Newman University is laying down the law. Through the pre-law program, four students joined advisor Larry Heck, professor of sociology and assistant undergraduate dean of the division of social sciences, for MINK Law Day.
Held this year on Sept. 5 in Overland Park, Kansas, MINK Law Day is presented by law schools from Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas to give students the opportunity to connect with law schools in the Midwest.
Heck said MINK Law Day gives students a chance to make connections they may not have made otherwise.
“It gives them a good opportunity to see firsthand that there are a lot of opportunities out there for law schools,” he said. “They can actually have a conversation with someone who represents a law school that they might be interested in. And if they really like the school, they then already have a contact person they can go further with.”
At the event, a conference-type room was lined with representatives from 104 law schools from the four states. Students had the opportunity to meet with these representatives to learn more about each program and about the law school application process.
Junior attendee Gabrielle Altenor said the chance to meet with these representatives helped break down some of her misconceptions about law school.
“I think MINK was important for the pre-law students … because it was an opportunity to learn as much as possible about the law school admission process,” she said. “It was also important because we were able to see how these processes vary from institution to institution.”
Simultaneously, there were also two informational sessions held throughout the day, during which a panel of representatives from various law schools discussed topics such as personal statements, the importance of LSAT, GPA, and resumes before opening the floor for student questions.
Junior attendee Michael VanDeest said this session was the most memorable moment of the day for him.
“It was interesting to hear (the representatives) answer questions and talk about the admissions process as openly as they did,” said VanDeest. “It was very professional, but they didn’t fluff their answers or avoid questions.”
Heck said MINK was a chance for students to learn more about how to push forward in law.
“If you really want to go to law school,” he said, “it is a good way to invest some time and pick up as much information as you want.”
VanDeest said MINK was important for him because it cleared up information he was uncertain of.
“You can read a lot online about the admissions process, but many sources can contradict one another,” he said. “This trip helped me make sense of it all and hear the information directly from the schools themselves.”
Altenor said this opportunity will enable her to strengthen the skills she needs to be a lawyer in the future.
“It was a great experience, and the information I received has definitely given me more clarity and peace of mind on how to prepare for the next chapter of my life,” she said.