The University of Indianapolis and the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis have partnered up to create an award that will give the pre-law students of UIndy more professional opportunities.
According to Assistant Professor of Political Science and Pre-Law Advisor David Root, the award, titled the University of Indianapolis Law Scholar, consists of two major components. First, the chosen scholar receives a minimum of a half-tuition scholarship to the IU McKinney School of Law at IUPUI. Second, the scholar is guaranteed participation in an experiential learning opportunity.
This learning opportunity can come in the form of a clerkship with the Indianapolis Bar or a research assistantship with a professor at IU McKinney.
“For students, it guarantees at least half of your law school is going to be paid for. It also goes on your resume, which looks good when you go out and apply for jobs,” Root said. “And if you take the clerkship, chances are that’s going to open up doors to career opportunities through the people you meet.”
According to Root, to be considered for the award, a potential candidate must fulfill three major requirements. First, the candidate must demonstrate visible leadership abilities in various student organizations. Second, the candidate must maintain a 3.5 GPA and score 150 or higher on the LSAT.
The final requirement is to be a member of the Pre-Law Student Association and regularly participate in its activities. As a recipient of the award, the candidate also has obligations to both universities.
“The UIndy Law Scholar is expected to serve as a liaison between UIndy and IU McKinney,” Root said. “This mainly means participating in campus visits and promoting IU McKinney as a UIndy alum, but could also include other events such as representing IU McKinney at IU Law Day.”
The process of establishing the Law Scholars program occurred in the fall of last year. Root, an alumnus of IU McKinney, had developed an integral relationship with their assistant dean of recruitment, who told him about other law scholar programs they had established with other schools.
When asked by IU McKinney if he wanted to establish one at UIndy, Root immediately said yes. Dean of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Andrew Klein said he agrees that the establishment of the program will benefit both universities.
“Our institutions have a lot in common,” Klein said. “…We both have a tradition of trading students who engage in public service, and so I think it’s an excellent match between our institutions.”
Candidates for the Law Scholar award must have completed an application for both the award and for IU McKinney by March 1 of the year in which they are applying to law school. From there, the Law Scholar Committee, which consists of three members, will submit its nomination to IU McKinney by April 1.
For the 2018-2019 academic year, two UIndy 2017 graduates, Jason Marshall and Jimmy Sedam, have been named Law Scholars.
“I am proud,” Klein said. “Two really strong Indianapolis institutions have come together and found a way to join forces and encourage people to pursue paths that will create leaders in our community and do good things for the public.”