Valparaiso University School of Law

Dean's Desk: Legal clinics cultivate essential lawyering skills

October 21, 2015
Andrea D. Lyon
I am certainly awarethat those of you reading this article know what legal clinics are and do – you all know that students in clinics learn how to interact with clients, opposing counsel and judges; but they also learn that actual clients are more important than they seem in casebooks and that their work makes a positive difference in their client’s lives.
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ABA report reflects current law school innovations

August 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Weeks after the American Bar Association approved a set of recommendations to address law student debt and educational experience, legal educators in Indiana described the recommendations as thoughtful but not necessarily different from what they are doing.
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Law school deans excited about Class of 2018

August 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Law schools in Indiana are conducting orientations and starting classes for the 2015-2016 academic year. The class sizes are approximate and deans anticipate the numbers will change slightly, but overall they are excited about the new crop of students.
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Law school deans excited about Class of 2018

August 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
At the University of Notre Dame Law School, Dean Nell Jessup Newton bet on the “summer melt” but ended up losing to Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs Kevin O’Rear.
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Supreme Court appoints Valpo law professor to rules committee

July 8, 2015
IL Staff
Valparaiso University School of Law professor Del Wright Jr. has been appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure.
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Indiana University law schools announce May 9 commencement speakers

May 8, 2015
IL Staff
A former U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica and the current general counsel at The Home Depot will address graduates Saturday at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and IU Maurer School of Law, respectively.
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2014 law school grads see slight uptick in employment

May 1, 2015
IL Staff
National data released by the American Bar Association shows that the Class of 2014 has a slightly larger percentage of its graduates employed in long-term, full-time positions that require bar passage as compared with the Class of 2013.
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Justice Rucker honored by Valparaiso Law School

March 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker will return to his law school alma mater Thursday to give the first speech in a new lecture series named in his honor.
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Dean's Desk: Learning to write for the law

March 11, 2015
Andrea D. Lyon
One of the educational challenges facing those of us in higher education (not just law) is teaching writing. The entry of what is often referred to as the millennial generation into higher education has shown a marked decrease in prior opportunities to write, to be critiqued, and, sadly, even to have been instructed in the basics of grammar, sentence structure and syntax.
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‘No relief’ for law school enrollment slump

February 25, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, J.K. Wall
After three down years for law school enrollment, Austen Parrish expected a rebound of applications and enrollment this year at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. But it isn’t happening.
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Rising cost of legal education sparked creation of ABA task force

February 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
At public law schools, the average tuition and fees across the country for in-state residents skyrocketed 123 percent between 2003 and 2013. Private law schools were marginally better, logging an increase of 64 percent, according to a 2014 analysis by Robert Kuehn, professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.
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Valparaiso Law Dean Andrea Lyon built a career battling the death penalty

January 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Lyon remains a passionate, unwavering opponent of capital punishment. Her career path has turned from the courtroom to education. The dean of Valparaiso University Law School maintains a strong connection to death penalty work.
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'Dead Man Walking' author calls for judicial reform

January 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Sister Helen Prejean, at a recent talk at Valparaiso University, called the death penalty process "unjust."
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Chicago law professor to give Valpo’s MLK lecture

January 19, 2015
IL Staff
A DePaul University College of Law professor, well-known as a scholar in the areas of employment and labor law and voting rights, will be the featured speaker at Valparaiso University Law School’s Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Thursday.
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Author and death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean calls for judicial reform

January 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When she became pen pals with an inmate on Louisiana’s death row, Sister Helen Prejean said she did not know much about the law or the U.S. Constitution. She was not aware of constitutional protections or how the Supreme Court of the United States was interpreting them.
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Dean's Desk: Educating, supporting those called to the law

December 3, 2014
Andrea D. Lyon
The legal system plays a foundational role in a free society, and those who are called to this profession have an exciting opportunity to demonstrate their humanity while serving others.
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Deans ready to comply with revised legal education standards

October 8, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The American Bar Association now requires more hands-on learning and student assessments throughout the course.
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Members of the Class of 2017 start law school

August 25, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
About 872 people are expected to begin their legal studies this fall at law schools in Indiana.
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New dean outlines plan to improve Valparaiso Law School’s national reputation

August 11, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Barely a month into her tenure as dean of Valparaiso University Law School, Andrea Lyon is already talking about her nontraditional plan to improve the institution’s national ranking.
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Mastering the law without a J.D.

July 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The move by two Indiana law schools to follow a national trend and offer master’s degrees to non-lawyers has many practicing lawyers asking where the graduates of these programs will fit into the legal profession.
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Valparaiso law school welcomes new dean

July 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Andrea Lyon, the first woman to lead the Valparaiso University Law School, began her tenure July 1 as the dean.
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Valparaiso Law renames Professionalism Series to honor late dean Louis Bartelt

June 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Valparaiso University Law School is recognizing longtime faculty member and former dean Louis F. Bartelt Jr. by renaming the school’s Professionalism Series in his honor.
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Law graduates return home to address Class of 2014

May 6, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Alumni of Indiana law schools will be congratulating the new classes of attorneys and offering words of advice during upcoming Class of 2014 commencement ceremonies aross the state.
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Former editors say Law Review experience invaluable

April 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Outside academic institutions, law reviews are seen in a different, sometimes less flattering, light. The common complaints about publications include concerns that students are editing the articles, getting a piece published can take months, and the end product has little relevance to the practicing bar.
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Law school ranking rumble

March 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Law school deans protest U.S. News & World Report's "best" schools list but say they cannot ignore it because they don't want their schools to fall in the rankings.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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