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Indiana Tech Law School settling into new digs, waiting for classes to begin

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With the students arriving in less than a month, Indiana Tech Law School is opening the doors of its new building and giving academics, lawyers and community members a peek inside.

This week, the school is hosting three open houses to show off the facility to other Indiana Tech faculty, members of the bench and bar, and donors. On Tuesday, the first group of visitors had an opportunity to wander around the three-story structure.

At the center of the activity was Indiana Tech Law School Dean Peter Alexander.

“We’ve got everything in place,” he said. “We just need to start the school year.”

Since Indiana Tech announced it was launching a new law school, the fifth in Indiana, the school has been criticized and openly questioned about why it wanted to produce more lawyers into a market that is considered saturated.

Locally, Alexander said the school is getting much more support after some early skepticism among attorneys. Nationally, he said he has seen the harsh spotlight shift somewhat to the University of North Texas, which is in the process of opening a new law school.

“Lots of people, as they learn more about us, realize that we are truly trying to be different so it’s not just another law school,” Alexander said. “It’s a school that’s trying to blend theory and practice in a different way, to prepare students in a new way. I think people are beginning to hear the message.”

Classes are scheduled to begin Aug. 26 with orientation starting Aug. 21. The inaugural class is expected to have 30 students, below the school’s original goal of 100, but Alexander attributed the numbers to the nationwide dip in law school enrollment.  

A key to the school’s success will be getting accredited. Both a permanent building and a permanent law library are critical to securing approval from the American Bar Association. Looking around the new building, Alexander is confident Indiana Tech will be accredited.

The law school is located on Indiana Tech’s main campus in Fort Wayne.

Its atrium flows into a courtroom which has been situated into a round space. On the back wall hangs a silver seal of Indiana Tech. Underneath is the bench with room for five judges and two witness stands.

The student seats in the gallery are positioned in a semi-circle with the jury box filling the first two rows. On the second level, additional seating circles the courtroom.

The second and third floors of the law school contain the classrooms, outfitted with video and computer equipment, and faculty offices.  Spanning all three levels is the law library. The first and second levels house the materials while the third level includes a study room, situated above the courtroom. Circular with big windows, the space is filled with tables and private offices where the students can work in groups.

Alexander said the social spaces and soft-seating areas that fill the building are designed to foster a collaborative environment.

“We want teaching and learning to go on everywhere in the building, not just in a classroom or in an office,” he said. “I think it’s really important for the students to feel so comfortable with us that they aren’t afraid to ask anything even if they think it is the craziest question they ever heard.”

The school will also boast a curated art collection. Beginning July 27, the paintings, historical photographs and courtroom sketches will be hung around the building.

Alexander said having the art was not part of the original plans. However, the law school has been receiving gifts of art focusing on law themes, patriotism, courts and justice that has grown into a collection of “very significant and very expensive pieces.”

With a grant, the law school has hired a curator and, according to Alexander, will be only the second law school in the country with a curated art collection.

The school has the capacity to hold 350 students, making each class about 110 to 115 students. It includes 28 faculty offices, although Alexander expects the school will not exceed 21 full-time faculty. The additional space is intended for visiting professors and others.

“We want to make sure the building is always comfortable and the wide-opening feeling you feel when no one is in the building is the same as when we’re at capacity,” Alexander said.
 

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  • No more
    there are too many law schools---the aba needs to stop letting these low rent law schools open and let a bunch of new graduates flood the market without jobs. they need to shut down about 40% of the law schools that are open now.
  • Too Generous
    Bob, you're being too generous. 50% full-time employment rate for new grads? Sure if you count the fast food jobs they have. Seriously where is the Indiana State Bar Association on this issue. Those folks just want all the new dues from new attorneys. They're not interested in standing up for what's good for the legal profession.
  • Run
    The 30 that are enrolled should look around and see they're getting into a mess. Better to drop out, save the money, and seek employment in a field without 2 people for every 1 job.
  • Too many
    There are four law schools already in Indiana and more than 20 within 200 miles of Fort Wayne. The four Indiana law schools have full-time employment rates hovering around 50%. The employment market cannot absorb 100 students from this school.
  • James
    They need to shut this law school down now before they ruin any more lives by accepting more students. This won't end well for any of them.

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  1. Should be beat this rap, I would not recommend lion hunting in Zimbabwe to celebrate.

  2. No second amendment, pro life, pro traditional marriage, reagan or trump tshirts will be sold either. And you cannot draw Mohammed even in your own notebook. And you must wear a helmet at all times while at the fair. And no lawyer jokes can be told except in the designated protest area. And next year no crucifixes, since they are uber offensive to all but Catholics. Have a nice bland day here in the Lego movie. Remember ... Everything is awesome comrades.

  3. Thank you for this post . I just bought a LG External DVD It came with Cyber pwr 2 go . It would not play on Lenovo Idea pad w/8.1 . Your recommended free VLC worked great .

  4. All these sites putting up all the crap they do making Brent Look like A Monster like he's not a good person . First off th fight actually started not because of Brent but because of one of his friends then when the fight popped off his friend ran like a coward which left Brent to fend for himself .It IS NOT a crime to defend yourself 3 of them and 1 of him . just so happened he was a better fighter. I'm Brent s wife so I know him personally and up close . He's a very caring kind loving man . He's not abusive in any way . He is a loving father and really shouldn't be where he is not for self defense . Now because of one of his stupid friends trying to show off and turning out to be nothing but a coward and leaving Brent to be jumped by 3 men not only is Brent suffering but Me his wife , his kids abd step kidshis mom and brother his family is left to live without him abd suffering in more ways then one . that man was and still is my smile ....he's the one real thing I've ever had in my life .....f@#@ You Lafayette court system . Learn to do your jobs right he maybe should have gotten that year for misdemeanor battery but that s it . not one person can stand to me and tell me if u we're in a fight facing 3 men and u just by yourself u wouldn't fight back that you wouldn't do everything u could to walk away to ur family ur kids That's what Brent is guilty of trying to defend himself against 3 men he wanted to go home tohisfamily worse then they did he just happened to be a better fighter and he got the best of th others . what would you do ? Stand there lay there and be stomped and beaten or would u give it everything u got and fight back ? I'd of done the same only I'm so smallid of probably shot or stabbed or picked up something to use as a weapon . if it was me or them I'd do everything I could to make sure I was going to live that I would make it hone to see my kids and husband . I Love You Brent Anthony Forever & Always .....Soul 1 baby

  5. Good points, although this man did have a dog in the legal fight as that it was his mother on trial ... and he a dependent. As for parking spaces, handicap spots for pregnant women sure makes sense to me ... er, I mean pregnant men or women. (Please, I meant to include pregnant men the first time, not Room 101 again, please not Room 101 again. I love BB)

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