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Orientation

Mandatory Orientation for Valparaiso Law 2015 Entering Students

Exclusively for 2015 entering students, Orientation activities will begin on Monday, August 10 and continue through Friday, August 14, 2015. Completion of the listed Pre-Entry Requirements (see below) prior to or on Monday, August 10, is mandatory as is attendance at the Orientation Program. We are glad to assist you as you complete the list; full directions can be found by following the link for each requirement. Keep in mind that to confirm your seat as a 1L at Valparaiso Law, on August 10 you need to attend Orientation Check-In located in the Law School Café. (Confirmation of your registration for fall semester is a separate activity.)

The Orientation Program Summary Agenda highlights your first week at Valparaiso Law, a week designed to enable you to hit the ground running on the first day of classes. Monday and Tuesday will focus on providing you with an introduction to the legal system and how learning occurs in law school (while also taking care of housekeeping concerns). Wednesday through Friday will focus on legal analysis and we’ll encourage you to consider what it means to be a lawyer, and a new professional embarking on a legal career, while also providing you with a road map to success in law school and beyond. During this week you’ll be taught by some of your professors, meet key law school staff members, and also hear from current students and successful alumni. All of them have the same goal in mind: your success as a student at Valparaiso Law and beyond.

We look forward to welcoming you as a 1L student. Completion of the pre-entry requirements and engaged participation in the entire Orientation Program will ease your transition to Valparaiso Law and help you focus on your own path to success in law school.

Orientation Program Summary Agenda

(Professional Attire Required on Friday; Business Casual Attire for the Other Days)

