Volume 1, Issue 1 Fall 2013
President Arthur E. Snyder presents a medallion to Peter C. Alexander, signifying Alexander’s investiture as vice president and dean of the Law School.
Tech Law Era Begins By Janet Riley
Law Library Cataloging Specialist
On Sept. 14, 2013, faculty, staff, students, and alumni from Indiana Tech, the community, and law schools around the country gathered in the Schaefer Center gym at Indiana Tech’s Fort Wayne campus to celebrate a very special event—the dedication of the Indiana Tech Law School.
will be a school to be proud of.”
The Rev. Dr. Hal Thomas, from United Faith Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne, followed Snyder with prayer over the Law School.
The Hon. Frank H. Easterbrook, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, was one of three guest speakers. He presented two questions: 1) Why a new law school? and The dedication 2) Why should he began with a probe there? He ancessional in which swered those questhe faculty from tions by explaining Judge Easterbrook all departments that Indiana Tech is of Indiana Tech attempting to do the and representatives from other law impossible by offering a more modschools marched into the gymnasium ern approach to how law curriculum in academic regalia. is delivered by providing students many new opportunities including President Arthur E. Synder opened internships, externships, mentoring, the ceremony with, “This law school and on-the-job legal training.
The second guest speaker was Gregory F. Zoeller, attorney general for the State of Indiana. He began with relating to the charter class by recalling his own days as a law school student, including the feelings of anxiety when trying to remember a case. He pointed out that this dedication ceremony marked a bold new path and was more than just a planned event, describing it as “a whole new adventure in an age of old roots.” Zoeller commented that he is a firm believer in the experiential learning approach and that Indiana Tech School is doing just that. He concluded by quoting poet Robert Frost’s, “The Road Less Traveled.”
Snyder proceeded with the investiture of Peter Alexander with the title of vice president and dean of the Law School. Two years ago, the journey to creating the Law School began and after sorting through more than
XX Please see DEDICATION Continued on Page 5
In This Issue
Law School building houses art collection Page 2 Mentor profile features Andrew Palmison Page 3 Prosper Batinge hopes to change legal education opportunities in Ghana Page 4
Sharing the Thrill of Life at Tech Law Dear Friends,
I am pleased to share with you the first issue of The Brief, the Indiana Tech Law School newsletter. This publication will be distributed once each semester, and we hope that it will keep you informed about all of the great things that we are doing at Tech Law. I encourage you to read each story and share your copy with friends who might also be interested in our program.
In the short time that we have been open, Indiana Tech Law School has distinguished itself in a number of ways. Each of our students is being supported by a judge or lawyer mentor from the local legal community, who will be with them through all three years of law school. We have additional judges, lawyers, and other professionals visiting all of our classrooms to bring real world perspectives to our students. We are investing time and energy into our teaching scholarship to share knowledge inside our building and throughout the world.
I am excited to have you learn more about our school. Hopefully, this newsletter will give you a good idea of what we do every day to prepare our students for success in law, leadership, and life! If you would like to support our efforts or continue to partner with us, please visit our website and make a gift to add to our scholarship endowment or the Dean’s Discretionary Fund. Just go to law.indianatech.edu and click the link at the very top of the page that says “Support the Law School.” Thank you,
Peter C. Alexander Dean and Professor of Law 2 | The Brief
Art Collection Fills Law Building By Tom Fox
Assistant Dean for Administration & Outreach
The Indiana Tech Law School is one of only two law schools in the nation to house a professionally curated art museum.
Thanks a generous grant from Parkview Health, the Law School has been able to acquire a first-rate collection of art that is displayed throughout all three floors of the school. The collection features Hoosier artists and Indiana scenes, as well as pieces with themes relating to government, law, justice and liberty. The works of many local Part of the collection focuses on Hoosier artists and scenes. artists are featured as well as pieces by internationally recognized artists like Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, and Shepard Fairey Peter Alexander, dean of the Law School, believes “. . . our students will be better prepared to assist their future clients just by learning and growing in an environment that engages both the right and left sides of their brains.” David Opalinski, of Pittsburgh, is the curator of the collection. He was responsible for selecting much of the art, as well as personally overseeing the placement of each piece. Friends of the Law School also donated several important pieces. The collection is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday so that everyone can enjoy this wonderfully unique treasury of artwork that adorns the walls of the Law School. Alexander hopes “daily interaction with the amazing works in our collection will inspire (our students) to
Several pieces in the collection relate to government and justice themes.
make the world a better place.” If so, perhaps it can have the same impact on everyone who views it.
