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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. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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