Valparaiso law school welcomes new dean

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Andrea Lyon, the first woman to lead the Valparaiso University Law School, began her tenure July 1 as the dean.

Lyon brings experience both as a teacher and nationally recognized attorney. She comes to Valparaiso from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago where she served as associated dean for clinical programs.

As a practicing attorney, she was the first woman to be lead counsel in a death penalty case and has since established a national reputation as a capital defense expert. She has held several positions in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender in Chicago and served as the director of the Illinois Capital Resource Center.

Lyon was appointed in November 2013 after Valparaiso’s previous dean, Jay Conison, stepped down to become dean of the Charlotte School of Law in North Carolina.

To fill the space between Conison’s departure and Lyon’s arrival, the law school, again, tapped Ivan Bodensteiner to serve as interim dean. Bodensteiner was dean from 1985 to 1990 and from 1997 to 1998.

He praised Lyon, saying she has a background that is well suited to the law school.

In addition, he noted she will be joining a strong faculty. Bodensteiner credited the faculty of the law school with viewing the upheaval in the legal profession and legal education as opportunities to make overdue changes to improve. They did not have to be “dragged kicking and screaming” in a new direction, he said.

The law school has been implementing a revamped curriculum which puts more emphasis on teaching students the necessary skills to be practice ready.

Lyon will not have much time to unpack and settle into her office. She is scheduled to participate in “Meet the Dean” events in the coming weeks in Merrillville; Chicago; Grand Rapids, Mich., and Indianapolis.



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  1. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  2. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  3. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  4. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  5. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well