Climbing to the Top Growing up as a Cambodian-American woman, I was afraid of a lot of things in life. Those closest to me always told me that I was not good enough or smart enough to accomplish much in life. When I got older I decided to start proving the doubters wrong. But more importantly I decided to start overcoming my fears and living my dreams.
Last summer I decided to overcome my fear of heights by climbing Half Dome in Yosemite. I told myself that if I could conquer Half Dome, I would finally quit my job and focus on getting into law school.
At 5 a.m. on a Friday, my friends and I got up early and started hiking toward Half Dome. When we arrived, I remember staring at this mountain, wondering whether I could make it. I was terrified and wanted to return to the campsite. My friends told me that we could not hike half a day and not climb Half Dome. I looked at the mountain, and I thought to myself, “If I let go, I’ll die.” There was no safety
net, and I had heard stories of people falling to their deaths on this mountain.
It took me one hour to mentally prepare myself for the Rachel climb. I put Johnston on my gloves, stepped onto the wooden planks and pulled myself up the cable wire one step at a time. Halfway through, my arms were shaking uncontrollably and I started to panic. I was stuck. But because there were people behind me on the cable, I could not turn back. I shouted, “I don’t think I can make it up to the top!” Everyone behind me said, “Oh yes, you can. Take your time and don’t rush. Whatever you do, do not look down, and focus on the plank in front of you.”
I pulled myself up one step at a time for what seemed like eternity. When I got to the top, I screamed, “I made it and I’m going to law school!” At that moment, I heard people clapping and cheering for me. That was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. The feeling of not giving up and making it to the top gave me a sense of purpose to pursue my dream of going to law school. I realized that people, who were strangers, were there to help me and cheer me on. Because of that moment, I knew that I needed to go to law school to help others when they are in need. Indiana Tech Law School has given me the opportunity that I needed, so that I could serve others who are in need. For this opportunity, I will forever be grateful. Rachel Johnston is a member of the Charter Class of Indiana Tech Law School.
Faculty Profile: Judith Fitzgerald
Love of Law Profession Draws Judge to Teach By Lydia LaMont Faculty Assistant
Q: Where were you born?
A. I was born in a little town in Western Pennsylvania called Spangler.
Q. Where did you earn your degrees?
A. I earned all of my degrees from the University
of Pittsburgh – B.S., B.A., and J.D. I also did a little bit of graduate work in political science at Pitt. Q. Why did you decide to go to law school?
A. I didn’t know that else to do with my life. I
graduated college with a double major in psychology and writing, and I minored in political science. Psychology and writing didn’t really present many viable career options that interested me, and law seemed like a good fit. Q. Did you ever practice law and, if so, what were your practice areas?
A. I worked as a law clerk after I graduated from
law school, then I joined a small law firm doing corporate work and litigation for a short time. After that, I worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office on civil, criminal, and appellate cases, with a little bit of bankruptcy thrown in to add some variety. I then became a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for 26 years. Q. Why did you become a law professor?
A. I am very interested in education, and I believe
that becoming a lawyer is a good way to help society at large as well as individuals and businesses
Focus on Our Mentors
facing a variety of difficulties. I want to be a part of the process of educating people in the profession that I love. Q. If you could pursue employment in an area other than law, what would you do for a living?
A. I’d win the lottery and not have to worry about
earning a living! Seriously, that’s a tough one as I can’t think of a profession I’d rather be in than this one. I suppose, assuming I had the talent, I would be a professional singer. Working for the State Department developing foreign policy is also something I would like to do. Q. What are your hobbies or interests?
A. My major interests are my children and grand-
children. My hobbies are singing, gardening, reading (a lot), writing (a little), and anything that doesn’t require much movement (except when I’m with my grandchildren – I don’t mind being active when I’m with them). I also enjoy traveling. Q. Describe your perfect meal?
