Most students at Mitchell Hamline School of Law receive scholarships, and a great deal of that support comes from privately funded endowments. The school currently has 213 endowed scholarships, which generated $1 million in scholarship and program support this year.
The people who created and funded those scholarships met face-to-face with the students who they support at the Mitchell Hamline Scholarship Luncheon on Thursday, March 23.
President and Dean Mark Gordon thanked the donors, telling them their generosity has fundamentally transformed the lives of students.
“You have done something incredible in terms of the opportunity you have given these students,” Gordon said. “You have given them an opportunity to be at a phenomenal school.”
One of Mitchell Hamline’s newest sources of student support is the Klas Family Scholarship.
It was created by several members of the Klas family, whose roots run deep at the school. Dan and Mary Louise Klas ’60 (WMCL) both started law school in 1956 at Mitchell Hamline predecessor St. Paul College of Law. Their nephew Bob Klas Jr. ’79 (WMCL) was instrumental in negotiating the combination of William Mitchell and Hamline Law to create Mitchell Hamline in December of 2015.
Dan and Mary Louise’s daughter Barbara Klas ’91 (WMCL) said her family hopes their scholarship helps students afford law school and find the same success her family has had.
“For of those to whom much is given, much is required,” Klas said. “We are honored to pay it forward.”
Klas said her family found great joy when they met the first recipient of the family’s scholarship, Nick Pouladian, 3L.
Pouladian is the son of an Iranian immigrant who came to the United States in 1979. His father wanted to be a doctor but dropped out of college because he couldn’t afford to pay tuition.
During his time at Mitchell Hamline, Pouladian has worked as a clerk at the Washington County Attorney’s Office and as a volunteer and legal extern at the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis. He is currently finishing his 3L year as a legal resident at the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office.
Pouladian said the Klas Family Scholarship not only supported him but will also benefit the people he assists in the future.
“You have made my parents’ dream come true, you have made my dreams come true,” Pouladian said. “Every victim of a crime who I fight for, every accused client I defend, and every person I impact in my pursuit of social and legal justice will have the Klas family to thank.”