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New partnership sends McKinney faculty and students back to high school

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They arrived on yellow school buses as visitors Wednesday afternoon but someday the high school students may come as law students.

The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy in Indianapolis inked a partnership that will put McKinney faculty and students in Shortridge classrooms and bring Shortridge students to McKinney.

Dean Gary Roberts said he was “very proud of and very excited about” the new program which helps the law school fulfill its mission of service to the state of Indiana and the community.

Talking to the Shortridge students, Roberts said, “We’re hoping to get you excited about the law and about a career in the legal profession.”

Since Shortridge started the school year in August, McKinney faculty have been team-teaching law classes covering a range of topics from contracts and the U.S. Constitution to election and health care.

In addition, McKinney students will serve as tutors and mentors, helping and encouraging their young friends. Three McKinney students will take on the task of developing and coaching a mock trial team at Shortridge, something the school currently does not have.

Finally, students who excel at Shortridge may shadow McKinney students working in the legal clinic, giving the high school students an opportunity to see and experience what the practice of law and courtrooms are really like.

“My hope is we will help make Shortridge one of the top schools in Indiana,” said Carlton Waterhouse, associate professor of law and one of the driving forces behind the partnership.
 

The McKinney School of Law hosted a ceremony Wednesday to sign a memorandum of understanding and officially launch the collaboration. Eugene White, superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools and Marion Superior Judge and Shortridge alumnus Grant Hawkins were among the speakers. White was introduced by Justina Fields, Shortridge senior and summer intern at Lewis Wagner LLP, while Hawkins was introduced by Markell Pipkins, who told the gathering he wants to be a prosecutor.

“I hope our students realize how blessed they are and how unique they are and, hopefully, they will repay (the law school) by doing their very best,” White said.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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