A. I’d start with potato soup, followed by a full
course of mashed potatoes with lots of butter (no garlic!!!), potato pancakes, perogies, and a veggie of choice, and have potato chips for dessert. Q. What book are you currently reading?
A. I just started to read “Empire” by Gore Vidal.
Q. What is the best advice you ever received?
A. The best advice I ever received dealing with
Judith Klaswick Fitzgerald joined Indiana Tech Law School upon her retirement as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge.
my profession came during a discussion of what it means to be a judge, what a “good” judge is, and how to prepare for and decide cases. The suggestion was that I should always research and understand the applicable law and then follow my instincts in applying it. This advice came from Judge Carol Los Mansmann (former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the Third Circuit), who was held in the highest regard by the practitioners who appeared before her, when I was about to become a federal judge. Her point was that it’s not always easy to determine what facts to credit, and sometimes, you just have to rely on those instincts you’ve developed from your life experiences to provide a fair evaluation of the evidence and reach a just result.
Palmison Values Professionalism, Ethics A: I think the relationship will likely evolve over time. At the outset, I hope to provide guidance in navigating law school itself, learning how to think like a lawyer, and focusing on having a well-rounded first-year experience.
By Peter C. Alexander
In each issue of The Brief, we will profile one of the judges or lawyers who are serving as mentors to our students. Each mentor has agreed to give time to our students for all three years of their law school educations. We are indebted to each of them for donating their time and partnering with us.
As law school progresses, I hope to have identified David’s talents and aptitudes so that I can provide guidance as to what career path would be the best fit for him, help him cultivate the necessary career skills, and introduce him to others who can provide him further guidance in his chosen career path.
This issue’s featured mentor is Andrew Palmison, an associate at Rothberg Logan and Warsco LLP in Fort Wayne. His practice areas include insurance defense, medical malpractice defense, and commercial litigation. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Akron and his J.D., cum laude, from Valparaiso University School of Law. His mentee is David Felts.
Q: What have you learned about your mentee, David, since you first met him?
Q: Why did you agree to become a mentor for an Indiana Tech Law School student?
A: Indiana Tech’s mentorship program presents
a tremendous opportunity for students to obtain exposure to life after law school. Law schools have been criticized, fairly or unfairly, for teaching students how to think like lawyers but not teaching them how to be lawyers. The mentorship is one of the many ways in which Indiana Tech is seeking to break that perception and better prepare its students for real life in the legal world. I am fortunate to play a role in the type of legal education that Indiana Tech has as its mission.
Q: Were you the recipient of any type of mentoring when you were in law school?
Andrew Palmison, an associate at Rothberg Logan and Warsco LLP, is mentor to David Felts.
A: Although I did not have a formal mentor, I
was fortunate to have built relationships with practitioners and judges who offered mentorship throughout law school. I found their mentorship to be essential to a well-rounded law school experience and that it paid dividends entering practice. In fact, I can credit a mentor with highly influencing my decision to seek employment in Fort Wayne.
Q: What do you hope to do as a mentor to support your law student?
A: I am impressed by David’s potential as a leader and his willingness to dive head-first into the law school experience. This leadership was demonstrated by his successful campaign for president of the Student Bar Association. Q: How do you think the mentoring program will help Tech law students once they graduate and begin their professional lives?
A: One of the key expectations I have for the mentorship program is that it will pass along to incoming lawyers a commitment to professionalism and high ethical standards that I believe is a hallmark characteristic of this legal community. I know many of the other mentors and am confident they share this goal. I also think the program will benefit students by exposing them day-to-day practice in diverse fields.
Indiana Tech Law School | 3
Giving ‘Prosperous’ New Meaning: How Prosper Batinge Came to Us By Nancy Marcus Law Professor
Prosper Batinge did not always want to be a lawyer. After all, he had no lawyer role models growing up in Ghana, Africa, never having met a lawyer until after he was an adult already making plans to go to law school.
But his story begins long before that day. As a boy, Batinge was expected by his parents to work hard, be studious, and go to college. Both his parents were teachers. His father also was the headmaster, and Batinge was a student in his mother’s classroom for two years. Batinge was expected by his parents to follow in their footsteps. However, not everyone expected him to succeed, because he came from the Dagaabas tribal group, a minority tribe that was looked down upon by more elitist Akans tribes in Ghana.
