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May 30, 2022

North Hennepin Community College Paralegal Program

In Fall 2021, North Hennepin Community College’s Paralegal Program, in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, led by Mary Gillen Fenske, J.D., enrolled its first cohort of 5 incarcerated scholars in the first ABA-approved Paralegal Certificate delivered behind bars. 

This program is a result of a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Corrections and All Square–Minneapolis called The Legal Revolution.  The Legal Revolution’s Prison-to-Law Pipeline Project democratizes legal education by ensuring that incarcerated scholars have access to ABA-approved paralegal education and ABA-accredited law degrees.  The goal is to provide high quality legal education to those on the inside who will then be empowered to help other justice-impacted people as prison law clerks and library assistants.  Upon release, incarcerated scholars will graduate into paralegal positions through a system of partnerships with local Minneapolis law firms.  The paralegal students’ tuition is currently funded through private grants from the law firms of Ballard Spahr, LLP and Barnes & Thornburg, LLP.  North Hennepin has also applied for Second Chance Pell Status with the Department of Education and is awaiting word on acceptance.

Learn More
Visit the Program Website