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MAPLA Briefs
THE NEWSLETTER OF THE MIDWEST ASSOCIATION OF PRE-LAW ADVISORS
www.mapla.org
Spring 2014
From the Desk of the President
RJ Holmes-Leopold, Cornell College
This fall, MAPLA will
hold its annual conference at the historic Millennium Knickerbocker
Hotel in Chicago’s
Magnificent Mile. The
theme, Advising the
Advisor: Best Practices in Pre-Law Advising, calls upon all of us in the pre-law
advising profession to refocus our efforts
on the day-to-day work we do with students. Amidst the shifting landscape in
the design and delivery of legal education,
the turbulent employment market since
the economic downturn, and increasing
expectations of students and their families
to show a return on their college investment, its important for us as pre-law advisors to spend what is too often scarce professional development dollars on an experience than enhances and improves on the
quality of our craft. The MAPLA 2014
Conference will offer pre-law advisors
and our law school admission partners
many opportunities to really consider
what we do, how we do it, and ways we
can offer pre-law advising programs and
services that support students as they consider their options for legal education. I
hope you are able to join us September 11
-13 in Chicago.
After the MAPLA Conference concludes
on Saturday morning, we hope you will
take some time to attend the LSAC Law
School Forum at the Palmer House Hilton. We are thrilled to have the Chicago
Forum return to the fall calendar of events
after a few years of the program scheduled in the summer months. MAPLA
strongly believes that a fall LSAC Forum
in Chicago is in the best interest of our
students considering law school as a fall
date makes the program more accessible
for students. Hopefully you will have
students join you in Chicago after the
conference to take advantage of this great
opportunity to connect with many law
schools.
If your students can’t make it to Chicago
to meet with law school representatives,
we hope you take advantage of the
MAPLA Law School Caravan. In the
week immediately following the MAPLA
Conference, the MAPLA Law School
Caravan will be making its way across the
Midwest. We are excited to welcome Purdue University as a new host school for
the 2014 Caravan and to have longtime
host schools Indiana University Bloomington, University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, and the University of Wis-
consin—Madison continue on the schedule. More than 100 law schools participate in each of the four Caravan stops,
and we hope pre-law advisors continue to
take advantage of the MAPLA Caravan
subsidy program to bring students to one
of the host schools.
These are a few of things you can look
forward to when the new academic year
commences, but I know many of us still
have several weeks left in this school year
before hopefully take a bit of a breather
this summer. As the number of LSAT
takers and law school applicants continues its downward trend this year, our
work remains critically important to helping students make the best choices for
their respective futures. Law schools continue to be eager in bringing in diverse
and talented incoming classes, and students must consider what qualities of the
experience, and at what cost, will be the
most effective preparation as they launch
careers in the law and in related professions where a law degree is helpful for
their success. I know as MAPLA members you offer an invaluable service to
students and to alumni seeking your counsel, and those individuals undoubtedly are
better prepared to make an informed and
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
2 Law Student Reflection……...….
MAPLA/MALSA Teleconferences... 3 Conditional Scholarships……….
MAPLA Caravan Report………. 4 Snippets / Member Benefits…….
NALP Jobs Report Summary…. 4
Board Elections News..………...
5
6
7
Page 2
MAPLA Briefs: Spring 2014
From the President’s Desk
Join the MAPLA Board!
Continued from page 1
Elections will be held for several vacant Board positions at the
upcoming 2014 MAPLA meeting in Chicago.
thoughtful decision as a result.
Available positions on the MAPLA Board are as follows:
I’d like to conclude this piece by offering a few words of gratitude. My term as MAPLA President concludes on Saturday
morning of the MAPLA Conference in Chicago. It has been an
honor to work alongside so many talented, devoted, thoughtful,
and funny MAPLA Board members during my tenure. Our
Board volunteers countless hours to keep MAPLA’s programs,
services, and resources going throughout the calendar year and
their work is a testament to how much each of them believe in
the importance of quality pre-law advising. Thank you, MAPLA
Board, for the service you provide to our members and to the
broader pre-law advising profession.


President-Elect
Secretary

Three At-Large Members
The two-year term as President-Elect includes planning the
MAPLA Conference in 2015 and attendance at PLANC Board
meetings, then a two-year term as President, which commences
in 2016 and concludes in 2018.