Batinge’s parents instilled in him a strong work ethic beyond his studies. When Batinge was a child, his family moved around quite a bit because his parents were frequently transferred to teach at various different schools across rural Ghana. In his adolescence, Batinge lived in rural Ghana, where he spent a lot of time doing various farm jobs. It was not uncommon for him to start the day on the farm, then walk to school, and then back to the farm after school. The school was about two kilometers away, and Batinge had his legs as the only means of transport. Batinge’s life changed dramatically when his family moved from rural Ghana to the city when he was 14. In the twin city of Sekondi-Takoradi, Batinge was first exposed to many elements of the modern world, including the “WC” (bathrooms with full plumbing), and the loud city noises—from cars roaring down the street to the sounds and constant glaring lights accompanying the city’s night life.
At his junior high school too, Batinge faced challenges as he adjusted to his new life. It was his first time living among members of other tribal groups in the city, where his tribe was a minority. He was teased for his Dagaabas tribal roots, both on the streets and at school, until the day he earned the respect of his peers, in a lesson more painful to them than to him. Batinge, who had joined his new school only two weeks before final exams, aced nine out of the 11 exams he took in his first month at the city school, earning the top score in all of his exams but two, taking his school by surprise. For his success, Batinge earned the instant respect of his new teachers, as well as the “Prosper” western name given to him by his family. To his shock, however, his classmates from the elitist Akans tribes, many of whom had 4 | The Brief
Prosper Batinge shares a laugh with classmate Jason Thompson at the law student party the evening of the law school dedication ceremony.
‘What?’ — It’s Worth Asking At the end of our interview, I asked Prosper Batinge the one thing he would like the Tech Law community to know about him, and his answer is one he hopes people will truly take to heart. While grateful for how friendly everyone is to him, Batinge can tell when people have trouble understanding his accent. He is dismayed when people are hesitant to ask “what?” and have him repeat himself. Instead, he gets the sense people just pretend to hear him and nod their heads, faking understanding, rather than ask him to repeat himself over and over again. But Batinge has much to tell us and would much rather repeat himself into infinity than be nodded at politely without having Prosper Batinge truly been heard. So please… ask him “what?” “what?” “what?” as much as you need… because with Batinge, you can be certain that what he has to offer is worth the perseverance.
— Nancy Marcus
teased him up until the day the exam results came out, earned themselves fierce canings from the teachers. They were punished for being beaten academically by Batinge, a member of a rural tribal group not expected to do equally well at school, let alone surpass his classmates so brilliantly in his first weeks at the new school. High school marked yet another leg of Batinge’s journey discerning his life path. As a Catholic boarding school student, Batinge served as an altar boy, and began thinking of becoming a priest. He was inspired by Ghana’s first president from the 1940s, who had earned a philosophy degree at the University of Pennsylvania before he returned to Ghana, where he worked toward unifying
the various splintered tribes of Ghana. Batinge knew from a young age that he wanted to similarly serve his country, and after high school, he went to college to receive special spiritual training as a “novice” working toward eventual Jesuit priesthood, under the mentorship of a number of Jesuit priests. Many of the priests were from the United States or other English-speaking countries, resulting in Batinge becoming more fluent in English and comfortable with Westernized cultures.
Similar to Indiana Tech Law School, Batinge’s college provided significant hands-on training for its students, requiring them to immerse themselves in experiential training and not just lose themselves in abstract theory. It
was thus that Batinge found himself sent to Nigeria to counsel prisoners and homeless lepers. In the course of trying to help some of Nigeria’s most down-trodden population, Batinge began to think for the first time about going into the legal profession, where he sensed he could do more good than as a clergy member. Although Batinge did not know a single lawyer and had no idea what law school would entail, the flame of inspiration was ignited within him as he developed the growing sense that through the law, he could help provide the greatest assistance to those in Africa who most needed it. In the end, the final impetus that motivated Batinge’s move from pursuing the priesthood to instead pursuing a legal education was the inspiration he found through those who took on Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe (who is notorious for human rights violations, including the violent seizure of land from the white farmers in his country), displaying a spirit of social justice that Batinge found inspirational.
