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R. Steve Dick/University Relations

Jacqlene Nance discusses the School of Law. Nance recruits students, reviews applications and informs students of opportunites at the School of Law.

CAMPUS CLOSEUP Jacqlene Nance - Director of admissions, School of Law

Years at current job: 1.5 years, since August 2006.

Job duties: I am responsible for recruiting students, reviewing applications for admission, working with the admissions and scholarship committees and making sure students are informed about the wonderful opportunities KU law offers.

Admissions requirements for the School of Law are obviously different than other schools. What would you say is the most important requirement for aspiring law students? All students, regardless of their academic disciplines or work experience, should be passionate about helping people; interested in how political and legal systems work; and have strong research and writing skills.

Law is a widely varying discipline. Do you help guide students who are not sure what area of law they want to pursue or does that come later in their academic careers? Most students are unsure of the type of law they are interested in pursuing. Here at KU law, every step of the process is a learning experience. I educate prospective students regarding the myriad paths they can take in law school. Once the student matriculates, the Office of Career Services along with professors, curricular guides, student organizations, internships and other work experience helps students get a good look at the legal landscape so they may ultimately see where their interests lay.

The path to deciding a specialization within an area of law continues well into a practicing attorney's career.

What would you say is unique about the KU School of Law that sets it apart from other schools of law that potential students may be considering? Here at KU law, we offer a great comprehensive legal education augmented with opportunities for our students. We have 11 clinical programs, each of which offers students practical experience before graduating. Additionally, our six certificate programs are well-structured and vary in topic. Our students thrive in a competitive yet collaborative learning environment. The student-faculty relationships also make KU law distinctive.

What do you enjoy most about your profession? There are numerous reasons why I enjoy the legal profession. One in particular is the call to serve people by helping them solve problems in their everyday lives. While there are many disparaging lawyer jokes, the rights and freedoms that we all enjoy and love about this country were written and defended by lawyers. Lawyers serve people during the best and worst times of their lives. Members of this profession give voice to those in need and navigate a complicated legal system to the best of their ability while meeting the needs of their clients.

The administration has set a clear goal of attracting a diverse, academically gifted student body. How does the School of Law approach achieving that goal? Achieving this goal takes a group effort from all departments in the law school. First we make sure that we have talented faculty members dedicated to teaching. Then we make sure that we have interesting programs, numerous resources and exciting opportunities for the students. Furthermore we make sure that these students are prepared for the legal profession after they are finished with our program. We also make sure that the law school community is one that fosters strong relationships; so that students know KU Law is an interesting place to learn filled with great people. Once all of these different aspects are in place, the Office of Admissions' goal is to educate the academically gifted and diverse students of what we have to offer. We recruit students both locally and nationally encouraging them to consider the programming and environment which is uniquely KU Law.

The School of Law has a number of joint degrees available. What are some of the cross-disciplinary opportunities in the school? We have 10 established joint degree opportunities including: JD-Master of Business Administration, JD-Master of East Asian Languages and Cultures, JD-Master of Economics, JD-Master of Health Services Administration, JD-Master of Indigenous Nations Studies, JD-Master of Journalism, JD-Master of Philosophy, JD-Master of Public Administration, JD-Master of Social Welfare, JD-Master of Urban Planning.

In addition, if a student is interested in pursuing another master's program here on campus, the Associate Dean for Academics will work with him or her and the other program to create a joint degree.

What are some aspects of your job others might not realize you're involved with? In addition to my job description above, I think others would be interested to know that I counsel prospective students about the law school admissions process; I am involved in marketing the law school, event planning, working with national organizations in promoting diversity initiatives and networking with other schools to increase interest in law school.

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