All MAPLA Board members are expected to attend the annual
MAPLA Conference as well as meetings of the Board in between conferences, usually two or three times a year. Meetings
between MAPLA Conferences are usually held sometime in the
winter and in late spring/early summer. All Board positions are
volunteers and Board members often take on a tangible project
during her or his term in office. Most terms are two years in
length and may be renewed upon re-election at the annual conference.
Any questions about elections and positions may be directed to
RJ Holmes-Leopold, President, at [email protected], or Jamie Thomas-Ward, PresidentElect at [email protected]
SAVE THE DATE for the 2014 MAPLA Conference
Advising the Advisor: Best Practices in Pre-Law Advising
Thursday through Saturday, September 11 - 13th, 2014
Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, Chicago, IL
For more information, contact Conference Chair Jamie Thomas-Ward at [email protected]
MAPLA Briefs: Spring 2014
MAPLA/MALSA Teleconferences
Kevin Freeman, The Ohio State University
MAPLA and MALSA
kicked off their 2014
slate of co-hosted
webinars and teleconferences with not one
but two events in February. The first, a
high-energy online
chat for any and all
pre-law students in the Midwest, was
held February 5. It featured several law
school admission officers (Julie Olson/
Creighton, Maya Crim/Loyola, Eamon
Ladewski/Michigan St., Michelle Heck/
Missouri, Alice Dickherber/St. Louis,
Yolanda Ingram/Washburn) and pre-law
advisers (Jamie Thomas-Ward/Illinois,
Maria Vitullo/Miami, and Kevin Freeman/Ohio St.) as they answered students'
questions well beyond the scheduled 60
minutes. While people were entering/
leaving the chat room throughout the
event, an estimated 70 or more students
were online throughout the
chat. Questions flew in quickly, and
from time to time needed to be repeated,
but admissions officers and advisers
were incredibly thorough and by the end
answered all questions. There were
a lot of thank-you comments from the
students for both individual respondents
and for the event overall. Organizers
noticed many questions came from prospective applicants who had already
graduated from college, people who may
not have access to pre-law advisers. Plans are underway to host another
online chat over the summer that will be
targeted to non-traditional applicants.
The other highly successful event was an
hour-long teleconference on February 27
aimed at pre-law advisors. Organized by
Kelly Anthony/Valparaiso Law School
and moderated by Kevin Freeman/Ohio
St., the discussion featured several law
school career center directors and deans,
including Donna Davis/Case Western,
Sean Southern/Indiana, Kristen Hintz/
Michigan St., Tasha Everman/Nebraska,
and Vicki Ryan/Valparaiso. Questions
were submitted in advance of and during
the conversation, and for nearly an hour
the panelists focused on the many ways
law schools are adapting to meet the
needs of the changing legal market and
how pre-law advisors can better prepare
students accordingly.
MAPLA and MALSA will be continuing
their partnership in 2014 with several
events this summer and autumn. Be sure
to watch for details about the abovementioned online chat for non-traditional
law school applicants (Summer); the annual "New Advisors Webinar" (August);
and a teleconference for pre-law students,
"Inside the Law School Admission Process" (Autumn). The events for Pre-Law
students are open to any pre-law student
in the Midwest and around the country,
while events aimed at Pre-Law advisors
are presented as a resource to MAPLA
members.
Finally, join us this Wednesday, April
16th at 12pm Eastern/11am Central, as
MAPLA and Michigan State University
College of Law host a national webinar
featuring NALP Executive Director Jim
Leipold as he presents "Legal Careers
Update: Report from the Executive Director of the National Association of Law
Placement." This free event is open to
any pre-law advisor in the U.S. Go
to http://law.msu.edu/admissions/
webinars/legal-careers-updateNALP.html to register – we hope you'll
join us!
Page 3
MAPLA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
RJ Holmes-Leopold
President
(term ends 2014)
Cornell College
Jamie Thomas-Ward
President-Elect
(term ends 2016)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Steve Shafer
Secretary
(term ends 2014)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Don Racheter
Treasurer
(term ends 2015)
Iowa Wesleyan University
Michelle Heck
MALSA Representative
University of Missouri-Columbia
School of Law
Mac Francis
At-Large/Caravan
(term ends 2014)
University of Indiana at Bloomington
Karen Swensen
At-Large/Briefs
(term ends 2015)
Eastern Illinois University
Kevin Freeman
At-Large/Teleconferences, Webinars
(term ends 2015)
The Ohio State University
Steve Nelson
At-Large/Membership
(term ends 2014)
Northern Michigan University
Laura Hume
At-Large/Briefs
(term ends 2014)
University of Dayton
Got a Story to Tell?
