About Our Students

When you enter the Law School you will notice an atmosphere that is welcoming and personal. Although each student is assigned a class rank based on academic performance, Valparaiso Law students understand that it is important to support each other and work together as colleagues–not competitors. The student body reflects a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and points of view, thereby contributing to the diversity of the law school community and the University. This is reflected in our 2013 entering class where 47% of our students are from groups underrepresented in the law, 39% over all three classes. Students are encouraged to join and participate in a range of the 35 student organizations available.

Over 5,000 Valparaiso Law alumni are located in every state and some internationally, with practice areas varying from top sports agents to public defenders. Graduates in the last two years reported careers in the following employment areas, listed below.  We have included the names of a few of the employers.

  • Law Firm/Private Practice (Hoeppner Wagner & Evans – Valparaiso, IN; Jenner & Block – Chicago; Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP – Indianapolis; Vorys Sater Seymour & Pease – Columbus, OH; Lewis Law – Chicago; Bollinger Ruberry & Garvey – Chicago; Counsel for Meridian Title – Indianapolis)
  • Government (Indiana Supreme Court; US Department of Justice; Cook (IL), Dekalb (IL), Maricopa County (AZ) State’s Attorney offices; Marion County Public Defender’s Office (Indianapolis); Lake County Prosecutor’s Office (IN); Department of Child Services (IN); US Bankruptcy Court (NC); Ohio Attorney General; US Navy Office of the Judge Advocate General – D.C.)
  • Public Interest (Constare Group; Family and Youth Services Bureau – Porter County, IN; Legal Aid of North Carolina; Sanctuary for Families – New York; Incontro Law)
  • Business/Industry (University of Chicago Hospital; ExxonMobil; The Boeing Company)
  • Academic (Ball State University; Hamilton County Schools; New Jersey City University)

Read below why our alumni chose to attend Valparaiso Law; also view two student profile videos.

“I chose Valparaiso University Law School because of its dedication to and its promotion of service. The Law School prides itself on law as a calling and successfully implements service to others in all aspects. I have found numerous sources fulfilling that calling as well as enabling my growth and dedication to the legal field, including several externship opportunities, team participation, the clinic program, and extremely helpful and knowledgeable faculty. With the array of educational and employment opportunities and the professors and programs offered, all personify service to its fullest extent. I am confident that Valparaiso has provided opportunities and connections to job markets where the service of others is a priority and I look forward to carrying these learned aspects of law as a calling into the professional world.” – Haley Bownik, J.D. 2011, Attorney/Recruiter at Robert Half Legal

“I chose Valparaiso University Law School because of its commitment to prepare students to become outstanding members of the legal profession, well educated in the law, with a strong commitment to professional achievement and public service. Valparaiso’s externship program is one of the best in the nation in placing students with rewarding and challenging legal experience while in actual practice settings supervised by attorneys around the nation. I have had the opportunity to assist both prosecutors and defense attorneys in virtually all phases of the criminal justice process, including criminal trials and appeals, in externships/internships provided for me through the law school’s career planning services.”– Ryan Rowan, J.D. 2011, Deputy Prosecutor at Porter County Prosecutor’s Office

“If I could describe Valparaiso Law in one word, it would be ‘personal.’ Coming from a Big 10 University with a large student body, I knew immediately that I wanted to find a law school with a close-knit student body to assist me in conquering the challenges of pursuing my legal education. Rather than going to an institution where fellow classmates are unnecessarily competitive (we have all heard the stories of students ripping out pages in research books) and looking only to serve their own personal interests, I wanted to attend a school where classmates not only have a passion for studying the law but also have the innate desire to help others. I found just that at Valparaiso Law. Students here are more than friendly and will go out of their way to offer a helping hand. Personally, I feel this is extremely beneficial because we will all be colleagues in the legal world – a place where teamwork is essential.” – Timothy Rigdon, J.D. 2011, Risk Manager at Transportation Solutions Enterprises

“My wife and I chose Valparaiso Law for the communal atmosphere both at the School and in the community. We were not disappointed. The relationships we formed have continued since graduation and will continue throughout our lives. Initially, I attended law school to broaden my education and opportunities, with the possibility of returning to my roots as a Geologist. However, I enjoyed law school so much that I spent two years investigating legal interests in Water and Environmental law. I clerked for a State Judge, for the Idaho Water Users Association, and I was an Environmental Consultant while attending law school. These experiences gave me a great basis on which to make a career decision. The education provided by the Law School, combined with my involvement in extracurricular activities and summer externships are a big reason for my success thus far at ExxonMobil. I daily use my education and experiences at Valparaiso Law in my current work. Specifically, the analytical, verbal communication, and writing skills the Law School helped me develop are invaluable to me. Given the choice again, I would choose Valparaiso University Law School.” – Matthew Chandler, J.D. 2009, Geoscientist at ExxonMobil

“I chose Valparaiso because after just one visit, I was convinced the professors actually cared about you and were truly invested in your success. The personal attention each student receives at Valpo is the best part of the school. I am now practicing environmental law and complex litigation here in Indianapolis, and have reached out several times to my professors at Valpo for advice and support. They never disappoint.” – Brianna Schroeder, J.D. 2009, Associate at Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP

“I chose Valparaiso University Law School because of the flexible dual-degree programs, small class sizes, and accessible faculty. I value my education from Valparaiso because it trained me to become an attorney through core classes and electives that provide practical experience. When interviewing for post-graduate positions, my trial advocacy classes and judicial externships distinguished me from graduates of other law schools. I further attribute my success in securing a job to the dedication of the faculty and their willingness to be mentors. Employers recognize the worth of a Valparaiso law graduate.” – Abigail Rom, J.D. 2010, Clerk for the Indiana Supreme Court

“I chose Valparaiso University Law School because of its unique joint-degree programs – I wanted to study law, but also wanted to acquire a background in athletics. At Valpo, I was able to earn a Master’s Degree in Sports Administration and J.D. in just four years, while gaining valuable experience working in a Division I Athletics Department. At the law school, rigorous academics and opportunities like being a class representative on the Student Bar Association and working in the community through the Mediation Clinic, honed my real-world leadership skills. During my time at Valparaiso, both at the law school and on the main campus, I seized every opportunity to learn, connect, and work cooperatively with others – skills I use every day in my professional life.” – Lucille Wess, J.D. 2010, Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance and Facilities at St. Francis University

If you would like to learn more about the experiences of Valparaiso law students and recent graduates, please contact Kelly at or 219-465-7821.