Amber Kraemer: 2016 Best and Brightest
University of Minnesota Law School
Hometown: Prior Lake, Minnesota
Undergraduate School: University of Minnesota
Undergraduate Major and Minor: Honors Sociology of Law, Criminology and Deviance with a Philosophy Minor
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During Undergraduate: Member of the Honors College and graduated with High Distinction and Summa Cum Laude Latin Honors as well as being a member of the Deans List all years of attendance.
Volunteer Groups: Health Advocate in the Dormitories my freshman year; Member of the Assistant Dean Freshman Advisory Board; Welcome Week Event Staff; Classroom Volunteer at Southside Family Charter School and Pratt Community School; Volunteered countless hours with the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation; Member of Order of Omega Honor Society; Major Mentor to other undergraduate students and was also a Rho Alpha which is a volunteer position as a Recruitment Advisor for the Greek Community. In addition, I volunteered many hours during my undergraduate studies at organizations like Feed My Starving Children, Operation Christmas Child and in Senior Living Communities.
Leadership Specific Roles: Assistant Vice President of Academic Development for Alpha Omicron Pi; Executive Vice President and Vice President of Finance for Junior Panhellenic Council; Vice President of Philanthropy for Rho Lambda Honor Society; Lead Peer Assisted Learning Instructor; Vice President of Education for Alpha Omicron Pi; and a Member of the Ethics Board for Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life.
Law School: Dean’s Distinguished Scholarship; Deans List all years of study thus far, Book Awards in both Torts and Professional Responsibility, and Legal Writing Section 13 Best Oralist. Beyond that I was a participant in the Leadership Foundations Program; a Business Law Association 1L Representative then Vice President of Alumni Relations and now President; Alumni and Student Engagement Committee Member all three years; Honor Code Council Member my last two years; Kaplan Student Representative; University Honors Program Mentor; Orientation Leader and now Assistant Orientation Director, Admissions Ambassador and now Head Admissions Ambassador; Minnesota Journal of International Law Staffer and now Executive Editor and finally a volunteer with the Minnesota Justice Foundation. I have also throughout my 2L and 3L year mentored numerous fellow law students that I met both through involvement as an Orientation Leader and on the Executive Board for the Business Law Association and been the host for law school sponsored Alumni and Current Student engagement activities.
Where have you interned during law school? Winthrop & Weinstine 1L and 2L summer here in Minneapolis and externship at US Bank in Minneapolis.
What practice area will you be specializing in after graduation? General Corporate and Community Banking
Why did you choose to attend law school? Law school is something that I told my parents for a very long time I wanted to do. My passion growing up was community service and working with and helping people grew from an experience I had when I was very young, being in a car accident and being on the receiving end of a philanthropic organization. Thus, all throughout middle school and high school and then into my undergraduate education, I involved myself in as many community service organizations as I could. This is what drove me to a legal career, being an attorney allows me to be there to help people that are in a tough situation and serve people that need assistance with legal issues. There are also a ton of opportunities to complete pro bono work and further serve people that are in need of assistance.
What was your favorite law school class? My favorite law school class was Contracts my 1L year, which was actually very surprising to me. I started law school with the aspiration of being a criminal prosecuting attorney. In undergraduate, I wrote my honors senior thesis on how laws impact rates and reporting of crime. However, it was in Contracts during my 1L year that I realized that my aspiration to work with and help people could be accomplished in really any area of the law. In transactional business work or working with entrepreneurs and small businesses, I can help people accomplish their life-long goals and dreams of starting a business.
Which attorney do you most admire? The attorney that I most admire is Tami Diehm. As a shareholder at Winthrop, I met her as a Summer Associate. She is one of those people who does so much for others that if you could complete even half of what she has accomplished you will have done a lot. Though she is in a different practice group than I will be in, she is consistently honored for her contributions to mentoring fellow attorneys; making her community better by volunteering and being a part of her city council; being a board member of volunteer organizations; and being one of the key members of the pro bono committee. Tami has not only been honored for her pro bono service individually, but also takes the time to oversee and assist younger attorneys with their pro bono service as well. Tami leads by example. I strive to follow in her footsteps and leave a similar legacy of pro bono work, community service and helping others.
What have you enjoyed most about law school? There are many things that I have enjoyed about law school, but the thing that I have enjoyed most is the intellectual stimulation and fantastic people that I have been able to meet in school. All of the students around me are bright and have unique ideas. It is the first time in school that I have been able to be in classes with all students who want to be there and push me to think about things in a different way.
What word best describes your professional brand? The word that I think best describes my professional brand is determined. I approach all components of my life with the determination to persevere. Whether it is school, work, volunteering or in my personal life, anything that I agree to participate in or take on I am determined to follow-through with and try to leave it in a better place than when I started.
If you were debt free, how would you spend your first paycheck after landing your first law job? I would take a trip to a place I have never been. I think that the more time that people take to get to know and experience other cultures, the more well-rounded it makes them and the more open to diverse perspectives and thoughts. This only helps them to be more tolerant and thoughtful of those they encounter in both their work and personal life.
“I knew I wanted to go to law school when…I began watching TV shows and movies depicting attorneys helping people in unimaginable circumstances turn their lives around. It allowed me to pair my interest in working with and helping people to a content area that I found intellectually stimulating.
“If I didn’t go to law school, I would be…likely a social worker or working in a non-profit.”
Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of?Starting the Toys for Tots fundraiser in my entire school district. I started the Toys for Tots fundraiser as a freshman in the Jr. Optimist Club at my high school. By my senior year I had expanded it to every school in the district, donating thousands of toys throughout my four years.
Fun fact about yourself: Since I turned about 12, I have been a National Champion in SASS, which is the Single Action Shooting Society. It involves dressing up in period correct clothing (Western) and competing in timed target shooting.
Favorite book: There are a lot of books that I have really enjoyed reading. One of my best friends is an English teacher and is constantly giving me new books to read. However, going back to childhood one of my favorite books to read has been My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.
Favorite movie: Movies are a similar thing for me. I really enjoy watching new movies and trying out new things, but if I have to pick a favorite it would probably be The Guardian.
What are your hobbies? Yoga Sculpt, swimming and running.
What made Amber such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016? “Amber Kraemer is special–a complete package of skill, talent, personality and drive. Not only has she excelled in several of my classes, but she is respected throughout the Law School community as President of the Business Law Association, Head Admissions Ambassador and Executive Editor of the Minnesota Journal of International Law. She is a leader by modeling professional, creative and positive actions in everything she does. Her tireless and buoyant demeanor lifts those around her to be better, which is the mark of a very special person. The Law School and the profession are lucky that Amber chose us.”
Professor John Matheson
Law Alumni Distinguished Professor of Law
University of Minnesota Law School