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Landmark Supreme Court Decisions Topic of WIU Pre-Law Symposium

February 9, 2007

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MACOMB, IL - - Learn about what it takes to prepare for law school and hear a lawyer's assessment of four landmark Supreme Court decisions at the Sixth Annual Pre-Law Symposium Monday, Feb. 19 hosted by Western Illinois University's Illinois Centennial Honors College.

The Pre-Law Symposium, which is open free to the public, will be held in the University Union Lamoine Room.

"The annual Pre-Law Symposium is a great opportunity to learn about law school while being introduced to important legal issue – and this year, all the presenters – law students and professionals alike – are WIU alumni, said William Knox, Illinois Centennial Honors College director.

The symposium begins with the "Preparing for Law School Panel" from 6-6:45 p.m. The all-alumni panel includes Ryan Wilson (B.S. Agriculture/Pre-Law, 2000), Michelle (Ashley) Sanders (B.A. English, 2002), Jason Pohren (B.S. Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, 2003) and Akami Marik (M.S. College Student Personnel, 2005).

Wilson, formerly of Sciota (IL), is a 2004 graduate of Southern Illinois University School of Law who is an associate in the law firm of Graham and Graham, Ltd. in Springfield. His areas of practice with the firm are medical malpractice defense, civil litigation, wills, estate planning, business law and employment law.

Both Sanders and Pohren are current SIU School of Law students. Sanders, a third-year law student originally from Decatur (IL), graduated from Western in December 2002 as the Illinois Centennial Honors College Scholar and the English Honors Scholar. She also was chosen as the Honors Convocation student speaker. Pohren, originally from Hamilton (IL), is a second-year law student. Marik is an SIU School of Law Field Representative, working with recruiting and admissions.

Western alumnus Todd Turner will present the keynote address "Opportunity Seized or Lost: What Happened to Mapp, Gideon, Escabedo and Miranda After Their Landmark Supreme Court Decisions?" at 7 p.m. A reception will follow Turner's presentation at
7:30 p.m.

Turner, a member of Western's Pre-Law Honors Program, graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1988 with a B.A. in history. After Western he served as a judicial intern at the United States Supreme Court in the office of the administrative assistant to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, where he worked for Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Turner earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Magna Cum Laude, 1992).

He is a partner in the firm of Sorling, Northrup, Hanna, Cullen & Cochran, Ltd. in Springfield, where he concentrates in banking, real estate, state sales and excise tax and general commercial law. Turner is a registered lobbyist and has been involved in the analysis and drafting of Illinois legislation regarding banking and real estate law.

Turner has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Illinois at Springfield, teaching real estate law; has published articles in the Illinois Banker and Illinois Realtor trade journals; and has co-authored supplements to "Advising Illinois Financial Institutions" and "Best Real Estate Practice," published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

The Pre-Law Symposium is sponsored by the WIU Foundation; Western's American Democracy Project; Flack, McRaven & Stephens Attorneys at Law (Macomb); McDonough County Bar Association; Western's Visiting Lecture Committee; College of Arts and Sciences; and the departments of law enforcement and justice administration, philosophy and religious studies, political science and African American studies.

For more information, contact the Illinois Centennial Honors College, 309/298-2228.

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