MAPLA Briefs is always looking for story ideas to include in each edition. The Briefs come out four times each year and
we look for a diverse group of topics to educate pre-law advisors about all aspects of advising, law school, and the legal
profession.
Please contact Laura Hume at [email protected] with your suggestions!
Page 4
MAPLA Briefs: Spring 2014
MAPLA Caravan Report
Mac Francis, Indiana University — Bloomington
Preparations for the 2014 MAPLA Fall Caravan are well
underway! With the LSAC Chicago Forum returning to a
fall date this year on Saturday, September 13, the annual
MAPLA Conference will also be held in Chicago that
weekend, from Thursday, September 11 through Saturday, September 13. To take advantage of having so many
law schools representatives already in the Midwest at the
Forum, the Caravan will take place the following week.
Indiana University will start the week off on Monday,
September 15, followed by Purdue University on Tuesday, the University of Illinois on Wednesday, and with the University of
Wisconsin concluding this year’s event on Thursday. As usual, we did our
very best to reserve facilities at the various sites to minimize driving distances for the representatives. And as usual not every site had their facilities
available on the preferred date—but we came very close!
Arkansas State University students attended the 2013
MAPLA Caravan site at St. Louis University for the second
year through the MAPLA Travel Scholarship reimbursement program.
This is the first time in many years that Purdue University will be a stop on
the MAPLA Caravan. We are hoping this new opportunity will get the attention of many law schools! Thanks to all the site leaders and their dedicated staffs for the hours of hard and often frustrating work they put in to make the Caravan possible: Indiana’s premier office manager
Janine Bullerdick, Jamie Storie Pedley at Purdue, Jamie Thomas-Ward at Illinois, and Jamie Ibrahim at Wisconsin.
Remember, MAPLA WILL PAY YOU to attend a Caravan event if you live outside of the cities in which the events will take place!
Just find at least three (3) students to accompany you, and MAPLA will reimburse all expenses up to $50 per person, including you,
and there is no upper limit. See http://www.mapla.org/Caravan_Subsidy_2013.html for details. We hope to see you at a MAPLA
Caravan site near you!
Note: Online and paper registration for the Caravan will be available later this spring. Stay tuned to the PLANC National Pre-Law
Listserv and MAPLA.org for details. Please remember that the number of law schools that can be accommodated at certain sites is
limited. Again this year registration will be on a first come, first served basis. For questions or more information about the Caravan,
contact Mac Francis of Indiana University at [email protected] or 812.855.1873.
NALP Report on Law Jobs
On 19 February, 2014, the National Association of Legal professionals
put out its Perspectives on Fall 2013 Law Student Legal Recruiting
(http://www.nalp.org/march14_perspectives_pressrel). The report characterized the hiring picture as “Rather than exhibiting the slow and
steady recovery that might be hoped for, however, the pattern in law
firm entry-level hiring has been something like two steps forward and
one step back”.
Purdue students attend the 2013 MAPLA Caravan stop at
Indiana University — Bloomington, also through the MAPLA
Travel Scholarship reimbursement program . This year the
2014 MAPLA Caravan stops at Purdue!
NALP Executive Director James Leipold lays most of the blame on
recovery from the Great Recession and law firm business models adjusting to technology and globalization. The precipitously falling enrollments in law schools, however, together with the “mostly flat” recruiting volumes led Leipold to opine that he thinks that “...the class of
2011 will historically come to be seen as the bottom of the market.”
For more, see: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2014/04/11/law-firm-entrylevel-hiring-unlikely-to-return-to-2006-levels/?KEYWORDS=law
MAPLA Briefs: Spring 2014
Page 5
The Surprising Realities of the First Year
Susan Gogniat, 1L, University of Pittsburgh Law School
No free time, competitive students, and the
infamous grading curve were all things that
loomed in my mind as I approached my first
day of law school at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. I had been waiting my
whole academic career for this moment, even
before I knew what a lawyer did, what the
education entailed, or what the endless possibilities were that my degree would afford me.
