Problem solver
How one student’s work with a community service organization led him to study law at the University of Minnesota.

Benjamin Cooper, a 2022 University of Minnesota Law School graduate, has always had a deep interest in legal policy and its impact on communities.

After graduating from St. Olaf College, Cooper moved to Minneapolis and began work as a legal services coordinator at Tubman, a nonprofit organization that helps people who have experienced relationship violence, elder abuse, addiction, sexual exploitation or other forms of trauma.

In addition to safe shelter, mental and chemical health counseling, and other programs, Tubman provides legal services to its clients.

While working closely with the volunteer attorneys at Tubman, Cooper witnessed first-hand how a law degree can open doors to a fulfilling career and rewarding civic engagement.

This experience confirmed to Cooper that practicing law was the next step and the right path for him. “I want to solve problems, I like working with people, and I love reading and writing—all things many attorneys do,” he says.

Although there are a number of reasons why Cooper chose to attend Minnesota Law, he explains that “scholarship support was a significant factor in my decision about where to attend law school. Every dollar of a scholarship means I need to take out less money in loans. It allows me to make career decisions that are right for me without worrying as much about finances. Also, I know that many scholarships are funded through donations, so scholarship support serves as a proxy for how engaged the law school’s alumni and donor community is.”

Cooper, who received scholarship support from the Law School Class of 1979 and the Robina Public Interest Scholars Program, expresses his gratitude: “Your gifts are deeply appreciated. They make Mondale Hall a place where we can fully engage in law school. Your support of scholarships makes recipients like me and my classmates feel recognized and encouraged.”

Not only is Cooper grateful to attend one of the top public law schools in the country, he is proud to be a part of the active and connected Minnesota Law community. “Knowing that Minnesota Law has a very engaged alumni network is important to me,” he says. “Coming into law school, I wanted a group of attorneys that I could turn to for advice as I find my way through law school and start my career, and Minnesota Law definitely has that.”

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