ILNews

Indiana Tech Law School restarts accreditation process, welcomes Zoeller

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana Tech Law School, which began the fall semester Aug. 24, is welcoming a new class of first-year students and mounting another effort to gain preliminary accreditation.

As the semester starts, the law school is adding Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller to its teaching roster. The state’s top lawyer will be teaching one class on Indiana constitutional law to second- and third-year students on the Fort Wayne campus.

“We’re just proceeding along,” said Indiana Tech Law School Dean Charles Cercone. “We’re very optimistic about the year.”

The incoming Class of 2018 is comprised of 15 students who have a median LSAT score of 151 and a median GPA of 3.42. This is the smallest group yet to enroll in the Fort Wayne law school which opened in 2013. The institution’s first two classes each had about 30 students, and the Class of 2017 came with a median LSAT of 148.

The law school has also started the accreditation process again, submitting its reapplication last week. The American Bar Association denied the Fort Wayne school provisional accreditation earlier this year.

Cercone said the ABA wanted to see a fully developed three-year curriculum, which the school has formulated and is implementing. The law school is scheduled for a site visit from an ABA accrediting team Oct. 4-7. In April, Cercone will make a presentation to the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

While recruiting, Cercone said he told prospective students about the accreditation process along with explaining the school’s program and mission.

“I’m sure that the accreditation uncertainty entered into a lot of students’ thinking,” he said.

A concern after the denial was that the students starting their third year would opt to transfer to an accredited law school. Indiana does not allow graduates of unaccredited law schools to sit for the bar exam. However, Cercone said only one member of the Class of 2016 decided to leave because of that.

About 20 second- and third-year students have enrolled in Zoeller’s class. The course is scheduled to meet every Wednesday afternoon from Aug. 26 through Dec. 2.

Cercone described Zoeller’s step into a teaching role as a natural progression of the attorney general’s involvement with the school since it opened. The AG is a member of the law school’s board of visitors and spoke during the law school’s dedication in September 2013.

“He’s been a long-time, strong supporter of the law school. He believes in the law school’s mission and he’s been helpful to us in a number of ways,” Cercone said.

When Zoeller is in Fort Wayne, he often uses the law school’s facility to hold press conferences or announce new initiatives. He has always asked what he could do to help, said andré douglas pond cummings, associate dean. The law school and Zoeller have been talking for about a year about having him teach a class.

Cercone said Zoeller’s experience and wealth of knowledge will give the law school’s students a “tremendous learning experience.”

“We’re very pleased and honored he will be teaching,” Cercone said.

This will not be Zoeller’s first turn in the classroom. He has taught law school courses as an adjunct professor at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and as a lecturer at his alma mater, Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

In a statement, Zoeller said, “The opportunity to teach law students and help develop their understanding of our Indiana Constitution is a rewarding experience for me at Attorney General. I appreciate being asked to work with the law students and to support the new law school as a valuable asset to northeastern Indiana.”

Zoeller was first elected AG in 2008 and in July announced his candidacy for the 9th Congressional District.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Cercone
    Did anybody look at what Cercone did not accomplish at western Michigan? They hired him to lead the ship? Good luck tech, you're going to need it.
  • It Has Begun
    But...there are starving people...who, um, need legal representation...in the Americas of teh Untied States...or something. At least that's what law professors tell us.
  • Why?
    Why do you all keep giving coverage to this "law school" that is an embarrassment to the legal profession, legal scholarship, the City of Fort Wayne, and the State of Indiana? Let it slink quietly into the night where it belongs and feel sorry for the kids that got taken advantage of who will never practice law. Ever.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT
    Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
    1. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

    2. The Indiana DOE released the 2015-2016 school grades in Dec 2016 and my local elementary school is a "C" grade school. Look at the MCCSC boundary maps and how all of the most affluent neighborhoods have the best performance. It is no surprise that obtaining residency in the "A" school boundaries cost 1.5 to 3 times as much. As a parent I should have more options than my "C" school without needing to pay the premium to live in the affluent parts of town. If the charter were authorized by a non-religious school the plaintiffs would still be against it because it would still be taking per-pupil money from them. They are hiding behind the guise of religion as a basis for their argument when this is clearly all about money and nothing else.

    3. This is a horrible headline. The article is about challenging the ability of Grace College to serve as an authorizer. 7 Oaks is not a religiously affiliated school

    4. Congratulations to Judge Carmichael for making it to the final three! She is an outstanding Judge and the people of Indiana will benefit tremendously if/when she is chosen.

    5. The headline change to from "religious" to "religious-affiliated" is still inaccurate and terribly misleading.

    ADVERTISEMENT