After Years, Hamilton Answered Call to Join Legal Profession

Hallie Hamilton is the editor-in-chief of the Creighton Law Review and a clerk for Nebraska Supreme Court Justice Jonathan Papik. The Creighton University School of Law student and former communications director of the Nebraska Family Alliance plans to go into governmental or immigration law. (Nebraska Family Alliance via Hallie Hamilton)
Molly Ashford
The Daily Record

Hallie Hamilton had always wondered if she would end up in law school.

Despite finishing her undergraduate program and swiftly moving into a career, she never stopped considering pursuing a law degree. Six years after her first college graduation, Hamilton enrolled in the Creighton University School of Law, where she has made a name for herself and already secured a post-graduation clerkship with a Nebraska Supreme Court justice.

Hamilton began her academic career as a communications studies and political science major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. With a natural knack for communication and a passion for policy, the two programs helped to shape her later interest in law. 

“I had an interest in government in general, and I had someone encourage me to look into the communications studies program at the University of Nebraska,” Hamilton said in an interview. “I did that and was interested in it, and the two fit well together.”

After contemplating going to graduate school straight out of college or adding an extra minor, Hamilton was persuaded to graduate in 2012.

 She had worked as an intern at Nebraska Family Alliance, a nonprofit policy group advocating for pro-life and pro-family policies, during her undergraduate career.

This internship position quickly blossomed into a full-time career. Hamilton was first hired on as a part-time administrative employee after the internship. She became a full-time, salaried employee and was later named communications director for the organization.

Despite her success at the nonprofit, Hamilton knew that she wanted to explore her options for further education. As she was contemplating, she couldn’t help but think about going to law school.

“I knew I didn’t want to stay in communications forever, so I started thinking about my options,” she said. “My husband and I had been married for several years, and he was finishing up his master’s degree, and it was like, well, if I’m going to try this law school thing, it might be now or never.”

Hamilton enrolled in the Creighton School of Law in 2018. During the two years that she has been a student, she has worked in the Immigrant and Refugee Legal Clinic, been named a Blackstone Legal Fellow, won the 2019 Creighton moot court competition and clerked for the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office – among other accolades.

Hamilton has also been selected to serve as the editor-in-chief of the Creighton Law Review, the school’s student-run legal journal, during her final year. She says that her experience working for the journal has been particularly rewarding, as it has offered a challenge while also combining her passions for law and communications.

“I think there is an intentionality to trying to understand how people communicate, and in understanding the dynamics of interpersonal and organizational communication,” she said. “A lot of those pieces from my undergraduate were formative in developing the way that I approach leading the law review and understanding the types of communications that need to go out to keep everyone on the same page.”

In addition, Hamilton was offered a one-year clerkship with Nebraska Supreme Court Justice Jonathan Papik after her completion of the bar exam in July. Papik, a Harvard Law graduate, was appointed to the state Supreme Court by Gov. Pete Ricketts in 2018. He was previously an attorney for Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather.

After the clerkship concludes, Hamilton plans to go into either governmental or immigration law. For now, though, she is thankful for the education and experience garnered through her program at Creighton Law.

“The professors have been exceptional and have helped me to get the awesome experiences that I’ve had,” Hamilton said. “I’ll always thank Creighton for investing in me and all of my peers.”


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