Maximum possible opportunity to do what real lawyers do while still in law school
Skills-based coursework at Mitchell Hamline starts in the first year of law school with Legal Analysis, Research, and Communication. It features small-group classes designed to help students begin to master fundamental client-representation skills such as interviewing, researching, writing, negotiating, arguing, and settling.
Upper-level classes deepen those skills in advocacy and problem-solving as well as transactions and settlements or negotiation. Combining learning the law in the classroom with real-world experiences is the best preparation for the legal profession.
Teaching not just the law, but how to be a lawyer
We teach through skills courses and simulation exercises that mirror real-world situations, and through actual hands-on experience with real clients.
Under the supervision of professors, students work in 14 clinics with clients who are mothers, fathers, immigrants, leaders of nonprofit organizations, and small businesses. Some clients are elderly. Some are unemployed. Some are accused of crimes. Some want to make the world a better place. All are real people with real legal problems, and our students drive their representation. They gain valuable real-world experience and make a difference in our community by performing legal work for their clients.
Externships and Residencies
Students earn credit outside of the law school by working with practicing attorneys in the community. Mitchell Hamline offers students a variety of externships that provide valuable hands-on learning experiences and residency opportunities for students in their third or fourth years to secure long-term, on-site placements working under the supervision of practicing attorneys.
Minnesota Vikings Residency
Nou Her ’18 completed a residency with the Minnesota Vikings in spring 2018. In this video, she shares how the full-time, off-campus experience helped to prepare her to practice the law.
Working with clients in need
Clinical Program Co-Director Brad Colbert talks about the work of the LAMP and Reentry clinics
Colbert appeared on The District Court Show with Judges Elizabeth Strand ’98 and Stephen Halsey ’78 on QCTV Community Television. Full show at qctv.org/districtcourtshow.
Four of Mitchell Hamline’s 14 clinics and one externship offer students real-world experience working with people charged or convicted of a criminal offense.
In clinics, our students
- Advocate for persons accused of crimes
- Represent low-income renters
- Investigate prisoners’ claims of wrongful conviction and actual innocence
- Work with clients who have experienced discrimination in the workplace
- Represent incarcerated persons in civil matters
- Provide legal services and assistance as people leave prison
- Draft contracts for nonprofits
- Represent Indian tribes in federal court
- File patent or trademark applications
- Work with community groups and small nonprofits
- Represent asylum seekers, refugees, and others seeking legal status in the United States
- Form business entities for new small enterprises