Alumnus and business executive donates $1 million to William Mitchell

Louis L. Ainsworth, a 1977 graduate of William Mitchell College of Law and formerly senior vice president and general counsel of Pentair, has donated a total of $1 million to the law school.  The gift will create an endowed professorship in law and business, the first in this field at the college, and also includes an estate gift to support the law school’s Center for Law and Business.

Louis Ainsworth

Louis Ainsworth

“I am deeply grateful to Louis for his leadership and for this wonderful gift which supports a fast-growing and very important area of study at Mitchell,” said President and Dean Eric Janus.

The college created the Center for Law and Business in 2010 to expand students’ understanding of business principles and practice, and in 2013 added the Law and Business Certificate for students supplementing their J.D. degree with business courses, and have demonstrated business law competency. Today more than 30 students are enrolled in the certificate program.

The new gift will create the Louis L. Ainsworth Distinguished Professorship, which will be awarded to a faculty member in recognition of his or her excellence in designing and teaching law and business classes and his or her real-world experience in this field.

“Legal education is changing dramatically, and Mitchell is helping lead the change,” said Ainsworth, who was named director of the Center for Law and Business in 2013 and is a member of Mitchell’s Board of Trustees. “I’m in a position to help in that transformation of law because of my Mitchell education and business experience, and this professorship, in a field that is growing in importance, will strengthen Mitchell’s law and business program.  I owe Mitchell a lot because it allowed me to do what I love.”

This donation brings the college’s total number of endowed faculty positions to 12, up from three in 2010. During that same period, Mitchell has raised more than $21 million for scholarships, faculty support, and innovation as part of its “If Not for Mitchell” fundraising campaign.

William Mitchell College of Law, founded in 1900, provides a practical legal education rooted in the real-world needs of lawyers, the legal profession, and the community. Today, it is home to the top-ranked clinical program in the region; robust externship and mentoring programs; faculty who are teachers, scholars, and practitioners; and a large, proud, and supportive alumni base. More information about William Mitchell can be found at