Ever since my seventh grade teacher told me
that my arguments would make me a great
attorney, I was set on the path of becoming a lawyer.
Having this goal for so long makes one prepare for that first
year of law school, but I quickly realized that law school is not
something you can actually prepare for. The first thing that
struck me was that everyone was “smart.” My professors were
extremely qualified and reputable. I found myself en“my expectations of law gaged during their full lecschool were completely tures. And the students were
motivated like me; they genshattered
uinely cared about academics
and succeeding in class. It
was intimidating, but overall, it was refreshing. Having the
opportunity to be surrounded by these people gave me confidence in my future degree and profession. The best surprise of
all, however, was that Pitt Law breeds genuinely nice people.
Going from an undergraduate class of around 2,000 to a class
around 150 allows for an intimate environment where you can
get to know most of the people. Law school was a shared experience that we bonded over.
...”
The cold-calling tactic was the first adjustment that I had to
make for classes. I was always a student who learned by listening. Unless I was graded on participation, I usually liked to
focus on processing the material presented in the lecture.
Though it was somewhat terrifying at first, I realized how valuable class participation in law school was for increasing the
ability to think on your feet. I found myself anticipating questions and thinking about how to respond to them during class.
This was a way of engaging with the text that I had never done
before; I was transformed from a passive listener to an active
participator. I saw this as a start to learning how to think like a
lawyer.
Additionally, my expectations of law school were completely
shattered when I looked at my planner and all I saw were classes. For the first time in 10 years, I did not have a part-time
job. I was not a member of any clubs or activities. I had no
leadership roles, no volunteer commitments, and no organized
sports. I had always balanced school work with a million other
activities, and I considered myself extremely busy. I never
thought it would be more difficult to manage my time when I
had less to do. At first, I did not like my new open schedule.
Let’s face it; I would rather do almost any other activity than
spend hours at the library. But once I established a study routine, I was able to make more time for myself.
My first step was to take advantage of running at the nearby
parks. I joined the Pitt Club Cross Country Team, knowing
that I would have people to run with whenever I wanted. At
first, I expected to attend practices once or twice a week; I ended up attending almost everyday. My passion for running is a
lot like my passion for law because it has been a part of my life
for so long. It offered me a great way to step away from the
worries of law school, to socialize with undergraduate and
graduate students at the University, and to stay in good health.
Allowing myself to continue taking the time to go running
throughout law school has kept me sane on those days where
law school can bring a student down.
As the second semester has come to an end, my involvement at
Pitt Law has grown significantly. I am a 1L representative for
the largest student organization on campus, Phi Alpha Delta. I
volunteer as a Pitt Law Ambassador for the admissions office
by making phone calls and giving tours of the school. I joined
the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and was able to
network with other attorneys in the community. I auditioned
and was chosen for the Mock Trial Team. I also hope to write
for a journal. These activities, in addition to my previous experience as an intern at the
“I never thought it
District Attorney’s and as a
clerk at a criminal defense
would be more difficult
firm, helped me land a Sum- to manage my time when
mer Associate position in
I had less to do
downtown Pittsburgh. Additionally, this summer I will
have the opportunity to work with my Legal Writing professor
as a Research Assistant. Both these positions will strengthen
my ability to “think like a lawyer” and will take my research
and writing skills to the next level.
.”
So when people ask whether I like law school, I reply “no.” I
do not like law school, I love law school. I wake up each
morning and go to class appreciative for the opportunity to
further my education through the study of the law. I look forward to working the next two years toward earning my degree
from Pitt Law and eventually joining the legal community as
an attorney.
Page 6
MAPLA Briefs: Spring 2014
Information on Conditional Scholarships
Jerry Organ, University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis
As a result of the ABA’s revisions to Standard 509, there is much more publicly available information about law
school scholarship programs, specifically conditional scholarship programs and scholarship retention. The availability of this data now gives each admitted scholarship recipient some meaningful basis for assessing the likelihood that any given scholarship will be renewed.
Types of Scholarship Programs
In general, law schools offer one or more of four types of scholarship aid programs to incoming first-year students:
(a) need-based only (4 law schools);
(b) unconditional or “good standing” scholarships (54 law schools);
(c) conditional scholarships (131 law schools); and
(d) one-year scholarship (5 law schools)(with opportunities to request and receive scholarships as upper-level students).
