Back to News and Event Listings

June 28, 2013 Legal Studies students complete Jurist Academy

Central Penn legal studies students Marissa Monteiro, Rowena Rosel and Mary Greenwood-Drumheller recently completed the Widener University School of Law's Jurist Academy Program, as part of a partnership between Central Penn and Widener. The Jurist Academy is a law school prep program for rising college juniors and seniors who are traditionally underrepresented in law school.

Open to students nationally, three of the 10 students in the program were from Central Penn. The Harrisburg program, now in its third year, has had 30 participants over the life of the program.

"Now I know I want to go to law school," says Greenwood-Drumheller. "It [The Jurist Academy] was an awesome experience and I want to go to Widener. I know exactly what it takes to get there and how. I was truly blown away by this experience and was pleasantly surprised I was selected to participate."

Greenwood-Drumheller's ultimate goal is to practice law. She is a mother of two, works as a paralegal, and her husband will be attending Central Penn in the summer. Greenwood-Drumheller got out of the U.S. Navy in May 2011 and said she "needed a career yesterday" when she moved across the country, back home to Danville, Pa.. She earned a paralegal degree and then transferred to Central Penn's legal studies program in October 2012. She will be graduating with her bachelor's degree this December and is in the process of applying to Widener.

"Central Penn’s legal studies program is truly a pre-law program," says Professor John DeLeo.

The students agreed that Central Penn’s fast-paced schedule prepped them for this program.

"I really feel like Central Penn, especially in legal research and writing, makes me that much stronger a law school candidate," says Monteiro. "Going to Central Penn gives me an extra edge. The things we’re doing here are what we’ll be doing in law school. We’re very prepared."

"The program exceeded my expectations," says Rosel. "I saw trials, judge chambers, took mock LSATS (practice tests), and used analytical and critical thinking skills to think like a lawyer."

The Jurist Academy consists of law school admission test preparation and practice testing, (LSAT) introductory coursework with personalized feedback and conversations with members of the bench and bar. Central Penn College requires legal studies students interested in applying to the Jurist Academy and attending law school in the near future, to possess a 3.0 grade point average and have completed a minimum of 60 college credits.

"The legal studies curriculum stresses the importance of critical thinking, writing, analysis and reading. While students also learn substantive law, the common thread through our program is the emphasis on practical analytical skills," says Professor Randi Teplitz. "By emphasizing these skills in an undergraduate curriculum, Central Penn students are provided with a unique foundation that will support their success in the Jurist Academy program, graduate school and their future careers."