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Linnea Schuster

Linnea Schuster

William S. Richardson School of Law student Linnea Schuster has been named the 2015 Patsy T. Mink Fellow and will spend the summer working in the office of U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard in Washington, D.C.

Schuster, 25, has had several years of experience working for members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature and she hopes her time in Washington will give her a broader perspective. “I see this as an opportunity to get to know the federal political system a whole lot better,” said Schuster. “In addition to supplementing what I’m learning in class since we discuss both state and federal law.”

Schuster, who graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, with a bachelor’s degree in English, will spend two months in Washington, D.C., beginning June 1. The fellowship includes a $5,000 stipend to cover expenses.

Schuster hopes to weigh in on the current debate over removing industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act so it can be grown nationwide as a crop. “Industrial hemp is distinct from marijuana because of its insignificant levels of THC, the ‘active ingredient’ in marijuana,” she said. “There’s a bipartisan effort to have industrial hemp removed from the Controlled Substances Act because of its many uses, including phyto-remediation, building materials and more.”

Continuing Mink’s legacy

A ceremony honoring Patsy T. Mink and her legacy will take place on Wednesday, April 29, 5:30 p.m. in the Moot Court Room at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Richardson School of Law. The keynote address will be made by former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, with additional remarks by Schuster and last year’s Patsy Mink Fellow Diana Kim.

This is the 13th anniversary of the landmark fellowship launched by UH law students in 2002, the year of Mink’s death, to honor her legacy and provide an extraordinary educational experience for a Hawaiʻi law student before graduation.

One of Mink’s crowning achievements in her 24 years in the U.S. House of Representatives was the passage of Title IX, a portion of the Education Amendments of 1972, that provided equal access to opportunities in education for women.

Noted Law School Dean Avi Soifer, “The Patsy Mink Fellowship is a marvelous example of sustained law student initiative that benefits our students as well as the larger community.”

For more, read the A William S. Richardson School of Law story

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