IIT Chicago-Kent hosts 12th annual Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars Program

Monday, June 3, 2013

A diverse group of 17 undergraduate students from 12 states will participate in a special four-week summer session at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. The Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program is designed to provide current college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who are interested in legal careers with 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 twelfth consecutive summer IIT Chicago-Kent has offered the program, which will run from June 2 through 29.

The 2013 PLUS scholars are currently enrolled in 14 schools throughout the country. They attend Arizona State University; Alcorn State University; Florida State University; Livingston College; Oklahoma Christian University; Pennsylvania State University; Tuskegee University; University of California; Los Angeles; University of Findlay; University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee; Western Illinois University; and Xavier University of Louisiana.

"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 competition, learn about the law school admissions process, discuss career options, and meet leaders in the legal profession.

"I want to make students aware of the multiple career opportunities that exist for those with law degrees, either in traditional legal roles or non-traditional roles in business and other industries. I want to encourage our scholars to begin developing and maintaining relationships with professionals who are willing and able to help them navigate their careers. To that end, our PLUS program will provide participants with knowledge, skills, and opportunities to begin building professional networks and planning their career strategy," 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. Additionally, three students who participated in prior PLUS programs just completed their first year at IIT Chicago-Kent. "We are proud of the return on our investment and the realization of our goals," said Dean Ross-Jackson.

Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is celebrating "125 years of distinctive legal education." IIT Chicago-Kent 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.