University News

Centennial Honors College Pre-Law Symposium Oct. 9 at WIU

October 4, 2018

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MACOMB, IL – The Centennial Honors College at Western Illinois University will host its 17th annual Pre-Law Symposium from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9 in the University Union's Brattain Lounge.

The event is open free to the WIU community, and students interested in the study of law are encouraged to attend.

"Our annual Pre-Law Symposium provides a unique opportunity for students who may be considering careers in law to meet law school deans, local practitioners and WIU alumni who are now enrolled in law school," said Centennial Honors College Dean Rick Hardy. "The law school table fair, keynote speech and alumni panel should be of particular interest to students majoring in English, history, political science, accounting, finance, communication, law enforcement and justice administration, sociology, philosophy and a host of other relevant majors. A law degree is one of the most versatile degrees, one that can serve as the foundation for hundreds of professional positions, including real estate, banking, investment, journalism, teaching, public administration, insurance, law enforcement and public service."

The event opens at 5 p.m. with an informational reception and table fair. Students can meet the Centennial Honors College faculty and staff and discuss law school options with deans, admissions officers and representatives from regional law schools, including Chicago- Kent College of Law; DePaul University College of Law; Drake University Law School; John Marshall Law School; Loyola University Chicago School of Law; Marquette University Law School; Mitchell-Hamline School of Law; Northern Illinois University School of Law; Saint Louis University School of Law; Southern Illinois University School of Law; University of Illinois College of Law; University of Iowa College of Law; University of Missouri School of Law; University of Wisconsin Law School; University of Saint Thomas School of Law; Valparaiso University Law School; University of St Thomas School of Law; Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law; Notre Dame Law School; University of Missouri and the Kansas City School of Law.

Opening remarks will begin at 5:45 p.m. and include comments from WIU President Jack Thomas and Centennial Honors College Dean Rick Hardy.

The 6 p.m. keynote speech, "How the Beginning of Your Law Career Shapes the Ending: Contentment is Created by Dedication to the Craft," will be delivered by WIU alumnus and Macomb native John Knowles, a 1977 graduate with a bachelor's degree in sociology. He received his juris doctorate from Lewis and Clark Law School and is currently an attorney for Brisbee & Stockton, LLC in Oregon.

Knowles has spent the last 34 years as a litigator and, in the last 10 years, has served as a pro tem judge for the state of Oregon. He is also a professional mediator and arbitrator.

Following Knowles' speech, an all-Western panel discussion will be held, moderated by WIU General Counsel and alumna Liz Duvall.

The event will also include a table fair with information available about WIU's Phi Alpha Delta National Pre-Law Honorary, WIU's Mock Trial Team and a chance to network with WIU graduates who have earned law degrees and current pre-law students.

WIU Department of History Chair Jennifer McNabb said the department is honored to serve as a co-sponsor that provides a valuable asset to WIU students.

"The event has tremendous benefit for students interested in exploring a career in the law, and history alumni have cited the opportunity to visit with law school representatives and to learn about life as a law school student as essential to their professional development," said McNabb.

The Centennial Honors College Pre-Law Symposium is sponsored by Matt Bills, WIU alumnus at attorney at law; the McDonough County Bar Association; the WIU Foundation Office; the WIU College of Arts and Sciences; the WIU College of Business and Technology; the WIU College of Education and Human Services; the WIU School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration; the WIU departments of history, psychology and political science and the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law fraternity.

For more information about the Pre-Law Symposium, call the Centennial Honors College at (309) 298-2228.

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