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Pre-law events at Calvin

During the academic year, the Pre-law Program at Calvin sponsors informational meetings, lectures and panel discussions.

Privacy in the Information Age: Do Fourth Amendment Rights to Privacy Still Mean Anything?

While Edward Snowden was hunkered down in Hong Kong immediately after exposing the NSA's mass surveillance programs, he wouldn't talk to any visitors until they placed their cell phones in the refrigerator, hoping to stymie the government's ability to eavesdrop. But did it really matter? Can so much information be gleaned merely from a cell phone's location and call data that access to the content of conversations is almost redundant?

Even for law-abiding citizens not actively fleeing counter-espionage accusations, this may be one of the defining civil rights issues of our era: What are the problems of privacy in an age of ubiquitous information? Does current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence meaningfully grapple with any of these questions, or have technological advancements (such as the lowly cell phone) rendered it functionally obsolete? And--in the face of a society devoted to the acquisition of knowledge--is there a case to be made for valuing willful ignorance in the age of Big Data?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
Meeter Center Lecture Hall
Featuring: Stephen van Stempvoort ( Law Clerk for Judge Richard A. Griffin of the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals)


Pre-Law Lunch Series

Three events will be included in this year's Pre-Law Luncheon Series. Each event is from 12:30 to 1:30 in the Commons Annex. Lunch is provided for participants and while we eat, a prominent local attorney will talk with students about the role of an attorney in various settings.

March 5: The Role of Lawyers in Non-Profit Entities, featuring Dale Rietberg from Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett LLP (in the Alumni Association Board Room).

  • What types of legal issues do nonprofit entities face?
  • What sorts of legal services do attorneys provide to nonprofits?
  • An attorney's work on tax exempt status, permissible political activities, governance disputes, bylaws, and more.

March 19: The Role of Lawyers in Death Penalty Litigation, featuring Tracey Brame of Cooley Law School (in the Alumni Association Board Room)

  • What types of legal issues must be addressed in death penalty cases?
  • What legal services do attorneys provide?
  • What racial concerns are raised in death penalty cases, and how do the courts respond to these issues?

April 2: The Write Stuff: The Role of Law Clerks in the Federal Judiciary, featuring Stephen van Stempvoort, Law Clerk for Judge Richard A. Griffin of the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (in the Student Senate Meeting Room)

  • What is the purpose of having law clerks in the federal courts?
  • What sorts of tasks do law clerks perform?
  • How does the role of law clerks affect the working of the federal courts?
  • Why are these positions coveted by law school graduates?

Please note that you must RSVP for these sessions! Contact Ellen Hekman to reserve a place.


Being a Christian Attorney /
Mock Law School Class /
Information about Law School Admissions

Jim Gash, Pepperdine Law Professor and Global Justice Program Director, will spend time with Calvin students on February 12 discussing a variety of topics, sharing information about Pepperdine Law School with interested students, and providing a free pizza lunch! You can schedule an individual time to speak with the law school representative during the 1:30 p.m. time slot by contacting Ellen Hekman.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
11:00 a.m.: Information and Q&A
11:30 a.m.: Mock Law School Class
(please read the case study that will be discussed in class)
12:15 p.m.: Being a Christian Attorney (includes free pizza lunch)
1:00 p.m.: Law School Admission Process
1:30 p.m.: Information and Q&A / Individual Sessions

Spoelhof Center Room 204


Insider Advice for Law School Applicants

Deans of admission from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and Michigan State University College of Law will offer helpful insights and recommendations for Calvin College freshman through seniors who are considering law school, including writing a presonal statement, letters of recommendation, undergraduate courses that provide a strong foundation for law school, timelines for applying to law school, financial aspects of law school, and more.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Meeter Center Lecture Hall


Presidential Abuse of the Constitution: Is the Present Administration the Worst?

