IU McKinney Receives Grant to Start Summer Leadership Academy


IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law will start a new Summer Leadership Academy for undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds next summer. The effort recently received one of nine grants from the Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Council (WPC). The proposal from the law school was one of 37 grant requests from eight IU campuses. WPC awarded $10,000 to the effort, as did the IUPUI Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The new Summer Leadership Academy, led on behalf of the law school’s diversity committee by Professor Shawn Boyne and Assistant Dean Chasity Thompson, will introduce students to hot topics in the field of law, boost their academic skills, and introduce them to the LSAT. In addition, each attendee will be assigned a mentor who will be available to guide them through the following academic year and to help them set career goals. The program will be taught by IU McKinney faculty and alumni and hopefully will receive support from the local legal community. The overall goal is to improve diversity throughout the legal profession. The program kicks off in August 2015. Applications for spaces in the program will be available in late fall.

"As Indiana’s largest law school, we have a unique mission to train lawyers who will represent Hoosiers as future leaders of this state,” said Professor Boyne. “As the state's Hispanic and African-American populations continue to grow, we hope to increase the diversity of our student body. Unfortunately, students of color and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds still must overcome tremendous hurdles to become lawyers. It is our hope that this program will give these students the tools to overcome these hurdles.”

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