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Senior Judge Shepard to chair national task force on legal education

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Randall Shepard has been selected as chairman of an American Bar Association presidential commission examining the state of legal education in America.

Shepard, former Indiana chief justice and current senior judge, will lead an effort to assess how well the nation’s law schools are preparing graduates to meet the legal needs of today’s marketplace. Shepard will work with leaders from America’s judiciary, organized bar, legal education and legal practice communities on an initiative expected to conclude in 2014.

Shepard is also the Indiana University Public Policy Institute’s executive in residence, which he became after retiring from the high court in March.

“Chief Justice Shepard is widely respected for his leadership in promoting legal education, professionalism and civility in the legal profession,” ABA President William T. Robinson III said in announcing the task force. “He is universally respected for his wisdom, integrity and openness to new ideas. Therefore, I am certain he will lead our esteemed and thoughtful task force members to consider a broad range of issues in order to make sound, compelling recommendations.”

“The growing public attention to the cost of a law school education, the uncertain job prospects for law school graduates and the delivery of legal services in a changing market warrant substantial examination and analysis by the ABA and the legal profession,” Robinson 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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