Mitchell Hamline School of Law
The Mitchell Hamline School of Law curriculum includes a continuum of progressively complex and integrated educational experiences that give students a grounding in legal knowledge, practice competencies, and lawyering skills.
In the first year, courses are designed to integrate particular analytical skills with traditional first-year subjects. For example, Criminal Law is paired with statutory interpretation; Torts is paired with common law analysis; and Contracts is paired with transactional analysis. Students take a two-semester legal writing and practice skills course called Lawyering: Advice and Persuasion. The Lawyering homerooms serve as the home base for first-year pro bono projects.
Upper-level students take two foundational simulation-based skills courses, one focusing on advocacy in a litigation setting and the other on problem-solving in a transactional setting. Students select real practice experiences from a menu of 15 clinical courses and a wide array of externship courses in various specialty areas. Students can also design an “independent externship.”
In their last semester of law school, students can opt for an immersive semester-long residency in family law, criminal law, or health law; or they can participate in an immersive semester-in-practice placement of their own design. The curriculum includes advanced practice courses that integrate doctrinal instruction into intensive simulated practice.
In several areas of law, students can take a concentration of foundational, elective, skills, and real practice courses to earn a certificate. Certificate tracks include conflict resolution, health care compliance, health law, law and business, and patent law.
Mitchell Hamline has invested substantial resources into its Career and Professional Development Office, with the goal of engaging students in career planning throughout law school.
Mitchell Hamline is the only law school in the country to offer a hybrid online program, in which 50% of the instruction is provided in an asynchronous online format. Students come to campus for an intensive seven-day “capstone week” near the end of each semester, in which they attend in-person classes and engage in extended simulations.