Upon returning from Nigeria, Batinge paid a visit to the constitutional law professor at one of the Ghana law schools, Dr. Raymond Atuguba. One day, after one of Dr. Atuguba’s classes, Batinge hung around the halls of the law school, enjoying watching Atuguba interact with his law students after class, until Atuguba noticed him watching and called him over. Recognizing Batinge’s potential, Atuguba spoke with him at length, encouraging him to go to law school while advising him that getting into law school in Africa is not easy, and
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Faculty Profile: Adam Lamparello
Ex-litigator Hopes to Inspire Students By Lydia Lamont
them to serve the community in a transformative way.
Q: Where were you born?
Q: What are your hobbies or interests?
A: Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.
A: Writing, watching movies, listening to music, especially Elvis, and exercising.
Q: Where did you earn your degrees?
Q: Describe your “perfect meal”?
A: I earned my B.A. at the University of Southern
A: Anything with peanut butter, but especially the peanut butter-bacon-banana sandwich that Elvis loved so much.
California, my J.D. at Ohio State, and my LL.M. from New York University School of Law. Q: Why did you decide to go to law school?
Q: What book are you currently reading?
A: I wanted to represent people who did not have
A: “Orphan Train” by Christina-Baker Kline.
access to good lawyers and work on cases that would transform the law and ensure equal rights for all people.
Q: If you could pursue employment in an area other than law, what would you do for a living?
Q: Did you ever practice law and, if so, what were your practice areas?
A: Yes, over the course of five years, I worked as
a civil litigator at two large firms in New Jersey, primarily in the areas of corporate, environmental, employment and construction law. Q: Why did you become a law professor?
continued from Page 4
that from then on Batinge should do nothing but study and prepare for the law school entrance exam. The spontaneous mentoring Batinge was given that day sealed his path, with Atuguba’s words of advice burning in his memory to this day.
In 2008, Batinge took the Ghana law school entrance exam for the first time, but was not surprised when he did not get in; out of many thousands of applicants every year, only 100 are accepted to become students at one of Ghana’s three law schools. While taking the law exam, he also applied to a philosophy graduate school program and was the sole applicant accepted that year into the program. That’s how Batinge ended up living in the United States for the first time, pursuing his master’s in philosophy at the University of Rochester, which had an African exchange program with the University of Ghana. But the legal bug wouldn’t go away. While studying Plato for his master’s thesis in upstate New York, Batinge kept noticing ads for the LSAT, until finally he took the law school admissions test. He still remembers clearly the day he took the LSAT, which was also the first day he ever saw snow.
Batinge finished his thesis in nine months and returned to Ghana. Back in Ghana, a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy of the University of Ghana hired him as his research assistant for a philosophy class on contemporary moral issues. At that point, Batinge began applying to law programs in the United States and discovered Indiana Tech Law School. He was accepted by Tech Law and about 10 other law schools. He chose Tech Law because of its affordability, its experiential focus, and the constant personal support from the
Adam Lamparello teaches lawyering skills and criminal law courses.
A: I want to inspire students to follow career paths that they are passionate about and motivate
A: I would be a professional writer, an actor, doctor, or pilot. Q: What is the best advice you ever received?
A: The only limitations are those we impose on ourselves. Our choices matter more than anything else, and happiness depends on our thought process, not our circumstances.
Today, Atuguba, the constitutional law professor who advised Batinge in his quest to attend law school, is one of the most powerful lawyers in Ghana, serving as executive secretary to President John Mahama, the current president of Ghana, as well as serving as executive secretary of Ghana’s recent constitutional review commission. As for Batinge, he is prospering already at Indiana Tech Law School, where he is thriving and enjoying the law school community and experience greatly, while also working toward an MBA degree through Indiana Tech.
In addition to being wonderfully surprised by how friendly and supportive everyone is at Tech Law, Batinge has come to realize another huge factor that makes Tech Law the perfect fit for him: being part of a new law school coming to fruition is an experience Batinge would like to replicate in Africa. Batinge’s dream is to create a new law school in Ghana modeled after Tech Law, one with an experiential and personal focus, enabling students to be practice-ready successful lawyers upon graduation and offering basic modern legal research tools. There are very few law schools in Ghana, and Batinge wants to change that and make law school more accessible to more students. Grateful for his experiences and all who have made it possible for him to go to law school against the odds, he wants to enable many others like him to go to law school in Ghana, regardless of what tribe or background they came from. It is his hope that as long as they have the skills to go to law school, measured objectively through LSAT results rather than through the pedigree of one’s background, future Ghanan law school applicants like him will be able to go to law school based on their drive and abilities.
