University News

Pre-Law Symposium February 18

February 13, 2008

Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL - - Environmental law in Illinois is the topic of the keynote address for the Seventh Annual Pre-Law Symposium Monday, Feb. 18, hosted by Western Illinois University's Centennial Honors College, home to the pre-law minor.

The symposium, which is open free to the public, will be held in the University Union Lamoine Room.

A panel presentation about "Preparing for Law School" is scheduled from 6-6:45 p.m., featuring three Western Illinois alumni who are students in the Northern Illinois University College of Law, and Sandra Polanco, assistant director of admissions and financial aid for the NIU College of Law.

Alumni panelists are Adam Watson, a 1998 bachelor's degree graduate in communication, who is a third-year law student; second-year student Brett Jansen, a 1999 bachelor's degree graduate in law enforcement and justice administration, who first worked as a deputy sheriff in Adams County before entering NIU's College of Law in 2006; and first-year law student Aaron Galloway, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with a pre-law minor in Summer 2007.

Polanco joined the NIU College of Law in November 2007. Previously, she was a practicing attorney in the areas of commercial litigation, business formation, business law, estate planning, probate administration and personal injury. She does pro bono work for the Aurora Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a Hispanic networking group; she is an adjunct instructor at Kishwaukee College; and she is a member of the Illinois Bar, the DuPage County Bar Association and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois.

At 7 p.m. Keith Shank, who joined the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in 1996 as the manager of the endangered species consultation program, will present the keynote speech, "The Third Wave Paradigm: Understanding the Context of Environmental Law in Illinois."

A four-year Navy veteran of the Vietnam Era, Shank served 17 years (1987-1995 with the federal governments Office of Surface Mining, Department of the Interior, through the Springfield, IL, field office. Since 1996 he has been with the IDNR, advising state agencies and local governments of means to avoid, minimize or compensate for adverse impacts of state-listed species of threatened or endangered animals and plants. Participation is mandatory pursuant to the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Act [520 ILCS 10/11(b)] and the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act [525 ILCS 30/17].

Question-and-answer sessions will follow the panel discussion and the keynote address, followed by a reception.

The keynote speech complements the University's 2007-2008 campus theme: "Global Challenges and Personal Responsibilities: Environmental Sustainability."

Sponsors for the 2008 Pre-Law Symposium include the WIU Foundation; Flack, McRaven & Stephens Attorneys at Law, Macomb; McDonough County Bar Association; Western's College of Arts and Sciences; College of Business and Technology; and departments of English and journalism, history, political science and philosophy and religious studies.

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

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing