March 17, 2017
All three seniors in Ursuline’s Pre-Law program are headed to law school in the fall with hefty scholarship offers and big dreams.
Their mentor couldn’t be any more proud. “These three students have worked hard and are so well rounded. When I read their law school essays I was very impressed with the women that they are,” said Anne Murphy Brown, J.D., associate professor and director of the Legal Studies Program.
“We started talking about the law school applications process two years ago for each of them. We started coaching early so that they could achieve their dreams,” Murphy Brown added.
Psychology major and Women’s Studies minor Sarah Kiefer has accepted a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Dayton School of Law through its prestigious Leadership Honors Program. She is grateful for her Ursuline preparation.
“What I value most about my Ursuline education is the support I've received from professors,” Kiefer said. “They are always willing to make time to chat with you about concerns you have in the class as well as making an effort to get to know you as a person. I appreciate that I wasn't just considered a number here and I attribute my academic success to that.”
Kiefer plays on the Lacrosse team, is the president of the feminist group, Women’s Circle, and a resident advisor (RA) in an Ursuline residence hall. Thanks in part to guidance from Murphy Brown, she spent last summer interning at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.
Helen Jazzar is weighing offers from several law schools, including Case Western Reserve, Indiana, Marquette, Syracuse, Hofstra, and The Ohio State universities. A Business Management major and goalie and team captain on the soccer team, Jazzar is interested in international law and intellectual property.
“As a private liberal arts institution, Ursuline has provided me a well-rounded education,” she said. “I’m thankful for staff such as Gerri Jenkins, Michelle Bennett, Coach Jamie, Coach Jason, and Dr. Piotrkowski for being great mentors and always providing feedback and support.”
Like Kiefer, Jazzar dove into student life at Ursuline, working part-time as a Peer Career Advisor in the Office of Counseling and Career Services, serving as Student Athletic Advisory Committee President and an Intramural Co-Coordinator. She also volunteered monthly at Habitat for Humanity and the Catholic Worker Storefront.
Randa Payne is in the decision making process as well, having received offers of partial scholarships and at least one full tuition scholarship.
“My Ursuline College education prepared me for law school in many ways, but one of the most valuable is the fact that I had to step out of my comfort zone during class. I became comfortable speaking in front of others because many my professors required me to do so,” she said. “The professors helped me to gain the confidence I needed to grow as a student by making me well informed on topics and giving me a platform to speak in front of peers.”
Payne is interested in practicing family law, and potentially pursuing a judgeship in the future. She has been accepted at Stetson, Case Western Reserve and The Ohio State universities and Ave Maria School of Law.
Appreciation for Prof. Murphy Brown
All three seniors are effusive in their gratitude and praise for their advisor, Murphy Brown. But she says “for me it’s been a privilege to shepherd these dedicated students through this process and I just can’t wait to see what they do after law school.”
Said Kiefer, “Anne Murphy Brown is one of the best advisers I've ever had. When I decided I wanted to go to law school she directed me on how to get there. She also helped me build a portfolio that allowed me to have a summer internship at the prosecutor's office as well as wrote a letter of recommendation for me to receive a scholarship. She also went out of her way to proctor practice LSAT's with us which helped prepare us for the actual test. I can't thank her enough for what she has done and the doors she has opened for myself and the other ladies in my graduating class.”
Jazzar agreed. “Anne Murphy Brown has been extremely helpful throughout this whole process. Applying to law school is stressful, but Anne has provided so much advice and guidance. As a mentor and as a professor, I am extremely appreciative for all she has done for me. Ursuline is lucky to have her and I look forward to keeping in touch with her after graduation.”
Payne said, “Anne Murphy Brown is essentially the one person who made me realize that I wanted to obtain a law degree. I enrolled in her Civil Rights and Civil Liberties class by happenstance, just looking to fill up my schedule. At this point, I had no clue what career I wanted to pursue. Participating in her class and learning from her wealth of knowledge, I realized that a legal career is what I was meant to do. Anne was there for me through every step of the process. Initially by encouraging me that I was capable of this, and then through the challenging times of the law school application process. She has provided me not only with many tools that have prepared me for law school, as well as extremely valuable advice that I will apply throughout my life. She wrote me letter of recommendation that I am sure aided in my acceptances as well! To say she was helpful would be an understatement.”
Law programs at Ursuline
Law education programs at Ursuline include an undergraduate major and minor in Legal Studies offered in the traditional college format program. Through UCAP, the Ursuline College Accelerated Program of weekend and evening classes, Ursuline offers an undergraduate Legal Studies major and a post-degree certificate. Pre-Law Advising, which Kiefer, Jazzar and Payne received, is one-on-one coaching through the law school admissions process.
All of these programs are approved by the American Bar Association.
In addition, students in 11 majors of study at Ursuline are eligible for the new 3+3 program with Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, through which qualified students can complete both bachelor’s and law degrees in six years, instead of the traditional seven. In this 3+3 program, the senior year of the student’s undergraduate studies at Ursuline will coincide with their first year at Cleveland-Marshall, allowing the student to earn a bachelor’s degree from Ursuline after their first year of law school studies.
Each year, one Ursuline Legal Studies student is awarded an Avery Friedman Human Rights Scholarship, named for the CNN Legal Analyst and Ursuline Visiting Distinguished Professor in Constitutional Law.