Members of the charter class listen closely to the guest speakers at the Law School dedication ceremony.
Continued from Page 1
applications, Alexander was chosen. Snyder praised him saying, “Dean Alexander is an outstanding leader and partner.” Alexander was presented with a medallion signifying the investiture of his title.
Dean Katherine S. Broderick, of the David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia, then gave a charge to the Law School faculty and staff. She noted that these positions are not always easy, but they are rewarding. Being committed is the most important part. She finished with, “I predict this community is on the path to being a great law school.” Alexander then addressed the audience. He was thankful for his title and position. Addressing some negative press the school had received
in the past, he said, “Today I get to set the record straight.” Alexander explained that, “Everyone at Indiana Tech Law School is giving our very best.”
Next, he addressed the students of the charter class. He noted that they too, may face challenging times as they progress through a rigorous law program, but encouraged them with, “You are fearless. You don’t know how great you are going to be.” Hearing the emotion in his voice, it was evident that the Law School dean is passionate about his role in these students’ lives. In the days to come, all involved with the Indiana Tech Law School will be following the observations of President Snyder, Judge Easterbrook, Attorney General Zoeller, Dean Broderick, and Dean Alexander. They will be working to make this a great law school.
Indiana Tech Law School | 5
Staff Profile: Aretha Green
FW Native Wants to Make a Difference By Kim Savieo
ana entitled “Talk to a Lawyer Today.” It’s an annual service that’s offered in Fort Wayne on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to honor his legacy and the ideals of the promotion of justice.
Administrative Assistant Academic Affairs/ Administration & Outreach
Q. Where were you born?
A. I am a Fort Wayne native, growing
Other hobbies, which I really enjoy, are dance, listening to all types of music, and playing the piano.
up on the northeast side of town, and I’m a graduate of R. Nelson Snider High School. Q. Where did you earn your degrees?
Q. If you could pursue employment in an area other than law, what would you do for a living?
A. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in
A. I have always had in the back of
my mind the idea of becoming a clinical psychologist or a chef.
Psychology from Michigan State University and my Juris Doctor from Ohio Northern University, Claude W. Petit College of Law.
Q. Why did you decide to go to law school?
A. I wanted to go to law school
because I had a sincere desire to help individuals. I had a personal experience in which a local attorney was not very empathetic, informative, or pleasant. He mainly stated one option and told me to sign on the dotted line. This experience motivated me to want to become a different kind of lawyer. Q. Did you ever practice law and, if so, what were your practice areas?
A. A lot of law students don’t partic-
ularly care for the constitutional law course – I loved it. It was one of my favorite courses in law school. At that time, I thought I wanted to go into domestic relations (divorce lawyer). Interestingly enough, I’ve always had an affinity for civil rights issues even as a child, and I had no idea that quest for knowledge would lead me to specializing in employment discrimination and civil rights practice—representing clients in race, age, disability, §1983 (i.e. excessive force) cases and sexual harassment claims. I also have prior experience practicing in additional areas of employment law (i.e. workers compensation) and some domestic relations,
Q. Describe your perfect meal?
A. That’s a hard question to answer
Aretha Green is director of law student services.
estate planning, insurance defense, and personal injury.
My most recent work experience prior to joining the wonderful team at Indiana Tech Law School was that of an administrative law judge with the State of Indiana. As a law student, I set a goal in the hopes of one day becoming a judge. I believe that judges have the ability to make a difference in the lives of those they touch… which is precisely what I wanted to do: make a difference. After reaching that goal, I still felt the desire to promote positive growth and change and help people in a way that being an administrative law judge would not allow. Hence my desire to devote myself to Indiana Tech Law School in order to truly make a difference in the lives of other future lawyers, judges, or whatever our students choose to do to utilize their J.D. and make a difference in other lives throughout their careers. Q. Why did you become a law professor?
