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Alumni in the News

May 09, 2012

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Managing the Firm as a Business

February 24, 2012

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Law Firm Management Science: Ignore At Your Peril

January 17, 2012

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Law firms expect to grow in 2012

January 04, 2012

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Congratulations Rick Weare (MSJA, ‘74)!

December 01, 2011

Congratulations to Rick Weare (MSJA ’74) on Nearly 37 Years Serving our Judiciary!

Richard “Rick” Weare graduated from the Master of Science in Judicial Administration (MSJA) program in 1974. He describes his small class as one that “worked hard, studied hard, and played hard.”
image Now, married for 43 years, one daughter, and two grandsons later and going into retirement, Rick passes on his wisdom and experience to the new generation of Master of Science in Legal Administration (MSLA) students.

Rick came across the then-MSJA program fortuitously. Having already obtained his Master of Public Administration, Rick was looking to become more involved in a court setting. While attending the Introduction to Court Management (ICM) Program in Aspen, he heard about the University of Denver’s MSJA program. He applied soon thereafter, was accepted, and moved to Denver.

While in the program, Rick recalls not only the classroom, but the softball field as well. One of his greatest memories is his undefeated softball team beating Harry Lawson’s faculty team; with Rick hitting the home run to win the game.

Rick also gained a wealth of knowledge before ever formally entering the job market. While in the program, he worked for his mentor, Terry Aragon, at the Municipal Court in Boulder, CO. After that, he went on to complete an internship with the Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit, MI. After completing his degree, Rick applied for and accepted the court administrator position at the 7th Circuit District Trial Court in western South Dakota. While in South Dakota, he pioneered efforts to obtain federal grants that would eventually help to reform the state’s current jury statutes.

During his time in South Dakota, Rick remained close with Harry Lawson. Harry apprised Rick of an open Clerk of Court position in the massive Eastern District of New York. Rick got the job in New York at 27 years old, making him the youngest Clerk of Court in the country at the time. Rick stayed in New York for eight and a half years before becoming the Clerk of Court in Arizona, where he has been for the past 26 years.

The MSJA program at the University of Denver truly helped to shape Rick’s career. When he graduated, the field of legal and court administration was new and emerging, and the MSLA program provided great training, as well as an edge in the field. Rick learned skills that he has utilized throughout his career; in fact, Bea Hoffman taught a class on how to write a one page memorandum, which Rick says has been a most invaluable skill. In court administration, “jobs are as good as the judges you work with,” Rick says, and he has been lucky in this regard. Even when challenges arise, the MSJA program has equipped him with the all the skills necessary to deal with them. Rick truly attributes his success to the program.

After 26 years as Clerk of Court in the District of Arizona, Rick is heading into retirement. Looking back, he finds the most rewarding part of his job to be that over the
years he has had seven chief deputies, many of them graduates of the program themselves. All of them have gone on to be clerks of their own courts. Rick will do contract work for the national Administrative Offices (AO) from Phoenix. For current and future MSLA students, Rick has this piece of advice: “Be willing to go where the job opportunities are, even if that means relocating from where [you] currently live to another part of the country. While [you] will graduate with a fine academic background [you] need experience. The only way to get that experience is to find a legal administration position, with some responsibility, and spend three years learning in a legal environment.”

Congratulations, Rick, on your retirement and thank you for all your contributions to the field!

What can the MSLA do for you?  Read on…

August 18, 2011

ABA Journal Article »

Jack Hanley named the first MSLA Robert B. Yegge Professor

July 01, 2011

I am pleased to announce that Jack Hanley is the first recipient of the Master of Science in Legal Administration (MSLA) Robert B. Yegge Professorship.

If you are familiar with the MSLA program, you know Jack Hanley. Jack has been associated with DU Law since 1967. He worked alongside Dean Yegge in developing the MSJA/MSLA curriculum, and he has taught Human Resources for more than a decade!

Jack began his tenure at the University of Denver under Dean Yegge after graduating from the University of Colorado. Shortly after graduating, Hanley was informed of an operations position at the College of Law; Dean Yegge wanted to spend more time working on his academic responsibilities and was seeking a business mind to handle the ‘business of running a law school’. Needless to say, Dean Yegge hired Jack but not before putting him through the “gauntlet” to see if Jack could keep up with the work!

Jack was kept busy with the day to day operations of the law school, and soon Dean Yegge asked Hanley to assist with the development of law school curriculums and programs. In 1970 Dean Yegge, Harry Lawson and Jack worked to develop a curriculum for a summer program based on court administration to be held in Aspen, Colorado. The program, named the Institute for Court Management (ICM), was a huge success and laid the groundwork for the Master of Science in Judicial Administration (MSJA). In 1972, the College of Law graduated its first MSJA students, and became the first and only academic institution to offer a masters degree in judicial administration.

Going on the belief that there would be greater acceptance among the judiciary if the MSJA program was part of a reputable law school, the program added a separate track for training administrators for public and private law offices in 1980. A decade later, in 1990, the two programs were combined to create the Master of Science in Legal Administration (MSLA). (For more detailed history, please click here)

Today, Jack is executive director at Reilly Pozner, LLP. He continues to bring his wealth of knowledge to the MSLA classroom, teaching Human Resources during the fall term. Ask any student who has attended his class, and you’ll undoubtedly hear how Jack is an invaluable resource in this field and will always go the extra mile for the students.

Jack describes Dean Yegge as a visionary and a leader…. He not only had great foresight but he carried out his visions. Dean Yegge broadened how young lawyers thought about the legal field. In retrospect, Dean Yegge was a pioneer of many things, but perhaps most notably he is considered by many to be the pioneer of legal administration.

The goal of the Yegge professorship is to see that Dean Yegge’s wishes and vision are carried out. Jack was very surprised and humbled by this award, as he did not expect to receive anything for something that he enjoys so much, Dean Yegge was a great friend and mentor to Jack, and to receive this award is something that “I will cherish every day,” says Jack.

THANK YOU Jack and Congratulations!

Hope Kentnor
Director, MSLA

Legal Hiring Anticipated to Be Strong

March 22, 2011

Attached is an article from the Association of Legal Administrators addressing the future needs of legal support staff members in law firms.

Legal Hiring Anticipated to Be Strong »

Federal Court Careers

March 14, 2011

The purpose of the video series is to showcase a few of the career tracks in the Federal Courts. There are over ten career track videos.

Career Profiles »

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