By Angela P. Krahulik, Ice Miller LLP
Receiving two Indianapolis Bar Foundation (IBF) sponsored scholarships in 2016 was quite an accomplishment for Alexander Van Gorp. The scholarships provided him not only with needed financial assistance, but also served as inspiration to persevere in his preparations to become an attorney. “Receiving the Hon. William Steckler and IndyBar Review Scholarships were the encouragement I needed to press on with my studies for the Bar Exam this summer. Knowing the IBF saw me as a worthwhile investment kept me going even when I doubted my own abilities, and I am honored to say I was able to prove them correct,” said Van Gorp.
During law school, Van Gorp participated in many Indianapolis Bar Association events, CLEs and networking opportunities. Those interactions and connections helped him more fully embrace his identity and become more social and confident overall. Van Gorp felt he received a “great welcome to the legal community” and now wants to pay it forward in any way he can. Van Gorp is currently working as an HIV tester and counselor with the Damien Center while seeking legal employment that may also allow him to utilize his undergraduate Japanese and Chinese language studies.
The Indianapolis Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Indianapolis Bar Association, annually awards academic and educational scholarships to worthy law students as part of its mission to advance justice and encourage positive change in Indianapolis through philanthropy, education and service. The scholarships are awarded as academic scholarships paid to the Indiana University Foundation in the name of recipients and in the form of continuing education scholarships for the IndyBar Review, the official bar exam review course of the Indianapolis Bar Association and credited to the course on behalf of the student. Scholarships are reserved for student members of the Indianapolis Bar Association.
While the criteria for each scholarship vary, common considerations include elements of academic performance, financial need and dedication to community service or civility in the legal profession. In addition, in applying for any of these awards, law student candidates vow to contribute time, talent or treasure to the Indianapolis Bar Association throughout their careers in Indiana’s legal community.
Another of the 2016 scholarship recipients, Emily Sargent, a 2018 J.D./Masters of Public Health Candidate at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health says she was “honored to receive a scholarship from the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.” Like Van Gorp, Sargent has had to overcome obstacles in striving to reach her goals and support received along the way has been critical to her success. “I have wanted to be a lawyer since I was little, but the financial burden of law school was a barrier that could have kept me from reaching that goal. Fortunately, the generosity of others, and especially the generosity of the local legal community, has helped me to move past that barrier and to pursue my dreams. I am very grateful for the support that Indiana attorneys give to their future colleagues.”
Sargent’s time as an emergency medical technician (EMT) during college sparked an interest in health law. With her dual JD/MPH degree, she aspires to work in the health policy field, perhaps focusing on health care regulation or public health programs. Sargent has spent valuable time with the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Health Care & Life Sciences Section and has enjoyed learning about the types of careers available, as well as obtaining advice from already practicing attorneys in the area. “Everyone has been so open and willing to offer help and advice,” she says.
The assistance provided to students through IBF funded scholarships is a vital element in the IBF’s mission. Through the scholarships over the past 33 years, the IBF has helped nearly 180 future lawyers realize their potential and in doing so, fostered their commitment to the IBF’s mission and the Indiana legal profession. IBF scholarships are maintained exclusively through the generosity of IBF contributors.•
Angela P. Krahulik is a Partner with Ice Miller LLP and a proud member of the Board of Directors of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.