• Juris Doctor/Master of Fine Arts (JD/MFA)

    Today’s lawyers are called upon for creative and thoughtful leadership on complex social and political issues. Hamline’s Creative Writing Program (CWP) and Mitchell Hamline School of Law’s* limited-enrollment joint juris doctor and master of fine arts (MFA) in creative writing helps you develop research and analytical skills to explore these issues using fiction and creative nonfiction writing. The multidisciplinary JD/MFA dual degree encourages creativity and personal expression as part of the analytical rigor of law.

    Joint degree program seeks to create lawyers with the Write Stuff, from Minnesota Lawyer

    JD/MFA Degree Requirements

    MFA Degree Requirements (48 credits):

    Required (32 credits):

    • Core Seminar (4 credits)
    • Writing Courses (24 credits)
    • A "Groundings in the Craft" course (4 credits) in the genre in which you plan to do your thesis
    • A 4-credit "Advanced" course in the genre in which you plan to do your thesis

    Elective Courses: (12 credits)

    • 1 multidisciplinary seminar
    • Capstone:
      Thesis 1 (4 credits)
      Thesis 2 (4 credits)

    Transferring credits

    To ensure the course you take apply toward your degree requirements, please follow these simply guidelines:

    Transferring credits from the Creative Writing Program (CWP) to Mitchell Hamline School of Law

    • Obtain pre-approval from the law school associate dean for academic affairs before registering for any MFA class
    • After pre-approval, register for MFA classes through CWP
    • You may receive up to 9 JD credits from approved MFA courses you complete with a grade "B" or better (each 4-credit MFA course counts as a 3-credit JD course; thus, up to 3 MFA courses will transfer)
    • Courses must come from the MFA core and required writing offerings
    • MFA grades appear on your law school transcript but have no effect on your GPA

    Transferring credits from Hamline Law to CWP

    • As a jointly enrolled student, you can transfer a maximum of three 3-credit courses to replace the three elective courses, including the interdisciplinary elective course required for the MFA
    • You cannot reduce the number of core writing courses required for graduation

    To Apply

    You must apply separately and be accepted into both the Creative Writing Program (CWP) and Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Admission to either program, however, is not contingent upon acceptance in the other. You can apply at any time but only MFA classes previously approved by the associate dean for academic affairs and taken after matriculation into the law school will be applied towards your JD.

    Creative Writing Program Application

    • Transcript
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Essays:
    • A three-to-four page, double-spaced essay describing your background and experience with writing, including any published works and awards or honors received in writing. Describe your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Discuss personal and/or professional goals you hope to attain through this program. Include mention of additional work or experience that seems relevant to this application.
    • A two-to-three page, double-spaced essay in response to the question: What book or writer has had significant influence on you? Please include reference to key stylistic or content elements which you believe to be of special importance.
    • Writing Sample: Attach a 20-page creative writing sample. Prose should be double-spaced. Choose whatever you regard as your best work. 

    Mitchell Hamline School of Law Application

    • Transcript showing a bachelor's degree.
    • LSAT score
    • Resume
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Personal Statement

    The reference letters for the two programs are designed to elicit information that may be different in each program so students may wish to submit references from different individuals to each school.