When the other kids on the playground were pretending to be ballerinas and fairy princesses, Katherine Jackson was staging mock trials. “Being a lawyer has been my goal since I was four years old,” says Jackson, who chose Indiana Law for her JD because of its top-tier ranking, affordable in-state tuition, and excellent reputation for job placement.
Meeting people the first week of classes who remained her closest friends throughout law school helped Jackson make the transition from top of the class in undergrad to one of many gifted students in law school. “The first week of classes, I realized I had to learn to approach law school completely differently from undergraduate school. I also had to get used to being a small fish in a big pond full of people just like me who work hard and who are dedicated to their studies.”
Jackson shaped her classes around litigation and took part in every clinic, internship, and group available to her. A clinical experience helped her determine that family law wasn’t her path, but Jackson extended her time in the clinic by a semester to ensure she could help a grandmother gain guardianship of her granddaughter so the case wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle. “My last day of class I found out the grandmother did get guardianship—and that made both semesters worthwhile. Those are the things that make law school so meaningful.”
Beautiful Bloomington: “There’s always a broad range of entertainment opportunities, restaurants, and sports here. I’m going to dearly miss that when I graduate. Bloomington has a lot more going on than even Indianapolis!”
Favorite Bloomington restaurant: Gratzi
Best place to study: “My first year I worked in a lot of study groups, which was great way to bounce thoughts and ideas off my colleagues while I got used to law school. Now when I have to study for exams, I head for a quiet corner with no windows.”
Top profs: “Professor Alex Tanford and Professor Jeannine Bell are my favorites. Typical of Indiana Law faculty, they have practical experience and they’ve done research in the subject areas they teach. It really heightens their credibility with students.”
Internship experiences: Felony D Certified Legal Intern, Marion County Prosecutor’s Office; Summer Law Clerk, Law Offices of Safeco Insurance Company; Intern, Vigo County Probation Office; Intern, Indiana Lieutenant Governor’s Office.
Down-to-earth education: “At other top-tier schools I hear about people being lost in the shuffle because professors aren’t accessible and classmates aren’t very pleasant. Here, we have the support and resources we need. It really feels like everyone is working together to make you a great attorney.”
DVR and me: “I think DVR was invented especially for law students. When I have a project or I’m really committed to studies, I can still catch my shows when I want to, even if it’s 1:00 in the morning.”