Chantell Bergquist, a Bemidji State University student currently enrolled at Mitchell Hamline, is positioned to fast track her law degree.
Bergquist is enrolled in the 3+3 program offered by BSU in partnership with Mitchell-Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minn. The “3+3” transfer program allows BSU students to complete a minimum of 92 undergraduate credits before transferring to Mitchell Hamline. There, students complete both their final year of undergraduate coursework and their first year of law school, transferring between 12 and 28 upper-level credits back to BSU to complete their bachelor’s degree. After this crossover year, students will then spend three additional years at Mitchell Hamline, allowing them to complete both their undergraduate and law degrees in just six years, rather than the traditional seven.
“I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was a sixth grader, so I’ve taken many steps to be able to start practicing law as soon as possible,” Bergquist said. “I did PSEO while in high school, and I graduated with my AA degree before I even graduated from high school. When I heard about the 3+3 program, I knew it was for me because it would allow me to cut another year off school. The program allowed me to enter law school at 19, and I thought that it would be an amazing opportunity for me.”
Dr. Faith C. Hensrud, BSU president, and Mark Gordon, president and dean of Mitchell Hamline School of Law, signed a transfer agreement on Nov. 4, 2016 to make this pathway for students a reality.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students who are interested in going into the field of law, to be able to start here in Bemidji and then transfer to get a degree at each institution,” Hensrud said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to get their educational footing started and then go on to get a law degree.”
Mitchell Hamline offers more enrollment options than any other law school in the country, with full-time, weekend and part-time programs, including the nation’s first on-campus/online juris doctor program at an American Bar Association-approved law school. Mitchell Hamline is an independent law school that enjoys an enduring relationship with Hamline University, allowing students to earn dual degrees and have access to Hamline’s athletic facilities, library and cultural programs.
“As a current student at Mitchell Hamline, I know that the school is devoted to student success, and they really try to create a community that feels like one big family,” Bergquist said. “My favorite thing about MHSL so far is that I have been able to work with real clients as a 1L through the Self-Help Clinic.”
Students interested in the 3+3 program will meet with Dr. Patrick Donnay, pre-law advisor, as early as possible in their academic planning process to fulfill the program requirements.
With roots dating to 1900, Mitchell Hamline School of Law was established in December 2015 through the combination of William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline University School of Law. It is the largest law school in the region, with approximately 1,000 students and 42 full-time faculty. It has nationally ranked offerings in alternative dispute resolution, health law, part-time programs and clinical education; an array of certificate and dual-degree programs; and an alumni network of more than 19,000. Mitchell Hamline offers more enrollment options than any other law school in the country, with full-time, weekend and part-time programs, including the nation’s first on-campus/online juris doctor program at an American Bar Association-approved law school. Mitchell Hamline is an independent law school that enjoys an enduring relationship with Hamline University, allowing students to earn dual degrees and have access to Hamline’s athletic facilities, library and cultural programs.
- Dr. Patrick Donnay, professor of political science, (218) 755-3899, email@example.com
Bemidji State University, located amid the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,100 students, Bemidji State offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and eight graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. BSU is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. The university’s Shared Fundamental Values include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and international and multicultural understanding. For more, visit bemidjistate.edu or find us at BemidjiState on most of your favorite social media networks.