Monday, August 10: 
8:00 – 11:30 Class of 2018 Student Check-in at the Law School Atrium – Continental Breakfast
Complete the Checklist of Pre-Entry Requirements
11:30 – 12:45 Lunch in the Café 
12:45 – 1:15 Welcome
Dean Andrea Lyon
Dean Susan Stuart, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Dean Steven Probst, Assistant Dean for Students and Educational Services Librarian
Zahra Nwabara, Interim Executive Director of Admissions
1:15 – 2:00 Academic Enrollment
Ray Grant, Registrar
2:00 – 2:45 Your Finances
Ann Weitgenant, Associate Director of Student Financial Planning
2:45 – 3:00 Break
3:00 – 3:30 Law IT Department
Donna Patterson, Associate Director of Technology
3:30 – 4:30 Library and Building Tour
(Be prepared to divide yourselves into smaller groups for the actual tours)
Tuesday, August 11:  
9:00 – 9:45 Introduction to Career Planning & Alumni Relations, & Symplicity
Gail Peshel, Executive Director of Career Planning
Vicki Ryan, Senior Director of Career Planning
Robyn Rucker, Associate Director of Career Planning
Lisa Cannon, Associate Director of Career Planning
Julie Bochnowski, Associate Director of Career Planning
Vanessa Verner, Associate Director of Alumni Relations
9:45 – 10:45 Academic Success in Law School
Bethany Lesniewski, Director of Academic Success
Kim Kass, Associate Director of Academic Success
Chad Houston, Academic Success Counselor
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 11:45 An Introduction to the U.S. Legal System
Dean Emily Janoski-Haehlen, Associate Dean for Library Services
11:45 – 12:15 Cultural Competency as Legal Education
Diversity Concerns Committee
12:15 – 1:30 Lunch – (on your own)
1:30 – 2:15 1L Law Curriculum, Socratic Method, & Taking Notes
Chad Houston, Academic Success Counselor
2:15 – 3:15 Introduction to Reading Cases & Writing Case Briefs—Case 1
Bethany Lesniewski, Director of Academic Success
3:15 – 3:30 Break
3:30 – 5:00 Student Life and Professionalism
Joseph Baruffi, Director of Student Services & Law Student Panel
Wednesday August 12: 
9:00 – 10:00 Anatomy of Civil Litigation
Prof. Ivan Bodensteiner
10:00 – 10:15 Break
10:15 – 11:00 Reading:  Case 1 & Case Briefs
A. Group 1 (Room Tabor) Kim Kass, Associate Director of Academic Success
B. Group 2 (Room Benson) Prof. Clare Nuechterlein
C. Group 3 (Room Ulbricht) Prof. Ruth Vance
D. Group 4 (Room Pelzer) Prof. Bernard Trujillo
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 11:45 Reasoning:  Case 1 & Case Briefs
A. Group 1 (Room Tabor) Kim Kass, Associate Director of Academic Success
B. Group 2 (Room Benson) Prof. Clare Nuechterlein
C. Group 3 (Room Ulbricht) Prof. Ruth Vance
D. Group 4 (Room Pelzer) Prof. Bernard Trujillo
11:45 – 1:00 Lunch – (on your own)
1:00 – 2:00 U.S. Legal System & Anatomy of a Lawsuit Quiz Bowl
Prof. Rebecca Huss
Dean Emily Janoski-Haehlen
2:00 – 3:00 Introduction to Legal Citation
Prof. Michael Bushbaum
Prof. Debra Denslaw
3:00 – 3:15 Break
3:15 – 4:15 Writing an Effective Paragraph
Prof. Geoffrey Heeren
Prof. Nicole Negowetti
4:15 – 5:00 Coffee & Community in the Café and Atrium – Meet Your Faculty Advisor
Thursday, August 13: 
9:00 – 10:00 Reading:  Cases 2 & 3 & Case Briefs
A. Group 1 (Room Tabor) Kim Kass, Associate Director of Academic Success
B. Group 2 (Room Benson) Prof. Clare Nuechterlein
C. Group 3 (Room Ulbricht) Prof. Ruth Vance
D. Group 4 (Room Pelzer) Prof. Bernard Trujillo
10:00 – 10:15 Break
10:15 – 11:00 Reasoning:  Cases 1-3 & Case Briefs
A. Group 1 (Room Tabor) Kim Kass, Associate Director of Academic Success
B. Group 2 (Room Benson) Prof. Clare Nuechterlein
C. Group 3 (Room Ulbricht) Prof. Ruth Vance
D. Group 4 (Room Pelzer) Prof. Bernard Trujillo
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 12:15 Basic Vocabulary Quiz Bowl
Prof. Marcia Gienapp
Prof. Geneva Brown
12:15 – 1:30 Lunch – (on your own)
1:30 – 2:15 Introduction to Legal Analysis
Prof. David Cleveland
2:15 – 3:30 Legal Analysis (breakout groups)
A. Group 1 (Room Tabor) Dean Susan Stuart
B. Group 2 (Room Benson) Prof. David Cleveland
C. Group 3 (Room Pelzer) Prof. Curt Cichowski
D. Group 4 (Room Ulbricht) Prof. Ivan Bodensteiner
Friday, August 14:
(NOTE:  PROFESSIONAL ATTIRE REQUIRED, PLAN TO ATTEND ALL ACTIVITIES LISTED – 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM)
9:00 – 10:00 What It Means to Be a Lawyer (breakout groups)
A. Group 1 (Room Tabor) Prof. Ivan Bodensteiner
B. Group 2 (Room Benson) Prof. David Vandercoy
C. Group 3 (Room Pelzer) Prof. Curt Cichowski
D. Group 4 (Room Ulbricht) Prof. Derrick Carter
10:00 – 10:30 Law School’s Relationship to Practice
Attorney Michael Tolbert, J.D. ‘00
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:30 Professionalism in the Classroom – Faculty Panel
Prof. Faisal Kutty
Prof. Mary Szto
Prof. Stephen Wilks
Prof. Robert Knowles
Prof. Jeremy Telman
11:30 – 12:45 Lunch (on your own)
12:45 – 1:45 Professional Conduct at the Law School
Dean Steven Probst, Assistant Dean for Students and Educational Services Librarian
1:45 – 2:00 Break
2:00 – 4:00 Managing Your Professional Brand
Patricia Cook, Patricia Cook & Associates
4:00 – 4:20 Final Thoughts on Orientation
Dean Susan Stuart, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
4:30 – 6:00 Class of 2017 Networking Reception at the VUCA Lobby
 Class of 2018 Profile — Kelly Anthony, Associate Director of Admissions


Checklist of Pre-Entry Requirements

  1. Health Form
  2. Transcripts
  3. Student ID Card
  4. Law Library Activation of your Valparaiso University Student ID Card
  5. Vehicle Registration
  6. Book List
  7. Register your iClicker
  8. First Class Assignment
  9. Reading Assignments 

Traveling to Valparaiso University Law School

Valparaiso, Indiana, is located in Northwest Indiana, with its downtown about a mile north and west of the intersection of Indiana Highways 49 and 30. It is also located approximately: 60 miles from downtown Chicago; 7 miles south of the intersection of Highway 49 and Interstate 90; 9 miles south of the intersection of Highway 49 and Interstate 94; and, 12 miles east on Highway 30 from the intersection of Interstate 65. You are encouraged to move to Valparaiso at least several days before August 11; plan to take some time to explore and see more of the area before you begin law school. If you are flying or taking the train to Valparaiso, Midway and O’Hare airports and the central AmTrak hub are all located in Chicago. The airport in South Bend, Indiana, is about the same driving distance as Midway airport. Also, you can take the South Shore Railroad from downtown Chicago to Dune Park Station which is located about 10 miles from the School of Law. The Law School is located on the west end of Valparaiso University’s campus and adjacent to downtown Valparaiso.