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Law School Briefs - 3/30/11

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Law School Briefs

Law School Briefs is Indiana Lawyer’s section highlighting news from law schools in Indiana. While IL has always covered law school news and continues to keep up with law school websites and press releases for updates, we gladly accept submissions for this section from law students, professors, alumni, and others who want to share law school-related news. If you’d like to submit news or a photo from an event, please send it to Jennifer Montgomery at jmontgomery@ibj.com, along with contact information for any follow-up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

2 Indiana schoolsin magazine top 25

Two Indiana law schools have again been ranked in the top 25 law schools in U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of top graduate schools, released March 15 on the magazine’s website, www.usnews.com, under “U.S. News Rankings.” A third Indiana law school placed in the top 100, and a fourth was ranked among other fourth-tier schools.

Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Notre Dame Law School tied for 23rd. They also tied for 23rd in 2009. Last year, Notre Dame was ranked 22nd, and IU Maurer School of Law was ranked 27th. The law school in Bloomington was ranked seventh among public law schools.

Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis was ranked 79th, up from 86th in 2010. It also ranked eighth for legal writing programs, the only Indiana law school to place in the top 10 for various specialties the magazine ranked in 2011, including clinical training, dispute resolution, environmental law, healthcare law, intellectual property law, tax law, and international law.

Indianapolis’ only law school’s ranking has been affected by changes in the methodology, made in 2009, to include part-time students’ information with full-time students. Previously, part-time and full-time programs were separate.

The school’s highest ranking in the last five years was in 2008, before the methodology change, when the school ranked 68th. That school’s part-time law program was not included among the part-time law schools in the 2011 rankings.

Valparaiso University School of Law’s ranking was among the fourth tier of law schools, as it has been in recent years. Representatives of that law school have said in past interviews that it has been an advantage for them because they don’t worry about the rankings and therefore, when considering applicants, give greater weight to factors other than LSAT scores and GPA. This has improved the diversity of applicants who have good, but not necessarily great, LSAT scores and GPAs and are still worthy candidates for the law school, they said.

The overall scores used for rankings are based on a weighted average of 12 measures, including median LSAT scores, acceptance rates, employment rates for graduates, bar passage rates, and student-faculty ratio. To be listed, law schools must be accredited and fully approved by the American Bar Association and draw a majority of its students from the U.S.

Nationwide, the list has received criticism from members of the legal community, including some law schools, saying it puts too much emphasis on LSAT scores and GPAs, adding that prospective students should look beyond these rankings to determine which school is their best match. Other studies and law school rankings do exist; at this time the U.S. News & World Report rankings are the most well-known.

A New York Times article in January 2011 also received much attention in the legal community for its criticism of the rankings because of the way information about employment of law school graduates is collected. Sources in that article said it may be misleading to applicants who use these rankings to determine where to apply.

Representatives of Indiana law schools, speaking in response to that article, told Indiana Lawyer that unless the rankings system itself changes, these numbers will continue to be misleading and that applicants should take the initiative to contact the schools’ career services offices directly for breakdowns of employment statistics.

– Rebecca Berfanger

ABA recognizes NW Indiana law school

The American Bar Association awarded Valparaiso University School of Law a certificate of appreciation for hosting the 7th Circuit Spring Meeting at the school Feb. 19. The 7th Circuit Law Student Division of the ABA consists of the northwest Indiana school and 14 other law schools in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Valparaiso University School of Law student Bryan Rogers was elected as the 2011-2012 7th Circuit governor. Yjimizia Jones was awarded the Silver Key for her help planning the meeting, and Carter Alleman was awarded the Silver Key for his work as Student Bar Association president at the school.

The Silver Key is the highest award given on the circuit level of the ABA.•

– IL Staff

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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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