A. Though I am not a professor here
at Indiana Tech Law School, I have had the previous wonderful opportunity to work as an adjunct instructor teaching bankruptcy law, business law, and paralegal studies. Q. What are your hobbies or interests?
A. Cooking, baking, and crafts. I like
cooking everything, and I’m a big fan of the cooking channel. I don’t really have a favorite thing to cook. I just like making people happy through food. My specialties are cheesecakes and traditional cakes. I used to decorate cakes as well, but I haven’t done that in quite some time. I am very involved in community service. I am the current president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Iota Chi Omega Chapter, and we are involved with many different community activities.
I also participate in the pro bono program sponsored by the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Northeast Indi-
because I like food. Further, I enjoy many different types of food. Even as a kid, I always wanted to try different things. Most kids were picky eaters but I really liked trying new food items. Some of my favorites are Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, southern food, seafood, rib eye steak…and the list goes on and on. Q. What book are you currently reading?
A. I just finished “The Color of
Family” by Patricia Jones and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” both of which are excellent reads.
Q. What is the best advice you ever received?
A. My grandfather used to always
say, “You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it!” Interestingly enough, he said that to me from a very young age, and I wholeheartedly believed it…which sometimes has led me to trying new experiences and quite some interesting adventures than most would think I might try. But for his advice, I am truly grateful. If I hadn’t had such wisdom bestowed upon me, I might not have attended law school or be in the position I hold today.
Law School Events Celebrate Constitution By Tom Fox
Assistant Dean for Administration & Outreach
The U.S. Constitution was adopted by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. In 2004, the Congress established Sept. 17 as Constitution Day to be observed every year thereafter in honor of this important event in our nation’s history. It further established that any school receiving federal funds must provide programming about the history of the U.S. Constitution on that day.
The Indiana Tech Law School marked Constitution Day 2013 with three events. First, the law school sponsored a lecture entitled “From Milligan to Gitmo.” The program was presented by the Hon. Roger Cosbey, U.S. Magistrate Judge; the Hon. Steven David, Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court; and Professor Roger Billings, noted Lincoln Scholar from the Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. Their presentation discussed issues related to the constitutional right to a 6 | The Brief
jury trial and the use of military tribunals, using historic examples from the Civil War through the current war on terror. The Pre-Law Society handed out pocket-sized copies of the U.S. Constitution to those who attended the lecture. Later in the day, the law school courtroom was the site of a continuing education (CLE) program attended by several members of the local legal
That evening, the Benjamin Harrison Inn of Court held its monthly meeting in the Barrister Commons. Nearly 80 attorneys attended dinner and a Constitution Day lecture presented by a distinguished panel consisting of a number of judges and attorneys, including Justice David.
Staff Profile: Anna Johnson
Registrar Takes on World With a Smile By Kim Savieo
houses. I like the character of old houses. Most new houses don’t have a lot of character. I loved going out looking when I was in Chicago and in Fort Wayne, too. Fort Wayne has some really old beautiful homes.
Administrative Assistant-Academic Affairs/Administration & Outreach
Q. Where were you born?
A. I was born in Chicago on the south side and
I also love to hang out with my kids, my daughters. I have three, but my youngest, Trinity, is the last kid at home now. She energizes me to get up and do something.
raised on the west side. When I grew up I lived in the far western suburbs, called Naperville/Aurora. Q. Where did you earn your degrees?
A. I went to Roosevelt University, downtown
I like bowling too. Once Trinity is older, I would like to join a league. I noticed that there are a lot of bowling alleys in town; I just found one in my area (Georgetown).
Chicago, and received a Bachelor of General Studies with a concentration in Communications. After that, I went to John Marshall Law School and received my Master of Science in Information Technology and Privacy Law.
I love to watch movies—love stories and comedies. I do not like scary movies at all.
Q. Why did you decide to get this type of degree?
I also love to go estate sale shopping.
A. John Marshall offered five master’s programs:
tax, intellectual property, commercial real estate, employment law, and information technology and privacy law. I wanted to take the employment law program but the advisor said I needed five years of experience in human resources, so i settled on information technology and privacy law. This degree tied in well with my undergrad degree in communications. Q. Why did you become a registrar?
