The state budget shortfall is challenging the Minnesota court system to accomplish more with fewer resources. Students are working harder, too, to secure professional work and volunteer opportunities in the current economic downturn. In response, Hamline University School of Law has developed an innovative pilot program--the Dean's Summer Fellows--to help qualifying second-year law students gain valuable legal experience with a Minnesota judge while providing volunteer clerks to alleviate the strain on the court system.
Each summer fellow will perform 150 hours of volunteer work for one of the participating judges, and will receive a $1,500 stipend. The program primarily is funded through gifts to the law school.
"The Dean's Summer Fellows program promotes the public service values of our law school," said Hamline Law Dean Donald M. Lewis. "It allows us to reward students by providing them with critical legal experience and an opportunity to serve the courts and the community."
Students who have been selected as Dean's Summer Fellows include Michael Thro (2nd Judicial District Judge Diane Alshouse); Ariel Lopen (Hennepin County District Judge Tanya Bransford); Karly Kauf (U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank); Theresa Johnson (10th Judicial District Judge Sharon Hall); Elizabeth Leahy (2nd Judicial District Judge Greff Johnson); Keith Marnholtz (10th Judicial District Judge John McBride); Jerrod Montoya (Hennepin County District Judge John McShane); Benjamin Petersburg (Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Gordon Schumaker); Ryan Flynn (2nd Judicial District Judge Theresa Warner); Matthew Loeffler (3rd Judicial District Judge Joseph Wieners) and Matthew Thompson (10th Judicial District Judge Mary Yunker).