University of Montana School of Law

Barrister eBrief - May 2015

Alexander Blewett III

Historic $10 Million Gift Builds for the Future

In this short video, Alexander Blewett III tells his story that led to his historic $10M donation to the School of Law, with additional remarks from Interim Dean Greg Munro. The gift will create an endowed chair in consumer law and protection with endowed programmatic support in that area and for access to justice, provide $1.5 million for the Access to Legal Education Scholarship Fund and create an endowed discretionary fund for general law school support.

In recognition of the Blewett family's many gifts, other contributions, and historic nature of the $10 million gift, which nearly doubles the size of the School of Law's century old endowment, the Montana Board of Regents voted 5-0 with one abstention to name the School of Law the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana.

View the news release on the $10 million dollar gift for additional information.
Former School of Law Deans

Former Deans Express Gratitude, Support for Law School Naming

Four former Deans of the University of Montana School of Law joined Interim Dean Greg Munro in expressing their gratitude to the Blewett family and support for naming the School of Law in honor of Alexander "Zander" Blewett III. Deans John O. "Jack" Mudd, J. Martin Burke, E. Edwin Eck, and Irma S. Russell noted their collective over 30 years at the helm of the school and the importance of the gift in a joint-letter to the Montana Board of Regents.

"Today, more so perhaps than ever before, private philanthropy provides the margin for excellence. [...] We enthusiastically support the naming of the School of Law in recognition of Zander and Andy's transformative gift [...] and their remarkable commitment to public higher education in Montana."

Dean Ed Eck, current Head of the Office of Consumer Protection for Attorney General Tim Fox, praised the consumer protection element of the gift. "Zander and Andy Blewett have been great friends to the law school for many years and it is wonderful to see them make such a significant contribution to the school and to the legal profession in an area that is so important to Montana."
Blake Morant

President of the AALS Praises, Inspires Graduating Class

The graduation and hooding ceremony held Saturday May 23, 2015 brought nearly 1,000 students, faculty, family members, alumni, and general public to the George and Jane Dennison Theatre to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating class of 2015.

Dean of the George Washington University Law School and current president of the Association of American Law Schools, Blake Morant provided inspiring words to the graduating class during the ceremony. In a speech touching on the humanity and nobility of lawyers, Dean Morant spoke of the sense of community at UMSL arising from the small size of the school. "It instills the sense of community that instills in you the humanity that you will take with you..."

He specifically noted his own interaction with Montana alumnus Murray C. (Tripp) Greason III, a 1997 graduate, who now serves as the first, full-time Pro Bono Director at Womble Carlysle, a 550 lawyer firm with offices primarily across North Carolina and the eastern seaboard (Dean Morant was previously dean at Wake Forest University School of Law). He noted how the sense of community at UMSL inspired Mr. Greason to give back through his groundbreaking pro bono work. Dean Morant concluded his remarks by saying, "I know that you are going to be exemplars of this profession."

If you missed the graduation and hooding ceremony, a recording of the live stream is available on the UMSL YouTube Channel.
ABA logo

UMSL Ranks High for Graduate Placement

In mid-April, the American Bar Association released the latest employment data for the class of 2014. The University of Montana School of Law ranks in the top 50 (47th overall out of 203) for placement of graduates in full-time, long-term, bar-passage-required jobs, not school funded, at a rate of 67.5%. That’s above the national average for all graduates at a placement rate of 58.7%.

Read the full article with additional placement statistics.
Mediation team students

Students Participate in State Bar CLE

Students from the University of Montana School of Law Mediation Clinic and Mediation Team participated in the State Bar’s Continuing Legal Education program, entitled, “Case Evaluation, Settlement and Mediation.” The CLE program was held May 8 in Helena at the Great Northern Hotel. 3Ls Ben Shumate, Meghan Benson, Brant Beaudry, Shea Sammons and Madison Mattioli, acted as clients and served as mediators in a variety of mediation scenarios.

Read more about the mediation team's participation.

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