(This data is based on the scholarship programs in place for the 2013-14 academic year at the 194 fully-accredited ABA law schools,
excluding the schools in Puerto Rico.) Note that some law schools with conditional scholarship programs also offer some scholarships on a non-conditional basis and/or offer some need-based assistance.
Retention of Scholarships
A student going to a law school in category (a) or (b) above need not worry about losing her scholarship unless she has serious difficulties in law school in general and performs so poorly that she fails to maintain good academic standing. This might make these
schools particularly attractive.
A student going to a law school in category (d) above knows not to expect a scholarship beyond her first year.
But nearly 70% of law schools for the 2013-14 academic year are in category (c), and nearly 80% of law schools ranked 51 and lower are in category (c). These law schools will be offering conditional scholarships with retention rates that average around 67% and
vary from below 30% up to 100%.
What to Consider Regarding Law Schools with Conditional Scholarship Programs
Among the 131 law schools with conditional scholarships, it is very important to understand the law school’s overall scholarship
retention rate. A student might find law school a little less stressful at a school with a 95% retention rate than a 55% retention rate.
Just as important, however, is one’s relative place within the entering class profile. If a law school has an entering class of 100, offered conditional scholarships to 50, and had an overall retention rate of 70%, that means 15 of the 50 students lost their scholarships. In all likelihood, however, more than 70% of students from the top of the entering class profile probably retained their scholarships and less than 70% of students from near the middle of the entering class profile probably retained their scholarships.
For those interested in looking at a little more data, I have posted a description of some national statistics on conditional scholarships
and scholarship retention for the 2011-12 academic year at Legal Whiteboard -- http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/
legalwhiteboard/2013/07/conditional-scholarships-and-scholarship-retention-for-2011-12.html, and have also posted a draft article
on SSRN with a little more detail -http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2288915. A complete listing of law schools
with types of scholarship programs can be found at http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/reform/projects/ConditionalScholarships/.
Got a Story to Tell? Want to Know More About Something?
MAPLA Briefs is always looking for story ideas to include in each edition.
We look for a diverse group of topics to educate pre-law advisors about all aspects of
prelaw advising, legal education, and the legal profession.
Please contact Laura Hume at [email protected] or
Karen Swenson at [email protected] with your suggestions!
MAPLA Briefs: Spring 2014
Page 7
Snippets
A sample of what you can learn
at MAPLA Conferences
A brief summary from one of our
2013 MAPLA Conference sessions:
More legal disputes are being resolved by mediation than by
going to court and litigating, and have been for some time. Giving your students a head-start on learning this skill set would not
only help them in law school and later in practice, but could be a
way for them to earn extra income starting as soon as they are
certified. An easy and fun way to learn about mediation is to
participate in Mock Mediation competitions sponsored by the
International Academy of Dispute Resolution. Two of the
founders of these competitions, Richard Calkins and Kenneth
Frank, gave a very informative presentation on the topic to attendees at last year’s MAPLA Conference in St. Louis. You can
find out more about IADR by visiting their website
at: www.adrpeacemaking.org or you can reach them with any
questions at [email protected] or [email protected]
© 2014 by Law School Admission Council, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission of LSAC.
Help Spread the Word About the Benefits of Membership!
Membership in the Midwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors (MAPLA) is
open to pre-law advisors from 2- and 4- year institutions, but not everyone is
aware of the organization or of the benefits that membership provides.
MAPLA is open to pre-law advisors in the Midwest region, which includes
Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, North
Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin but pre-law advisors from any region
are also welcome to join MAPLA.
For your $40.00 annual membership fee, not only do you get access to the
resources in the Members Only section of the website, but there are also a
number of sizeable travel scholarships available for members to offset the
costs of traveling to the annual MAPLA conference meetings. Moreover,
select (not all) MAPLA/MALSA webinars and teleconferences are only
available to MAPLA members, and MAPLA's Law School Video Profiles
gives pre-law advisors a chance to learn about law schools from the convenience of their computer. Each 2-3 minute video includes
information about what makes the law school distinctive delivered by admission representatives.
If you know of pre-law adviser colleagues who are not MAPLA members, ask them why not? They are missing out on tremendous
benefits for only $40.00 a year!

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