Regent University School of Law Professor James Davids will discuss constitutional law and abuse with Pre-law Program students -- over pizza and cokes. What rights does the administrative branch of our goverment have in relationship to the Constitution? How should the Constitution be interpreted? Does Presidential "abuse" of the Constitution matter? Prof. Davids will also be available to answer questions about Regent Law School.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

DeVos Communications Building Room 160


Diversity: the Wide Variety of Law Practiced in an "In-house" Environment

Talented West Michigan attorneys and legal support professionals will host this event for Calvin students interested in pursuing a legal career. "In-house Legal Practice: All the Same or Widely Diverse" will provide information about the variety of tasks/jobs practiced within an "in-house" legal department. The event will be co-sponsored by Spectrum Health. Panelists will include: Jeremy Brieve (Priority Health Government Program); John Brown (Steelcase, Inc.); Cara Jansma (Spectrum Health Hospital Group); Todd Kingma (Perrigo); Mark Mosby (Priority Health); and Ronald Sagritalo (Spectrum Health Hospital Group).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
3:30 p.m to 5:00 p.m.
DeVos Communications Building Main Floor Lobby


An Emerging Epidemic:
Where Public Health and Law Intersect

How do labor law and human rights law relate to public health and potential epidemics? Jason Glaser, Co-founder and President of La Isla Foundation, will discuss this issue as well as the results of the Foundation's recent Human Rights Study. Their work and the study itself results from the current epidemic proportions of Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown origins, or CKDu, among the sugar cane workers in Latin America where, in seriously impacted areas, 46% of male deaths result from CKDu.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.
Alumni Board Room, 2nd floor of Commons Annex


2013-2014 Pre-law Program Information Meetings

All Calvin students who are potentially interested in exploring a future career in law are encouraged to attend the annual informational program meetings at the beginning of the school year.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Juniors and Seniors: 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Freshmen and Sophomores: 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Political Science Department Conference Room (273A)
(located on second floor of DeVos Communications Center)


Online opportunities related to preparing for and attending law school

The Legal Market for Recent Law School Graduates

This online webinar, presented by Michigan State University's College of Law and co-hosted by the Midwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors, will feature James Leipold (executive director of the Naitonal Association for Law Placement) discussing hiring and compensation data, career paths, and trends in large firm hiring.


The Life and Times of an Associate Attorney

This 40 minute free PatBar Webinar will include information about scheduling activities at an attorney's first law firm, handling the needs of multiple supervising attorneys, and succeeding with your assignments right out of the gate.


Free Webinar from PatBar

A free two-part Webinar will be offered by PatBar for students intending to attend law school and especially those who are interested in patents and patent law. You must register to access the 35 minute Webinar, but once registered you can view it live or at a later date.

  • First free Webinar: October 4, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern) - Part one of the Webinar will provide relevant information about patents, patent law, and intellectual property law. Part two will focus on how law school works, as well as how to prepare, manage time, and handle wide ranging experiences.
  • Second free Webinar: February 7, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern) - content TBD
  • Pre-registration required at:


Michigan State Law Webinar: LSAT 101

  • LSAT 101: July 31, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Admissions Standards and Scholarship Opportunities at MSU Law: August 28 at noon; September 12 at 4:00 p.m.; October 2, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Suggestions for Strengthening Your Law School Personal Statement: September 17, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Crafting Your Best Personal Statement: September 20, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
  • Cracking the LSAT: a Guide to LSAT Preparation: September 24, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Reinventing Law: How Legal Employment is Being Transformed and What the Future of Law Looks Like; October 15, 2013
  • Tips for Strengthening Your Law School Application: October 29, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Legal Career Options and Market Outlook: November 6, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Expert Advice for Writing Your Law School Personal Statement: December 11, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

All webinars are offered free of charge, but pre-registration is recommended.


Mock Law School Admissions Event

Kaplan Test Prep will be broadcasting an online mock law school admissions event featuring law school admissions personnel reviewing and discussing admissions applications. The event will help prospective law students understand how the admissions process works and provide advice for those preparing to complete applications.

