I’m so thankful for the opportunity."
For Brooke Dunn, a 3L evening student at IU McKinney, every minute counts.
After working earning her MBA in 2005 at Indiana Wesleyan, Dunn went to work in banking during a tumultuous time of mergers and acquisitions in that sector. After several years in the financial industry, she decided she was ready for a new challenge outside of her present career.
A native of Danville, Kentucky who earned her bachelor of arts at Transylvania University in Lexington, Dunn had been living and working in Indianapolis for about 10 years when she decided to apply to law school.
“This is where I wanted to go,” Dunn says of IU McKinney. “Indianapolis is where I had more contacts. And all the things the law school talks about, the opportunities to meet with alumni and get practical experience, all of that is true.”
During the business day, Dunn works for the Gene B. Glick Company as a revenue manager, setting rental rates for the company’s conventional portfolio. At night, she’s an IU McKinney student. Free time is not something she has a lot of, so finding herself at Inlow Hall early for evening classes one night, she decided to stop into the Office of Professional Development and sign up for the Mock Interview program.
She was assigned to interview with Scott Chinn, ’94, a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels’ downtown Indianapolis office.
Chinn is a longtime participant in IU McKinney’s Mock Interview program, typically working with three students each year. The program’s goal is to get the law student some needed face time with a practicing attorney who has hiring experience so students can work on building their network of professional contacts, and learn the kind of “thinking on your feet” skills that are critical in a job interview situation. The student and attorney conduct a mock job interview, and the attorney offers pointers on what the student could do to improve.
To say that Dunn did well in her mock interview with Chinn may perhaps be an understatement.
“I was blown away,” Chinn says of his interview with Dunn. “She was so good, she didn’t need my help. It felt like a real interview.”
Keeping to himself just how well Dunn’s mock interview went, Chinn said he went back to his firm and began to come up with a plan to bring her on board in some kind of capacity. Given her banking background, and her interest in corporate law, Chinn felt like Dunn would be a natural fit on the firm’s public finance group. The firm’s hiring partner agreed. Dunn has been working at Faegre Baker Daniels about 10 hours a week since the Spring 2014 semester ended.
Getting acclimated to working life at a law firm presented a new challenge for Dunn, and for help she turned to a couple of IU McKinney faculty members: Professor Florence Wagman Roisman and Professor Frank Sullivan, Jr.
“Professor Roisman has been extremely helpful to me as I thought about how to maximize the opportunity to experience life in a law firm,” Dunn said. Professor Sullivan also offered his insights on transitioning into the clerkship. “It’s obvious to me that Professor Sullivan not only enjoys teaching, but he also genuinely cares about his students’ ability to understand the law.”
Chinn is mindful of the workload Dunn is carrying.
“It’s got to be challenging to keep all the plates in the air,” Chinn said of Dunn’s workload with school, her work at Glick, and the firm. “Our great hope is that it makes sense for her as a learning experience, too.”
“I’m so thankful for the opportunity,” Dunn said. “I don’t take it for granted. And it’s proof that you should take the process seriously.”
“Yes,” Chinn said, “the mock interview worked to his fullest extent in this case,” with the offer of a position at the firm for a student.
It’s also the first time Faegre Baker Daniels has done anything quite like this, Dunn said. “I want to do a good job so they’ll do this again.”