IIT Chicago-Kent's 2012 Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars will get a unique look at law school and the legal profession

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A diverse group of 25 undergraduate students, all interested in legal careers, is participating in a special four-week summer session at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. The law school is hosting the Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program, which is designed to provide current college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors exposure to the rigors of law school and contact with legal professionals. The PLUS program is also aimed at promoting diversity in the legal profession.

This is the eleventh consecutive summer IIT Chicago-Kent has offered the program, which runs from June 3 through 30.

There is no charge to the PLUS scholars, who receive tuition and a stipend comparable to a summer internship.

The 2012 PLUS scholars are currently enrolled in 22 schools throughout the country. They attend Agnes Scott College, Bard College, City University of New York, Cornell University, Creighton University, Eastern New Mexico University, Florida State University, Fordham University, Georgia State University, Grinnell College, Hunter College, Oakwood University, Oklahoma Christian University, Philander Smith College, Rust College, St. Louis University, Stonybrook University, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, University of Wisconsin–Madison, University of Miami, University of Chicago, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

The students participating in this year's PLUS program are high achievers who have demonstrated that they have both a passion for the legal profession and the skills and experience necessary to excel in law school and thrive in the legal profession," said Marsha Ross-Jackson, assistant dean for student professional development who serves as PLUS program director.

During their month at IIT Chicago-Kent, the PLUS scholars will take courses adapted from the law school's curriculum and taught by law school faculty. Student activities typically run weekdays from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Students will visit state and federal courts, participate in a mock trial, learn about the law school admissions process, discuss career options, and meet leaders in the legal profession.

"I want to make the students aware of the multiple career opportunities that exist for those with law degrees. I want them to look beyond the traditional roles performed by legal professionals by beginning to explore the numerous possibilities that exist to apply transferable skills mastered while pursuing a law degree to other non-traditional roles in business and other industries," said Dean Ross-Jackson.

The intensive program gives participants the information necessary to pursue a legal education, if they choose. In 2008, two students who participated in the 2004 PLUS program received their law degrees from IIT Chicago-Kent.

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting institution with programs in engineering, psychology, architecture, business, design and law. IIT Chicago-Kent offers full-time and part-time J.D. and LL.M. degree programs as well as joint-degree programs with other IIT units, including Stuart School of Business.