Nearly every Saturday and Sunday from August to May, more than 150 focused, yet gregarious, law students can be found spending their weekends inside the Hamline University School of Law working diligently on completing their JD degrees. And for most of these sometimes older students, this weekend of difficult study follows an equally challenging week of full-time work, often in a professional position.
“This program is ideal for people who are working full-time and have personal and professional obligations but have always wanted to earn a law degree,” Dave Jarzyna, Hamline Law Assistant Dean for Marketing and Recruitment, said. “These students know a JD will make them more marketable – either in their current field or in a new legal career. And they’re incredibly motivated and focused.”
Students in Hamline's part-time program – one of only two American Bar Association accredited weekend programs in the nation – appreciate a flexible weekend format while learning from passionate professors who are experts in their fields. They enjoy the close camaraderie that develops in the smaller weekend classes. And they enjoy all of the opportunities their fulltime Hamline Law classmates enjoy, such as nationally recognized Institutes; renowned experiential learning, study-abroad, and research opportunities; and a supportive, student-centered learning environment.
Rolando Galvez, a risk management professional and current weekend student, has enjoyed the experience.
“The Weekend JD program has been tremendously helpful with my current career,” Galvez said. “I work for a global company, so I have responsibility for assessing the risk for operations on six continents. Those risks could include information security, technologies, compliance, legal and regulatory requirements, and data privacy. What this program has allowed me to do is to bring my experience and background into the program and get to know students with similar experiences who bring a unique perspective. I’m constantly reminded that however much experience we come in with, we still have a great deal to learn. As much as I’ve given to the program, I’ve gotten a lot more, and it’s been a tremendous experience for me.”
Tamara Cabán-Ramirez, a prominent attorney now operating her own law firm in the Twin Cities, appreciated the flexibility she received in the program.
“Hamline’s weekend program allowed me to complete law school while doing the other things I needed to do. For me, it was the perfect choice,” Cabán-Ramirez said.
Classes are taught during the day on Saturdays and Sundays at Hamline Law, and students typically graduate within four years. Just like Hamline’s full-time program, first year courses and required seminars in the weekend program are taught by full-time Hamline law professors. The upper-class electives are taught mainly by full-time professors, as well as adjuncts who are experienced practitioners or judges. Student services are available during the weekend (as well as during the week). Representatives from the Dean of Students’ and Registrar’s offices, along with Career Services professionals, are all available for weekend students. In addition, Hamline’s comprehensive Academic Success Program also works hard to ensure student success.
“Our weekend group is an exceptional group of hard-working, committed students,” added Hamline Law Dean Don Lewis. “It truly is possible here at Hamline to earn your law degree and keep your day job.”
Learn more: Weekend JD Program
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