The Richard T. Oakes Inn of Court

At Hamline University School of Law, we serve as the host for the Richard T. Oakes American Inn of Court, a part of the American Inns of Court Foundation with over 300 Inns throughout the country. American Inns of Court (AIC) are designed to improve the skills, professionalism, and ethics of the bench and bar. Our Oakes Inn is beginning its seventh year. The Honorable M. Kevin Snell presides as Inn President for 2011-12.

Our officers for the 2011-2012 academic year are as follows:

President – Hon. M. Kevin Snell
Counselor – Kurtis Berg
Membership – Jon Paulson
Program Chairs – Mark Greene and Barrie Schumack
Secretary/Administrator – Susan H. Stephan
The Inn meets approximately once a month both to “break bread” and to hold programs and discussions on improving the legal profession, usually for one CLE credit. Membership is designed to have a balance of lawyers from different experience levels who will work with each other and with law students in order to provide mentoring and assistance in getting started in the practice of law. Membership includes judges and lawyers from different experience levels who work with each other and graduating students in order to provide mentoring and professional support. It is a great opportunity to network, learn more about our professionalism, and hear judges and lawyers belting out show tunes. The Inn provides a unique opportunity to make close friendships with lawyers and judges through its informal setting.

The American Inns of Court follow the traditional model of English apprenticeship as modified to fit the American legal system. Senior members serve as mentors who will assist young lawyers and law students to become more effective advocates and counselors with a keener ethical awareness.

The dues of the Inn are intended to cover the costs of meals and national membership. The annual dues schedule is subject to an update prior to each Inn year. The Inn is anticipated to have a maximum number of 80 members who will come from the following levels of experience:

Masters of the Bench: 15 or more years of experience
Barristers: 5-14 years
Associates: 0-5 years
Pupils: Third/Fourth Year Law Students
For the 2011-12 year, The Inn will accept applications from members of the legal profession at all levels of experience. Up to 8 law students in their last year of school ("Pupils") will be accepted into membership in the Inn on a rolling admissions basis; newly admitted Pupils will be eligible for the Inn's formal mentoring program.

The Inn has been named in honor of Richard T. Oakes, founding dean of Hamline University School of Law. Dean Oakes passionately shared these ideals and devoted most of his professional life to improving legal education He believed that legal education must include practical experiences through clinical programs along with the guidance from experienced practitioners.

The Richard T. Oakes American Inn of Court would not have been possible without the dual support of Hamline University School of Law and Street Legal Motorcycle Club (R), an organization of motorcycle-enthusiast legal professionals. Dick, an avid rider, was a founding member of Street Legal, which regularly holds CLEs in Sturgis, South Dakota.
Additional information about the Inn:
2012-13 Meeting Schedule
Membership Application
Membership Dues
Approved CLE Credits

If you have any questions about the Richard T. Oakes Inn of Court, please contact:

Susan H. Stephan, Inn Administrator
phone: 612-234-1855

Jon Paulson, Membership Chair
phone: 651-487-1208 x13


Alumni Relations
Jane L. Prince
Law Alumni Relations Director

Eric Joranson
Director of Development, School of Law

Search the
Alumni e-Directory

Log in to update your information and find fellow Pipers