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Mills partners with Indiana University Maurer for law program

Mills and Maurer will partner to make law school more accessible for women. (COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA COMMONS)
Mills and Maurer will partner to make law school more accessible for women. (COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Mills College is one of five women’s colleges that recently established a partnership with Indiana University Maurer School of Law.  This partnership could mean a hefty scholarship and  mentoring program for two graduates from each school that are accepted into the high-ranking law program.

Mills, along with Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and Wellsley College, follow the scholarship program that was originally set up between Maurer and Vassar College last year.

IU Bloomington Newsroom gives specific numbers on what this partnership will mean for students accepted into the program.

“The program will offer at least two graduates admitted to the Maurer School of Law from each school with guaranteed minimum scholarships amounting to approximately 50 percent of annual tuition, along with access to a formal mentoring program,” IU Bloomington’s press release said. The scholarship will reduce the cost of law school tuition over three years by $45,000 to $75,000, depending on the student’s residency and other factors.”

According to rankings published by the U.S. News and World Report, Maurer School of Law ranks 29th for best law schools.

David Donahue, interim provost and professor of education at Mills, is pleased with the partnership.

It’s recognition of the important role Mills plays in preparing students for leadership in so many fields including the law,” Donahue said.

In the IU Bloomington Newsroom, Donahue explained why he found this partnership a nice fit for Mills students.

“Indiana’s focus on preparing ethical leaders for the global legal profession is naturally aligned with Mills College’s strategic imperatives to internationalize our curriculum and prepare leaders grounded in inclusion, social justice and sustainability,” Donahue said.

Dean and James H. Rudy Professor of Law, Austen Parrish, is also pleased with the partnership, citing the need for women and diversity to play a larger role in the legal profession.

“The legal profession needs more people who reflect the composition of our society as a whole, and legal education offers a clear route to leadership roles for women in all kinds of fields,” Parrish said. “While tremendous gains have been made, women in the legal profession remain underrepresented in some of the positions of greatest status and influence.”

Parrish cited Mills’ great reputation and community values as to why the college is a good fit to partner with. He noted Mills’ ability to retain diverse and talented students that he believes would succeed in law school as another strong reason to create this partnership.

“Mills also cares about global issues, which fits well with the law school’s strong belief that a well-rounded legal education requires some understanding of the global legal profession and the multicultural world in which we live,” Parrish said.

Parrish believes that students who do well in rigorous undergraduate schools like Mills will be prepared for success in law school. He said Maurer has 14 other partnerships and in effort to cultivate a community of outstanding undergraduates from a vast amount of schools.

“Recruiting Mills students is a good way to bring to our community students with that mix of ambition, hard-work ethic and smarts,” Parrish said.

Sophomore public policy major Emma Ishii believes this partnership will bring good results for women interested in entering the legal world.  She said having more diversity in the justice system would be nothing but beneficial for the legal system.

“There seems to be an absence of women in legal areas,” Ishii said. “This [partnership] will make law school more accessible for women at a lesser cost.”

Parrish said close relationships with schools like Mills are beneficial for both sides.

“For us, it’s a way to continue to attract bright young minds from around the country, who will come to Indiana University Bloomington and then go on to do great things,” Parrish said.  “For our partner institutions, it’s a way to provide another opportunity for their students and to help make a legal education more accessible to their graduates.  For the student, it’s hopefully an additional opportunity for them to consider as they decide on their own life path and career goals.”