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New WIU Scholarship Helps Fund Law School Application Processes

October 18, 2021

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MACOMB, IL – The Lori A. Fink Bridge to Law School Award was created this summer by 1982 Western Illinois University alumna Lori A. Fink.

The award gives WIU students studying in any academic area up to $400 to cover their LSAT exam, Law School Admission Council and/or law school application fees.

Fink graduated from Washburn Law School in December 1984 after receiving her bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in communication from WIU. She began her career as a Pro Se Law Clerk in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, as well as the U.S. Magistrate's office, before moving into private practice.

A job with the Kansas Corporation Commission brought her into regulatory law, and she eventually began working for Southwestern Bell (now AT&T) in Kansas. Throughout her career at AT&T, Fink has provided legal support in a variety of areas, including regulatory, business sales, global customer service, corporate communications, strategy, compliance, data protection, privacy, security and advertising.

She was AT&T's first big data attorney, and later became Chief Privacy Officer. She then moved to New York City to work as Xandr's (AT&T's advertising and analytics company) Chief Legal Officer. Fink is now SVP-Assistant General Counsel, leading AT&T's Legal Department's Center of Expertise for Privacy, Security and Compliance, and continues to serve as head attorney for Xandr Marketplace.

"I learned the importance of giving from the most generous people I know – my parents, Rodney and Bertha Fink," said Fink. "They have spent their entire lives sharing their resources, and their time, with their family, and those who needed a hand up. WIU gave me the foundation for moving onto Washburn University to complete my legal education, and now I hope to help other students who are following in my career path."

To apply for the award, students must be a junior or senior with a minimum 3.0 grade point average, or a graduate student in good academic standing. Applicants must have submitted an application to at least one law school.

"I can't thank Lori Fink enough for her generosity in the true spirit of her parents' commitment to 'Passing It Forward,'" said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Susan A. Martinelli-Fernandez.

Brad Bainter, executive officer of the WIU Foundation, said he is grateful to Lori for her generosity and the continuation of the legacy of giving back to Western that was established by her parents Rodney and Bertha.

"There are many hurdles our students face when preparing for graduate school after Western, and Lori's support will assist our students in preparing for law school," he said.

WIU's Student Legal Advocate will lead a committee to choose students for the funding award.

"There are many obstacles on the pathway to a legal career, but Lori Fink's generosity in funding the Bridge to Law School scholarship will help talented WIU students navigate this difficult terrain and achieve their academic and professional goals," said Victoria R. Smith, J.D., the University's Student Legal Advocate. "Our students are fortunate to have the encouragement and support of such exceptional alums."

For more information about scholarships at WIU, visit

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