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Law school renamed following gift from Indianapolis attorney

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After a $24 million donation from an Indianapolis attorney, Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis is now named Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

The money came from Robert McKinney, a name partner in the firm Bose McKinney & Evans. The total value of the gift will be $31.5 million, thanks to matching funds committed through Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’ IMAPCT fundraising campaign.

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie announced the new name at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

McKinney received his law degree from Indiana University School of Law and has a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1963, he was added as a name partner to the firm that is now known as Bose McKinney & Evans. He retired in 1992 and also served as chairman and CEO of First Indiana Corp., now know as M&I Bank, until he retired from there in 2005.

He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to chair multiple banking, insurance, mortgage and loan agencies. McKinney established model nondiscrimination regulations and pushed for community investment.

McKinney said he’s excited to be able to make a commitment that will help the school build on its heritage and become one of the best law schools in the country.

“A law degree is a great introduction to broad areas of leadership – political leadership, business leadership and civic leadership,” McKinney said. “The IU law school in Indianapolis plays a vital role in developing the leaders Indiana needs to succeed.”

The gift is expected to help the law school achieve its long-term goals, such as providing for faculty chairs and student support, said Dean Gary R. Roberts. It will help fund five endowed chairs and retain nationally recognized scholar-teachers to the faculty. The money will also create a $17.5 million endowment to fund McKinney Family Scholarships for outstanding students.

This isn’t the first gift McKinney has given Indiana University. Previous gifts to the university include the Robert H. McKinney Law Professorship, the Bose McKinney & Evans Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition, and contributions to the V. Sue Shields Scholarship, all at the IU Maurer School of Law.

Nearly three years ago, Indiana University’s Bloomington law school was renamed after attorney Michael “Mickey” Maurer and his wife, Janie, donated $35 million to what was then called Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington. Maurer is a shareholder of IBJ Media, the parent company of Indiana Lawyer. Both McKinney’s and Maurer’s gifts were the largest ever received by either IU law school.

The IU board of trustees approved the name change at its October meeting. A formal renaming ceremony and celebration will take place in the spring.

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

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  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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