The Constance L. Bakken Fellowship program at Hamline University School of Law offers outstanding students a $3,000 stipend during both their second and third years of law school (for a total of $6,000) and the opportunity to perform scholarly research with a member of Hamline's distinguished faculty. Bakken Fellows may provide research support for faculty, pursue their own self-directed research, or consider a combination of these two approaches.
In their first year in the program, most fellows develop their research and writing skills and hone substantive interests by assisting with faculty scholarship projects. In the second and final program year, fellows can continue supporting faculty-driven writings or opt to develop their own project by researching and producing a piece worthy of publication. Through all phases, the fellows work closely with faculty experts in substantive areas of mutual interest, and the associate dean assures appropriate progress toward fellowship goals.
Bakken Fellows enjoy a head start in professional networking by developing positive one-on-one relationships with their law faculty. This interaction, when coupled with the production of meaningful legal research and scholarship, can open doors to worthwhile opportunities. The valuable Bakken Fellow status frequently serves as a helpful introduction to law firms, corporations, and non-legal professionals. Since the fellowship program was founded in 1998, participants have distinguished themselves in many contexts. Such was the case with fellow Michael Maza, JD '07, whose article "Arbitrator Selection and Neutrality Under the Railway Labor Act: An Airline Employee's Perspective" was published in the Journal of American Arbitration. He also presented the paper at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law Symposium on Neutrality and Impartiality in Alternative Justice during his second year at Hamline. Likewise, Bakken Fellow Chelsea Griffin, JD '11, co-authored the law review article, “It’s Time to Get It Right: Problem-Solving in the First-Year Curriculum,” with Hamline Law Professors Bobbi McAdoo and Sharon Press; it was published in the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy.
Hamline University School of Law offers twelve Bakken Fellowships each year. Admitted applicants who have been awarded a Presidential or Dean's Scholarship are invited to propose an area of scholarly interest or a specific research topic as part of the fellowship application process. The review committee focuses on how well the applicant has presented and developed the identified issue(s) and the analysis of the proposed research methodology.
Fellowships are awarded to those students who best demonstrate a mature understanding of complex legal problems and how scholarship can yield important perspectives on those difficult challenges. Once awarded, fellowships are contingent upon fellows achieving a 2.9 or better after their first year of study and maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.9 at the end of each spring semester. Selected fellows are not committed to the particular research topic presented in their application essay; in fact, the law school experience often induces a change in research direction and Hamline encourages its fellows to follow accordingly. Past fellows have participated in scholarly projects in such diverse areas as business/commercial law, child advocacy, civil dispute resolution, criminal law, education law, government and regulatory affairs, health law, human rights, intellectual property, international law, and labor and employment law.
Arbitrator selection and neutrality under the Railway Labor Act
The moral and legal parameters of biotechnology
SEC proposals on executive compensation
Issues related to homelessness, such as criminalization/decriminalization of homelessness and mental illness within the homeless population
Labor relations and Native American casinos
Waiving the English language requirement for elderly Hmong immigrants
The sociological implications of the U.S. Supreme Court
Minnesota election law
How courts view children
Legislative history of the U.S. Civil Rights Act
Legal implications of defining Latinos as an ethnicity rather than a race
Anne T. Johnson
Acting Assistant Dean for Students and Multicultural Affairs
To schedule a meeting, please contact:Mary StreetPhone: 651-523-2885
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Office of AdmissionsRobin IngliDirector of AdmissionsPhone: 651-523-2461Fax: 651-523-3064
Hamline University MS-D2005
1536 Hewitt Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104
Learn more about the experiences of previous and current Bakken Fellows:
Nick Datzov, JD '11Chelsea Griffin, JD '11
Jen Kopischke, JD '10
Andrew Shedlock, 3L (JD '13)Kate Speer, 3L (JD '13)
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