  • August 19, 2013
  • 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Event is free, but you must pre-register

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Off campus opportunities related to preparing for and attending law school

Chicago Law School Forum

The LSAC holds Law School Forums around the country annually, featuring numerous American Bar Association (ABA)- approved law schools. Participants can talk to various law school representatives and attend workshops throughout the day. The event is free, but pre-registration is recommended.


Michigan State Law School Information Receptions

Prospective applicants and guests are invited to informative, 90-minute programs which include presentations by the College of Law administrators, faculty, students, and alumni -- as well as time to ask questions and obtain more information about Michigan State University's College of Law.

  • Wednesday, October 23, 2013 in Grand Rapids on the GVSU Campus
  • Wednesday, November 13, 2013 in Detroit at the MSU Detroit Center
  • Thursday, November 14, 2013 in East Lansing at the MSU Law College


Tri-State Academy of Legal Studies in Business

The annual conference of the Tri-State Academy, located in Ashland, OH, is seeking participation by students from all disciplines who are engaged in business law-related scholarship. Papers received by September 27, 2013 will be peer-reviewed for publication in the conference proceedings, and those wishing to share work-in-progress can submit an abstract by September 27 which will be included in the proceedings. In addition to papers and presentations, conference planners will also be providing the opportunity for students to display poster presentations, which will be acknowledged in the formal proceedings.

Ashland University's Pre-Law Club will have special activities for students, including tactics for optimizing law school admissions applications and LSAT performance.

  • Friday, October 25, 2013 (conference date)
  • Registration fee discounts are available for students: $45 cost, which includes lunch and dinner
  • For additional information


University of Wisconsin Fall Open House

The University of Wisconsin Law School invites potential law school students to their Fall Open House on Thrusday, October 24, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Midwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors Caravan will be meeting at the University that day as well, providing an opportunity for students to meet admissions representatives from over 100 law schools around the country, as well as to get to know the University of Wisconsin Law School.


Law School Preparation Workshop

The workshop will provide students with the tools needed to navigate the application process and learn how a legal education could enhance their future. The sessions are free of charge, but you must register/RSVP on or before September 30, by emailing


Michigan State University Law School Fair

Law schools from across the country will attend the MSU Law School Fair to talk with students from all majors about the programs they offer and admission to their school. The event is free and open to the public.


University of Michigan Law Day

Numerous law schools are registered to attend this forum at the University of Michigan, with admissions officers and recruiters from the academic institutions ready to answer questions and provide information to individual students. The event is free, but participants should check in at the registration table prior to entering the event.


Chicago Law School Forum

The LSAC holds Law School Forums around the country annually, featuring numerous American Bar Association (ABA)- approved law schools. Participants can talk to various law school representatives and attend workshops throughout the day. The event is free, but pre-registration is recommended.

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Next LSAT at Calvin

Monday, June 9, 2014
DeVos Communication Center

Next MPRE at Calvin

Saturday, November 1, 2014
De Vos Communication Center

Law School Visits to Calvin's Campus:

Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law
September 18, 2013
10:00 a.m. to Noon
Johnny's Cafe

University of Iowa College of Law
September 26, 2013
10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Johnny's Cafe

Indiana Tech Law School
September 26, 2013
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Johnny's Cafe

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
October 2, 2013
11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Johnny's Cafe

Regent University School of Law
October 3, 2013
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Johnny's Cafe

Valparaiso University Law School
October 7, 2013
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Johnny's Cafe

Wayne State University Law School
October 8, 2013
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Johnny's Cafe
Free Cider, Coffee and donuts will be available, compliments of Wayne State Law School!!!

Pepperdine University School of Law
February 12, 2014
11:00 to 11:30 a.m.
1:30 to 2:00 p.m.
Spoelhof Center Room 204

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