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Mitchell Hamline School of Law to accept first incarcerated student

The announcement from the St. Paul institution says this will make it the first ABA-approved law school in the country to educate currently incarcerated individuals.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Editor's Note: The video above originally aired on Sept. 30, 2021.

The Twin Cities’ Mitchell Hamline School of Law announced on Monday that it will become the first ABA-approved law school in the country to accept a currently incarcerated person into its program.

Maureen Onyelobi will continue her education at Mitchell Hamline starting this fall, the school said in a press release.

Onyelobi received word of acceptance on June 9 from School President and Law School Dean Anthony Niedwiecki and John Goeppinger, the director and co-founder of the Legal Revolution. Niedwiecki and Goeppinger traveled to deliver the groundbreaking news at the state prison in Shakopee.

“We have a drive and a passion to learn the law that most have never seen before because we know what it is to be in here,” Onyelobi said. “We know what it’s like to be on this side of the law.”

The American Bar Association recently granted a variance allowing Onyelobi to attend the law school while at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee, the press release said.

The school added that all of Onyelobi’s classes will be online, and private fundraising and scholarship assistance will pay for tuition.

The “Prison to Law Pipeline’s” public launch will take place on June 15 celebrating the program’s effort to “transform the law through initiatives that center racial equity, wellness, and the expertise of those most impacted by the law," according to school officials.

RELATED: Retired judge and Hamline law graduate killed in Wisconsin


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