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About 270 men and women this weekend will take their first steps toward becoming an attorney as the fall 2012 entering class at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

  • Aug. 17, 2012

About 270 men and women this weekend will take their first steps toward becoming an attorney as the fall 2012 entering class at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Students enrolling in the law school on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus will begin their journey toward a law degree in a traditional ceremony that includes taking an Oath of Professionalism with family members, friends and future professors as their witnesses.

The Robert H. McKinney School of Law Call to the Profession ceremony will take place from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 18, in the Conour Atrium of the law school building, Lawrence W. Inlow Hall, 530 W. New York St., Indianapolis.

Ceremony speakers include Gary Roberts, dean and Gerald L. Bepko Professor of Law at McKinney; Judge Jose Salinas of Marion County Superior Court; and Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Magnus-Stinson will administer the Oath of Professionalism to the entering students, leading them in the pledge to “commit to the academic endeavor” they are about to undertake, commit to “honoring the values and standards” expressed in the law school’s academic regulations and student handbook, “to uphold the high honor, ideals and integrity of the legal profession” and to conduct themselves “with dignity, civility and professionalism.”

“The Call to the Profession ceremony we instituted four years ago is important in the same way that the traditional Medical School White Coat Ceremony is: It instills in the new law students a recognition that they are now members of a great and proud profession with a profound responsibility to act in a focused, competent, civil and ethical way as they begin their legal studies,” Roberts said.

The Call to the Profession ceremony and a reception that follows conclude a three-day new student orientation that includes campus tours, and workshops and discussions on preparing for the first day of class, campus safety, law school policy, alumni activities, IT services and other topics. Full-time law students earn degrees in three years. After earning their degrees, all law students must pass state bar examinations before becoming practicing attorneys.

The McKinney School of Law, the largest law school in the state of Indiana, is one of two law schools in the Indiana University system. The school has an enrollment of more than 1,000 students and more than 100 full- and part-time faculty. In addition to the full-time day division, the school has the state’s only part-time evening law school division and offers several joint degree programs in conjunction with several other schools on the IUPUI campus.

Jay Mercer