University News

WIU Centennial Honors College to Host Pre-Law Symposium

February 3, 2014

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MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University Centennial Honors College will host the 13th annual Pre-Law Symposium Monday, Feb. 17 in the Multicultural Center.

The event begins at 5 p.m. with a table fair and welcome by WIU President Jack Thomas and the Centennial Honors College. Recruiters will also be available from the law schools at DePaul University, Drake University, Hamline University, Indiana Tech, John Marshall, Marquette University, Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Wisconsin, Valparaiso and Loyola University.

Pre-law advisers from WIU's Honors College, School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration (LEJA) and the departments of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies and Political Science will also be available at the event.

"Western's event is becoming the premier pre-law symposium in the Midwest," said Rick Hardy, director of WIU's Honors College. "The symposium enables students to learn about the law school application process and explore myriad career opportunities that a law degree can afford - The event is open to anyone interested in exploring careers on law."

This year's keynote speaker is Heather Wier-Vaught, a 1998 WIU graduate with degrees in LEJA and sociology. Wier-Vaught received her law degree from Northern Illinois University and currently serves as counsel to Illinois Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan. She is also the parliamentarian for the Illinois House of Representatives and is the ethics officer for the House Democratic Caucus.

After graduation from WIU, Wier-Vaught worked for the American Bar Association as the president's communications manager. She then received her law degree and has received numerous awards for her commitment and leadership abilities.

The symposium will also include a panel discussion made up of WIU alumni:
• Genc Arifi – 2013 LEJA graduate, DePaul University College of Law
• LaQuenta Rudison – 2012 philosophy graduate, John Marshall Law School
• Arsenio L. Mims – 2011 political science graduate, business minor, University of Missouri School of Law
• Attorney Steven Dennis Rineberg – 1998 political science graduate, St. Louis University College of Law
•Attorney John Fisk – 1977 history graduate, Chicago-Kent College of Law

Event sponsors include WIU alumnus and attorney Matt Bills, the WIU School of LEJA, the McDonough County Bar Association and the WIU departments of history, philosophy and religious studies, political science and sociology and anthropology.

The event is open free to the WIU community. Students interested in the study of law and those in classes addressing legal and ethical issues are encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact the Centennial Honors College at (309) 298-2228.

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