On January 7, 2018, the first graduates of Mitchell Hamline School of Law’s first-of-its-kind Hybrid J.D. program received their diplomas. The Hybrid J.D. program, in which students earn a degree by studying both online and in-person, draws students from a variety of life experiences and from around the world.
• Yesenia Rivera of Kaiserslautern, Germany
• Vershawn Young of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
• Cristina Buskohl of Polo, Ill.
• Briana al Taqatqa of Mound, Minn.
Cristina Buskohl is from Polo, Illinois, a small town more than an hour from the nearest law school. “I chose Mitchell Hamline’s Hybrid J.D. program because I have a full-time job that I love, and I have three children, and I did not want to miss out on work or my family,” she says. She will work as an attorney at the firm where she was employed during law school.
Vershawn Young is a professor of English and communication at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. “I always wanted to go to law school, I just had no idea how to do it,” he says. “I feel so much joy, and so much pride, getting a J.D.” He plans to practice in family law and criminal defense.
Yesenia Rivera chose Mitchell Hamline because it was the only ABA-approved law school with a program that would allow her to earn a J.D. while living in Germany. “It’s an amazing feeling” to be able to fulfill her dream of completing law school while working full-time and raising six kids, she says.
The Hybrid J.D. program allowed Briana al Taqatqa, from Mound, Minn., to work and spend time with her family while going to law school. In addition, “I had multiple opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities,” she says, including the International Negotiation Competition for Law Students in Oslo, Norway, which she won along with Brian Kennedy, a fellow Hybrid J.D. student.