Election Results

Congratulations to all the newly elected officials! The officers for the 2012-2013 school year are as follows:

President…………………………….Joseph Stuhlmann
Vice President……………………..John Whiteman
Treasurer…………………………….Shelby Raper
Secretary…………………………….Lauren Ramspott
Committee Service Chair………M.C. McElnore
Social Chair…………………………M.C. McElnore

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Pre-Law Club Elections

Elections for the 2012-2013 Pre-Law Club officials will be held at 5pm Monday 4/23 in Violette Hall 1404. This will be our last meeting of the year.

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Truman compared to National

The data on students entering law school last fall is now available. One of the numbers I track is the percent of applicants graduating in the previous year who are accepted by at least one law school. We aren’t likely to ever exceed last year’s 97%, but this year’s 90% still beat the 80% national average.

Nation-wide, the number of first-time applicants was down about 8.5% from the previous year and 14% from the ten-year average. The acceptance rate rose slightly.

Over the last ten years, our students have been accepted to at least one school at a rate 16% above the national average.

That number is particularly impressive because Truman students apply to fewer schools, 5.7 per student, compared to 7.1 nationally. Truman applicants average three admissions, compared to 2.3 nationally. Our students grade point averages are .18 above the national average, and their LSAT scores are 3 points higher.

~ H. Martin Jayne, J.D.

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Meeting 3/27

Judge Karl Demarce will be speaking to the Pre-Law Club this Tuesday at 7pm in BH 312. He will be speaking about his background and events that led him to become a judge. He is also taking requests if anyone would like him to discuss any particular aspect of the law. Email a subject to trumanprelaw@gmail.com and I will pass it along.

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Law School Expo!

The annual Law School Exposition at Truman State University will be this next Tuesday, March 20th. Stop by the SUB Georgian A between 11am and 3pm to meet with representatives from Mizzou, UMKC, KU, and SIU.

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3/13 Meeting Summary

Attorney Jay Benson spoke about his experiences at our meeting this week.

Jay is from the Monroe City/Hannibal area. He came to Northeast Missouri State University. He didn’t study very hard because he wanted to be a sport broadcaster. He majored in mass communication. He interned with KTVO the summer after his junior year and worked as a reporter through senior year and the year after. “I’ve never had a job that I enjoyed more or that payed less.” He had always been open to the idea of becoming a lawyer and decided to attempt to get into law school after reporting on a trial.

Jay wasn’t sure if he would be accepted anywhere so he applied to 13 law schools. A local lawyer was discouraging him saying there are already too many lawyers and they don’t make the living they used to. His father told him “If there’s 100 lawyers and room for 2 and you’re one of the best two, you’ll be alright.” He then went to a law school in Oklahoma. He worked very hard because he did not want to have any excuses if he did not succeed. After his first semester he was # 2 in his class. After his first year he was # 4. He credits his writing ability and being able to convey his message as the reason he did so well. One of his friends knew the law better but could not convey his knowledge and thus did not do as well.

After a year, he transferred to UMKC knowing he wanted to practice in this area. Upon graduation, he worked for an older lawyer who recently left a firm. He was paid very little but viewed it as continuing his education. He decided that he was going to specialize in personal injury cases. Later he partnered with one of his friends and found that was a terrible decision for many reasons. In 1997 he opened his own firm and hires attorneys as associates instead of partnering with them.

Jay stated that the best law students have a writing background in undergrad. His advice is to take as many writing enhanced courses as possible. He also spoke about when he takes cases in other states. He hires a local attorney as an associate so he does not have to be licensed in that state and so he will not be “out home-towned.” One case he tried in Kirksville the defense tried to discredit the osteopathic medicine used in the case in his closing argument. The lawyer did not realize that it was invented here in Kirksville and the jury was sensitive to it.

We also had a discussion on the battle for legislation reform in personal injury cases. Jay is in a group that is fighting against capping total damages that can be rewarded. A metaphor for his argument is we allow juries to hand out death penalties, but are trying to limit the amount of money they can assign as damages.

Overall, it was a very informative presentation.

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Meeting 3/13

Jay Benson will be speaking at our meeting Tuesday night in BH 312 at 7pm. Jay is a successful local lawyer and owns his own firm. I highly recommend hearing him speak. All are welcome, so I hope to see you there!

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End of February Update

The minutes to our last meeting are below.  If you have not paid your dues yet, contact me ASAP.

• Kaplan’s campus representative, Stella Zhang, spoke to us about LSAT prep courses.  For more information you can contact her at shz5342@truman.edu.
• We watched a video Christian Johns made about his study abroad experience at Bond University in Australia last semester.  Christian is a poli sci senior and currently has an internship with Facebook in Washington D.C. Though he couldn’t be here in person the presentation was very informative and we had a Q & A session via phone.  Some of the things we learned were:

  • Australia (along with most former British colonies i.e. India, England, Canada) operate under common law
  • this means that a bachelor’s degree in law allows you to practice in any of these countries
  • foreign students (like from India) did not view their studies at Bond as studying abroad; they were just going to school at an institution outside their country
  • A degree in law is an undergrad degree
  • Bond is on the trimester system so it is possible to…
  • graduate and start practicing with a law degree in 2.5 years or at 19 years old
  • there is no Bar test
  • lawyers have the same income and social status as anyone with a job that requires a college degree, (though the average income is much higher in Australia so they make apx. $140,000/year)
  • lawyers are much more specialized in one section of the law

• If you would like more information you can email Christian at caj1232@truman.edu or read #2. College Is Short on his blog.

• The Law School Expo is on March 20th.

• Our next meeting will be Tuesday March 13th in Baldwin 312 at 7pm.  Jay Benson will be speaking.  Jay is a local attorney and owns his own law firm.

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February 20th Meeting

The Pre-Law will be meeting tonight in Baldwin Hall 312 at 7 pm.

We will be hearing from a Kaplan test prep representative. For everyone who comes and fills out a card, Kaplan will donate $1 to Doctors Without Borders.

We will also watch a presentation from a former Pre-Law Club member who studied abroad in Australia last semester. He will speak how the law is different in Austrilia (and basically the rest of the world) from the United States. After the presentation we will hold a Q & A session.

Members will then discuss preparations for the Law School Expo.

This meeting is open to everyone so come on out to support a good cause and hear some unique information! See you then!

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February Update

Hello all! The Pre-Law Club will be meeting this Wednesday at 7pm in Violette Hall 1412. This week Professor Jayne will be speaking to us about his experiences in the law. It’s sure to be interesting. If you are interested in joining the club, dues are $15 dollars and must be paid by February 17th. Below are some notifications I have received that I will pass on to you.

Missourian will receive in-state tuition for Washburn University
Kaplan is hosting a FREE test for the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, PCAT, DAT or the OAT exam on February 18th. You can enroll at http://bit.ly/TRUMANSPRINGNPT.

Hope to see you all Wednesday!

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