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Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD)

Todd Dvorak and family
Hometown:
South Bend, Ind.
Previous Education:
BA’00, University of Notre Dame

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Current Student Profiles

Bloomington is a great city. And a great city for families.
Todd Dvorak, JD’10
(with Oliver, left, and Sarah)

A great place for young families: I’m originally from Indiana, but I weighed a lot of different factors in deciding where to go to law school. There were the traditional factors: the cost, the career opportunities, the prestige. That led me to several different schools. I ended up coming out to Bloomington to visit, and once at the Law School, I realized that the sort of indefinable personality of the School that you see in the brochures really is true. My decision came down to the people I met. It’s the people that make up the School. Then there was Bloomington itself. There were great opportunities in some of the other places I considered going, but they didn’t have the same atmosphere of Bloomington. This is a great city, and a great place for young families.

Family life: It was the Bloomington community that helped draw us here, and we’ve since become very much a part of that community. It can be as simple as the little things, like going to summer concerts in Bryan Park with Sarah and Oliver. We’ve signed Oliver up for swimming lessons on campus and his day care is close by. The town has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment and arts. The restaurants are great, too. We have all kinds of ethnic restaurants that are just a block away from the Law School. There’s a sense of authenticity here.

Father, husband, JD candidate: For the last two summers I’ve worked a lot of hours in firms, and realized that having a family and work balance isn’t that difficult. I’ve treated law school like a job, because as a former teacher, I came back to school after already having a career. We’ve found ways to make it work. We take Oliver to day care in the morning. Sarah goes to work on campus and I go to school. Then we all go home together. The difficulty comes in knowing that when I do get home, I still have work to do. I come home with work, play with Oliver, we have dinner, put him to bed, then go back to work.

A natural fit: Being older than most of my peers and having a family, I had a few reservations about how I’d fit in here. But any fears I had about fitting in socially were completely unfounded. There is a diverse population here. We were surprised at how many married students and students with children there are.┬áBut law school equalizes us all. We’re all going through the same thing, so there’s not much of a distinction between being 30 or 24. Our work erases all age differences.

The perfect time for school: My mom went to law school when I was back in high school, so I had some idea of what it would be like to go back to the classroom years after undergrad. Looking back at the path I took, I think it would’ve been harder for me to go to law school straight out of undergrad. And with a family, the flexibility of my work days and the ability to control when and how I do my work allows for the perfect setup to figure out parenting in the beginning.

Law School activities: Moot Court Board, Indiana Law Journal, American Constitution Society, research assistant for Professor Ken Dau-Schmidt.

Favorite restaurant: Irish Lion

Web site checked daily: NYTimes.com