• Constance L. Bakken Fellowship Program

    Creating opportunities through research

    The Constance L. Bakken Fellowship program provides outstanding students a $3,000 stipend in their second and third years of law school (for a total of $6,000), and the opportunity to support faculty research, pursue self-directed research, or both. As a Bakken Fellow, you engage with other fellows and faculty throughout your law school career:

    • 1L: Meet with faculty and current fellows to explore interest areas, and participate in special networking opportunities with alumni and members of the legal community.
    • 2L: Develop research and writing skills, and hone substantive interests by assisting with faculty scholarship projects
    • 3L: Continue supporting faculty-driven writings or develop your own project by researching and producing a piece worthy of publication.

    Fellowship opens doors

    Bakken Fellows enjoy a head start in professional networking by developing close working relationships with 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. Fellow Michael Maza, JD '07 published "Arbitrator Selection and Neutrality Under the Railway Labor Act: An Airline Employee's Perspective" 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.

    Becoming a Bakken Fellow

    Bakken Fellows are chosen from admitted applicants who have been awarded a Presidential Scholarship. Fellows must maintain a 2.000 or better GPA after their first year and a cumulative GPA of 2.000 at the end of each spring semester. Fellows are not committed to a particular research topic, as the law school experience often induces a change in research direction and Hamline encourages its fellows to follow accordingly.

    Topics previously explored by Bakken Fellows

    • 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