Kris Erickson begins law school at Hamline University in August
Little Falls grandmother cannot wait to get started
By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Kris Erickson has applied for and will be attending Hamline Law School beginning in August. It is a dream come true for her and she is very excited.
“When I was a sophomore at Little Falls Community High School, I attended a career day event where I followed a lawyer around for an entire day. My mother kept the article that was in the Little Falls Daily Transcript saying that when I grew up, I wanted to be a lawyer,” she said.
Then, Erickson said, I graduated from high school, got married, had a child. Life took over and my career was out the window.
“I have an empty nest now,” she said. “It’s time to pursue my dream.”
As far as going to law school while in her 40s, Erickson said it will be easier for her than for a younger person. She said they have so much to think about and worry about.
“All that is behind me now,” she said.
Erickson has worked at Northway Oil for 30 years. When she started, it was owned by her now father-in-law Jerry Erickson. She married Jerry’s son Marc, and they now both own the business.
Besides working full-time running the office, Erickson is the mother of two and the grandmother of four. She was a member of the Little Falls Chamber of Commerce Board, the Morrison County Board of Adjustments and the Morrison County Planning Commission. She has also run eight full marathons.
“I just need to go one step further,” she said. “I am one of those people who needs my calendar full.”
Erickson had a scare in 2002, with skin cancer. When she had been cancer-free for five years, she took her first classes at St. Cloud State in communications.
At the time, she thought that if she was going to do something, it would have to be now.
“I received a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2011,” she said. “To get into law school, a student needs to have a bachelor’s degree in something.”
Erickson said she applied at Hamline University, William Mitchell College and the College of St. Thomas.
“I really wanted Hamline because they offer weekend classes,” she said. Now that she has seen the campus, she is happy the law school is all in one building which also includes the library and the cafeteria.
The first thing she needed to do to get in was pass her law school admission test. She said her score was average.
“That test puts everyone on a level playing field. It was horrible; it was more like a game,” she said. “It was a four-hour test that played with my brain. It was very intimidating.”
Erickson also had to submit to the law schools her college transcripts, a resume, letters of reference and a personal statement on her desire to get a law degree.
The administration must have liked what she sent, for she starts school Saturday, Aug. 4, with orientation. The actual classes begin the following week.
“I will be attending Hamline University every weekend for the next four years,” she said.
“I am thrilled and excited to be finally going to law school,” Erickson said. “I love school; I could be a full-time student forever.”
Erickson is not sure what she will specialize in. She said she will keep her mind open for now.
“During the first two years of school, I don’t have a choice of what I will be learning,” she said. Erickson thinks she may like to get into property law, but it will be years before she makes that decision.
When she graduates in four years, Erickson said she wants to work at a large firm for several years, then finish her career in Little Falls.
“But, first I have to pass the bar, and I hear that is four terrible days of testing,” she said.