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First-Year Scholarships and Fellowships

The following scholarships and fellowships are available to incoming first-year Hamline Law students. Applicants are notified of their award in the acceptance letter. Please note that additional scholarship and fellowship opportunities exist for returning Hamline Law students.

First-Year Merit Scholarships

Presidential and Dean's Scholarships
These are merit-based, renewable scholarships that are awarded to first-year students on the basis of predicted academic performance as measured by the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and undergraduate grade point average. The admissions committee will award these scholarships as admission decisions are made. No separate application is necessary. In order to renew a Presidential or Dean's scholarship, students must possess a 2.000 GPA at the end of the spring semester as calculated by the Office of the Registrar. These scholarships are renewable through the semester in which a student completes 88 law school credits.

Justice Thurgood Marshall Scholarships
Hamline University School of Law is committed to its goal of continually enhancing inclusive excellence for all students, providing a supportive educational environment that reflects the diversity of our larger community. In support of this commitment, the admissions committee awards renewable tuition scholarships to selected students for the purpose of increasing diversity at the Hamline University School of Law. Scholarships are awarded based on academic credentials, predicted academic promise, and demonstrated evidence of the student's efforts at building an inclusive community prior to applying to law school.

Institute Scholarships 
Hamline Law’s three renowned institutes – business law, dispute resolution, and health law – offer renewable scholarships to incoming students who express a demonstrated interest in those specialized areas. Institute scholarships are awarded to first-year students based on predicted academic performance and non-academic factors related to the specialized area of study, including employment history, community involvement, and undergraduate and graduate work. Recipients will be notified of their scholarship award in the admission letter. After meeting with institute directors, students selected for the institute scholarships may be eligible for further opportunities such as research assistantships, externships, and alumni mentors. No separate application is necessary; however, in order for applicants to receive full consideration for institute scholarships, the specific interest should be discussed in the personal statement or an addendum. 

Minnesota Private College Scholarships 
Minnesota Private College scholarships are available to those students who receive their bachelor’s degree from one of Minnesota’s seventeen private liberal arts institutions. As a Minnesota private college, Hamline Law is committed giving back to those students who choose to continue their legal education through the Minnesota private college system. MPC scholarships are renewable based on maintaining a 2.000 GPA. No separate application is necessary. 

First-Year Fellowship Opportunities

Constance L. Bakken Fellowships
Incoming students with the strongest credentials will be considered for Hamline's Bakken Fellowship Program, which supplements a Presidential Scholarship with a research stipend. Students receiving fellowships work with a faculty member on scholarly research after completing their first academic year of law school provided they meet the renewal criteria of their Presidential Scholarship. Students conduct research in numerous legal areas, including business law, child advocacy, dispute resolution, intellectual property, and health law. The stipend for fellowship work is an additional $6,000, which is distributed evenly over the period of the fellowship. During the first year of law school recipients will be invited to participate in special events and programs with their fellowship cohort. 

Law Library Fellowships
The Hamline University School of Law Library Fellowship Program offers a unique opportunity for outstanding law students who hold a masters degree in library science and who are interested in exploring a career in law librarianship. Fellows are awarded a $3,000 stipend each fall and spring semester (for a total of $6,000 each academic year) and gain valuable experience engaging in a variety of professional duties alongside the Hamline Law library's highly skilled and dedicated full-time staff.

During the first year of law school, law library fellows work ten hours per week in the library. In the second and third years, fellows work fifteen hours per week. All fellows participate extensively in reference work and special projects within the public services department.

The director of the law library selects the recipient.


First-Year Endowed Scholarships

Aaniin! Niiji Scholarship
Aaniin! Niiji is an Ojibwe greeting that when translated to English, means "Hello friend." This scholarship is awarded to an entering first year student who: is a recognized member of a Native American community, has a demonstrated need for financial assistance in order to attend the Hamline University School of Law, and has demonstrated either a high degree of collegiate academic achievement or a commitment to service that benefits Native American people. The admissions committee selects recipient, and no separate application is required.

Anne Marie Fairbanks (Williams) Scholarship
Established by Marilyn J. Mitsch in memory of her grandmother, this scholarship is intended to provide an annual tuition scholarship to one or more law students who are American Indian and who demonstrate financial need. Preference will be given to those who have demonstrated commitment to and/or plan to serve the American Indian community after completing their law degree. The admissions committee selects recipient, and no separate application is required.  

Douglas J. McFarland Scholarship
Awarded to a first year student from South Dakota who has demonstrated academic promise. The admissions committee selects recipient, and no separate application is required.  

Edwin J. Butterfoss Scholarship
Awarded annually to a first year student whose presence will enhance the diversity of the first year class. Preference will be given to students who enhance the racial or ethnic diversity of the class, or who belong to groups historically underrepresented in law schools and the legal profession, and who have overcome economic or other obstacles and/or demonstrated outstanding leadership or service to their community. The admissions committee selects recipient, and no separate application is required.  

Judge Kenneth G. Brill Scholarship
Awarded to a first-year student on the basis of financial need and demonstrated superiority in scholarship, citizenship, leadership, and character. Amount varies. The admissions committee selects recipient, and no separate application is required.  

Justice James C. Otis, Jr. Minority Scholarship
This scholarship was established to support one or more ethnic minority students in order to enhance diversity and assist students of color who demonstrate a commitment to serving their communities. The admissions committee selects recipient, and no separate application is required.  

Leonard, Street, and Deinard Scholarship
Awarded annually to a student of color in the entering first year class who possesses high academic promise, as demonstrated by undergraduate grade point average, score on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), and academic record in graduate or professional school education (where applicable), demonstrated leadership skills and performance, demonstrated connection to the state of Minnesota, demonstrated service to the community, and demonstrated or stated commitment or desire to pursue the private practice of law in the state of Minnesota upon graduation from Hamline. This scholarship also includes a unique mentorship opportunity with a member of the law firm. No application is necessary. The admissions committee will forward ideal candidates to the firm for final selection.

Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. Minority Scholarship
Awarded annually to enhance diversity and ease the financial transition of a first year student of color who has demonstrated leadership skills, academic promise, and financial need. The admissions committee selects recipient, and no separate application is required.  

Wendy K. Watson Scholarship
This is a scholarship awarded to an entering non-traditional female student who has significant outside obligations. In March, application invitation letters are sent to female admitted applicants.