprecedented demand for business leaders—and business lawyers—who have the critical thinking skills that law school helps to develop. Through the Center for Law and Business, William Mitchell will continue to instill practical wisdom in its graduates by introducing select non-law business courses, clinics, and other offerings into the law school curriculum.
Since its inception 110 years ago, William Mitchell alumni have distinguished themselves in every facet of the law. In addition, about one-fourth of Mitchell graduates go on to careers as business leaders, in-house counsel, or business lawyers. History has demonstrated that a legal education from Mitchell can serve as excellent preparation for a career in business.
The Center for Law and Business will allow students to supplement their legal education with core business courses, adding significant value to their law degrees, providing them with more career options, and making them better prepared for the demands of today’s complex world.
Mitchell recognizes that legal education must adapt to the marketplace by capitalizing on the inherent value of the J.D. in careers beyond the traditional practice of law. The Center for Law and Business is designed to meet the needs of future generations of students and alumni.
Five Areas of Focus
- Expand the pool of prospective William Mitchell students to include recent undergraduates interested in both business and law, as well as junior and more experienced business people who want to advance their careers
- Serve current students who are interested in broadening their career opportunities
- Serve businesses that are looking for future leaders with the knowledge, skills, and attributes of a law graduate and a practical understanding of business
- Serve law firms that are looking for graduates who are prepared to understand their clients’ businesses
- Provide resources for alumni in business or practice who want to enhance their business acumen
- Develop business and additional business-law courses and programs for students
- Offer students, alumni, and others CLEs, seminars, panels, and other programs that connect business issues and best practices in business to the law
- Engage our business alumni and other business leaders to help with program and course development
- Work with businesses, law firms, and other potential employers to align the center’s educational offerings with the knowledge and skills that will help students become productive business managers, business leaders, and business lawyers
William Mitchell College of Law is located minutes from the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The Twin Cities metropolitan area is a thriving hub of business, and home to more than 20 Fortune 500 companies.
Target, Best Buy, 3M, Medtronic, UnitedHealth Group, U.S. Bancorp, General Mills, Ecolab, and Pentair are all headquartered in Minnesota. These companies employ many Mitchell alumni both in legal and business leadership positions.
A Practical Approach
“The Center for Law and Business advances William Mitchell’s mission of providing practical wisdom to our students so they can be productive contributors immediately upon graduation.”
—Professor Thuy-Nga T. Vo
Faculty Director, Center for Law and Business
William Mitchell takes a practical approach to legal education. Classes are taught by professors who are both legal scholars and practitioners. Students study legal theories and develop the skills necessary to succeed in a variety of professions.
Mitchell’s emphasis on practical outcomes and the strength of its academic offerings attract a broad mix of students with career interests that often go beyond the traditional practice of law. Many students have successful, established careers and come to Mitchell to further develop their critical-thinking skills, strategic aptitude, and leadership ability.
Throughout Mitchell’s 110-year history, a significant number of its graduates have become business leaders as well as business lawyers. While other law schools have programs that focus on business law, the Center for Law and Business goes beyond that by helping prepare students to become successful business professionals.