A. Nobody grows up wanting to be a registrar. I
started as a temporary hire at John Marshall in the MIS department cleaning up their database. A lot of people liked me, and they knew I was looking for a full-time position. One of the deans had a position opening and wanted to hire me for the alumni office. At the same time, a person quit in the registrar’s office. The dean that I was working under in the MIS department gave my résumé to the registrar’s office, and they offered me the job. Initially, I was the academic services assistant in the registrar’s office. I worked that position until right after I got my bachelor’s degree in May 2005. The associate dean at that time announced her retirement in August of that year, but before she left she promoted me to the assistant registrar. After about five years, the current registrar was promoted to assistant dean; and I received my master’s degree during that time period and was promoted to registrar.
Q. Describe your “perfect meal”?
Anna Johnson is the law school registrar.
Q. What would you have done if you hadn’t become a registrar?
A. There were a lot of things I would have liked to
do—real estate, teaching, organizational leadership. I probably would have settled on a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership since it ties in with my communications degree. I thought about going to law school, but it would have required me to leave my position as registrar—and I didn’t want to do that. Q. What are your hobbies or interests?
A. I call myself a “lookie-lue.” I love going out looking at real estate and open houses. I don’t have plans to buy; I just like looking at the architecture, the different layouts and floor plans. I keep saying I should get a real estate license and do it part time since I love it so much. I would never consider it as a career. Q. What type of houses do you like?
A. My most favorite type of house to look at is old
Pre-Law Group Helps Undergrads Prepare Indiana Tech’s Pre-Law Society is working to help students get ready for law school in every way possible. The society offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) together, and the society also works with Indiana Tech Law School to pair undergraduate students with current law students and their attorney mentors. The group, which was created last year by current President Jedidiah Bressman, began the year with eight members and more expected to join as the semester progressed. The vice-president is Zachary Rider; treasurer is Jennifer Hitchcock; and secretary is Idontea Richardson. Advisors for the group include pre-law professor and former attorney Kim
Speilman and the Law School Dean Peter Alexander.
The Pre-Law Society started the year by handing out constitutions at Indiana Tech Law School’s Constitution Day.
In the future, the Pre-Law Society is looking to hold a “Know Your Rights” day that would feature Fort Wayne police officers talking to students about their rights on and off campus. Also the society is hoping to have attorney and judge speakers attend their meetings and speak to the group about the law profession. If you are interested in coming to speak to the Pre-Law Society, please contact Jedidiah Bressman at JIBressman01@indianatech.net.
A. Do you want my soul food, Mexican, or Italian
meal? My perfect soul food meal is one that my mom and I shared: bacon and Frosted Flakes cereal for breakfast. Lunch is fried bologna sandwich with mayonnaise. My favorite dinner, which also goes back to my mom, is fried catfish and spaghetti or pinto beans, cornbread and fried chicken. That’s a good combination! Skillet cornbread! I make the real cornbread in the iron skillet for Thanksgiving. I crumble it up and use it in the dressing. Q. What book are you currently reading?
A. No books but several magazines. I love People
and Essence. If I hear about a really good book or series I will read it, like the Kimberly Lawson series. Dean cummings gave me a book, “The New Jim Crow.” That one is a slow read; I will read some, put it down, and then pick it up later. Q. What is the best advice you ever received?
A. My father used to always tell me to smile and
the world will smile with you and my mother used to say that you get more with sugar than with salt. Also, you are never too old to learn. My cousin was constantly telling me to go back to school and get a degree in something and she was right. That piece of paper makes a difference in your life.
On the Docket DEC
Reading Days December 5 through 8
Final Exam Period December 9 through 20
Prospective Student Open House Learn more about our Law School and our admissions process. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 8 Barrister Commons Midwest People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference April 4 through 6 Courtroom and Barrister Commons
Indiana Tech Law School | 7
1600 E. Washington Blvd. Fort Wayne, IN 46803
Thank You to Our Law School Donors We are very grateful for the support of the following individuals and organizations.
George D. Drew
Elizabeth A. Lockhart
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Kiwanis Club of Fort Wayne Richard and Lea Ann Kuehl James L. Larson, Esq. Barbara T. Lesar
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