James T. Hale
Biography (At time of award presentation in 2012)
James T. Hale, former executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Target, graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1965 with what is believed to be the highest GPA in the Law School's history. Immediately following graduation, he served as the law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren, United States Supreme Court, in which capacity he drafted the "Miranda Rights" of U.S. citizens. In 1966, he joined the law firm of Faegre and Benson where he specialized in corporate financing, mergers and acquisitions and general business matters. In 1979, he became vice president and director of corporate growth and later vice president at General Mills, before joining Target in 1981. During his 25-year tenure at Target, he provided strong, innovative leadership and guidance. His many accomplishments include the development plan for the expansion of Target's headquarters in downtown Minneapolis. Described as a tireless advocate for excellent, innovative legal education, and a nationally recognized exemplar and champion of ethical corporate governance, Mr. Hale has educated corporate directors, lawyers, and others on corporate governance. His commitment to his community is demonstrated through his leadership of civic and cultural institutions such as the Fund for the Legal Aid Society, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Twin Cities Public Television, the Guthrie Theater, the Children's Theatre Company, and the University of Minnesota Law School and the Carlson School of Management. He is the recipient of the Legend of the Law Award from the Burton Awards for Legal Achievement, which recognizes the lifetime achievement of general counsels at major corporations.