2013 Past Headlines

McKinney Law Expands Partnership with IPS Magnet School

05/03/2013

IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law continues to grow its partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools Shortridge Magnet School for Law and Public Policy. IU McKinney faculty just completed their second semester of teaching at the high school, where law students also serve as teaching assistants in the classroom with faculty and tutor Shortridge students after school. Law students receive tutoring guidance from Professor Debbie McGregor. In addition, law students also can serve as mentors to Shortridge seniors who are working on their capstone law project necessary for graduation. Law student mentors are overseen by Professor Fran Quigley, ‘87. Shortridge seniors also competed in their first mock trial competition during the Spring 2013 semester, with coaching from Professor Lea Shaver.

Shortridge High School studentsThis unique partnership between IU McKinney and the magnet school got under way in August 2012 with the aim of introducing IPS 6th through 12th graders to legal studies and career options in law. (In the photo at left, Shortridge students contemplate their first lessons from Adjunct Professor Priscilla Keith.) The goal of the Shortridge program is to prepare students for their roles as citizens, while providing them with the opportunity to explore legal and social justice careers. Law school faculty members are volunteering their time to teach the high school students and law student teaching assistants will receive academic credit for their work.

While teaching at Shortridge during the Fall 2012 semester, Professor Michael Pitts (in the photo below) brought to life the realities of what it was like to register to vote for African-Americans before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was put into place. After giving a brief lecture on disfranchisement, Professor Pitts divided the class into two groups based on gender and gave them all copies of the multi-page form citizens would have had to complete in order to register to vote.

Professor Michael Pitts teaching at Shortridge High SchoolThe girls in the class were treated much in the way whites would have been treated when registering, in that they were given help with their applications. The boys were treated in the way African-Americans would have been at the registration office: they were intimidated; their questions weren’t answered or were ignored; and if they managed to complete the application, they were told their voter registration cards would be mailed to them, which, according to Professor Pitts, seldom happened.

A dozen professors from the law school taught a variety of legal subjects at Shortridge during Spring 2013.

  • Professor Carlton Waterhouse: transnational justice and environmental justice
  • Professor Eric Dannenmaier: environmental justice
  • Professor Jennifer Drobac: sexual harassment law
  • Professor Cynthia Adams: contracts
  • Professor Florence Wagman Roisman: civil rights law
  • Professor Pitts: election law
  • Professor Joel Schumm: juvenile justice
  • Dean Gary Roberts: sports law
  • Professor John Hill: natural law and human rights
  • Professor Emily Morris: intellectual property law
  • Professor and Vice Dean Antony Page: contracts
  • Professor Lahny Silva: criminal procedure.

Law students who assisted in the classroom at Shortridge during the Spring 2013 semester were recent graduate Robert Bercovitz, ‘13; and incoming 3Ls Jennifer Johnson, Stephen Kitts, Salma Qaddourah, Sarah Rodenbarger, Jonathan Rygg, Brooke Smith, and Andia Walker.

“The law studies class has been a huge success,” said Professor Waterhouse, coordinator of the law school’s Shortridge efforts. “The students and the teachers at Shortridge have given our faculty instructors and our student teaching assistants the highest marks. We are all looking forward to running the class again in the fall!”


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