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Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD)

seymour, illinois
Previous Education:
BA’08 English, University of Illinois-urbana champaign

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Current Student Profiles

An Indian(a) education.
Jillian Rountree, JD/MPA'12



Did you ever think you'd spend part of your summer in India while in Law School? Definitely not! I always knew I wanted international experience, but I believed my only opportunity would be to study abroad. When I saw the ad for the India internship, I jumped at the chance to apply. I had thought I would be spending my summer in the Midwest, and the way it turned out was that I spent the first 6 weeks of summer in India and the last 8 weeks in Illinois. It was the best of both worlds: something unique and really exciting and something more familiar yet very hands on.

In India I learned... To be more open. As I said before, I never thought I would be going to Delhi, India for my first summer in law school, and yet it really happened. I also was in a culture vastly different from American culture, but I could see the value in many of the Indian ways of doing things, something I wouldn’t have learned if I had allowed myself to be close-minded. That applied to the law firm I worked in as well. Little things like how they wanted a memorandum to be structured were different, and so I adapted, at first unsure, and then came to see why writing that way was more effective for the firm’s needs. So I suppose I learned that I need to be open to my own path changing, and I learned to appreciate different methods and values because you often end up gaining so much more than you think you might!

I chose Indiana Law because... Three main reasons: (1) its incredible environmental law program, (2) the more accepting and laid back attitude of the students here, and (3) the Law School's great reputation and thus ability to send graduates to great jobs throughout the country.

Were there any misconceptions you had about law school you found to be untrue after starting here? I thought it would be impossible to do well in law school. Between the depth and breadth of the material and the competitiveness of the students, I thought there was just no way to shine through. But I have learned that law school is tough — really tough — but you can do well if you set your mind to it. For some, that can mean earning good grades, but it can also mean things like getting great internships, making valuable connections, and taking advantage of clinics and other opportunities to learn to serve your client really well.

You're planning to pursue a joint degree with IU's renowned School of Public Environmental Affairs. What drew you to that path? Planning out my semesters in the future has shown me how much flexibility I can have with pursuing both degrees at the same time. I have more time to take the classes I want to take, and I can really target the MPA degree to my specific interests. I was drawn to SPEA because it is such a great and highly reputed institution. As a former English major who wants to work in environmental law, SPEA gives me the chance to increase my knowledge of the science I need to know. But it also provides really practical and important foundations in economics, public finance, and management.