SOL Lawyer Magazine_Fall 2021


students at St. Thomas,” Westman added. “Definitely within the intellectual property community, they are recognized here in the Cities. It will be a matter of time before we can build that relationship more broadly.” Luke Toft ‘13 J.D. , who practices intellectual property law and was a coach for two seasons starting in fall 2017, said when St. Thomas went to nationals again the second year, it made an impact at some firms, as they are taking a closer look at St. Thomas. “I was the only St. Thomas alum at Fox Rothschild in the Minneapolis office when I started. And today there are five or six of us. It has grown quite a bit. Two of our summer interns last year were St. Thomas students.” A WAY TO GIVE BACK TO ST. THOMAS Having alumni involved in moot court as coaches and guest judges helps to raise awareness of St. Thomas with the partners at their firms. It’s a benefit, but not the reason Lee Bennin ‘19 J.D. signed on to be a coach. Bennin was a 2L when he and his 3L teammate Jay Singh ‘18 J.D. achieved first place, were awarded the “Best Brief” award in the Midwest Regional Competition, and were quarter- finalists at the AIPLA national competition. Bennin returned to the competition the following year, where he and Kiersten Idzorek ’20 J.D. again reached the national quarterfinals. “My experience on the IP Moot Court team helped me earn a clerkship at the Minnesota Court of Appeals,” said Bennin, who is now an associate at Lathrop

Luke Toft ‘13 J.D., left, with then law students and 2018 Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association (MIPLA) Moot Court competition champions Jay Singh ‘18 J.D., center, and Lee Bennin ‘19 J.D., right. Singh and Bennin made it to the quarterfinals in the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s (AIPLA) national competition that same year.

GPM. Bennin rejoined the team as a coach in 2019, where he contributes his firsthand understanding of the appellate process and guides students through the unique aspects of writing at the appeals-court level. “I decided to become a coach because I was active in the IP Moot Court program during law school and I wanted to give back to the team that helped me develop my lawyering skills.” Regardless of specialty, there are plenty of opportunities for alumni to get involved, grow their own

careers and shine a light on St. Thomas, all while mentoring the next generation. “I think especially for the first several years out of law school when you are cutting your teeth on new experiences, the opportunity to turn around and teach helps to crystallize a lot of the skills and tips you are working on and it becomes a lesson for you at the same time,” said Anne Rondoni Tavernier ‘16 J.D. , a coach Westman recruited for the 2017-18 academic year. Lessons that Tavernier practiced in her trial advocacy competition

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