By Erin M. Engels, Associate Clinical Professor, Pre-Law Advisor, Paralegal Studies Director
IUPUI students in the Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies programs learned about careers in the legal field during two recent panels held as part of IUPUI Fall Career Week September 20-24.
So You Want to Go to Law School was help on September 20th. The event was moderated by Professor Engels, Pre Law Advisor. Members of the panel included: current IU McKinney School of Law Students Karla Guzman Martinez and Gabriela Ocampo Serrano (IUPUI alumni), Attorneys Courtney Abshire with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office (IUPUI alumnus), Marcus McGee – a staff attorney with the Indiana Supreme Court and Christopher Price with the Marion County Public Defender Agency and Paralegal Studies Faculty member (IUPUI alumni).
The panel discussed what a typical day for a law student and a lawyer looks like. Students learned what skills are needed in law school. Panel members explained how to get involved in undergrad to help prepare for law school. Students learned about helpful programs and scholarships designed to prepare students for law school.
Several panelist recommended undergraduate students apply for the Pathway to Law diversity pipeline program with the IU McKinney School of Law. The program is a partnership between McKinney and the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Students can apply for the January program today by visiting: https://mckinneylaw.iu.edu/admissions/jd/diversity/pathway-to-the-law.html
On Wednesday, September 22nd, IUPUI paralegal students met with a panel of paralegals from the Indiana Paralegal Association. The panel included six paralegals from Indianapolis and was moderated by Professor Shana Stump. Alumnus Wendy Freeland was also part of the panel. Wendy is a paralegal with the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and works at the Expungement help desk in the City/County Building. Wendy started with NCLC as an intern when she was a student in the IUPUI Paralegal Studies program.
Students learned about the importance of being organized in the legal profession. Panelists stressed the importance of asking questions when starting a new job. The panel discussed options for working as a paralegal beyond the traditional law firm environment. Jobs in risk management, corporate compliance or insurance are all related to the paralegal field.
The paralegal panel also encouraged students to join the Indiana Paralegal Association. Student membership is on $45 and includes monthly luncheons, Continuing Legal Education opportunities, social activities and a member’s only job bank. To join the Indiana Paralegal Association, visit their website here: https://www.indianaparalegals.org/joinIPA