New leadership program offers full scholarship for law students

By: Kwynn Townsend-Riley – Staff Writer

The University of Dayton Law School will begin offering full tuition scholarships for their Leadership Honors Program beginning in the next academic year. The Leadership Honors Program (LHP) course of study grants students with a LHP certificate and the Juris Doctorate in only three years –or two years if the student begins their course of studies in the summer.

Students cannot apply directly to the LHP but they can be nominated by alumni of the law school and other designated nominators. The deadline for nominations is March 15.

Flyer News recently discussed the new LHP in an email interview with Susan Wawrose, director of the LHP and professor of lawyering skills.

FN: Why did the law school decide to implement a full-tuition scholarship for students?

SW: The Leadership Honors Program is a new initiative to support high-achieving students with strong leadership potential as they earn a J.D. and develop into tomorrow’s lawyer-leaders. It is, in part, a response to national and world events that suggest the need for strong and principled leadership.

The law school recognizes that lawyers have always been leaders in our society and that there is a need to be even more intentional about providing our students with the skills they need to step into leadership roles. Many of our graduates serve as leaders in their professional roles as practicing attorneys, judges, elected officials, corporate counsel and in a host of other occupations. They also are looked to for leadership in their communities in their after-work endeavors, as members of school boards, city planning commissions, in their religious organizations and in other activities. The Leadership Honors Program is designed to prepare our graduates to be as effective as possible in these varied leadership roles. The full-tuition scholarship is the law school’s way of showing our commitment to students in the program and investing in strong leaders for the future.

FN: How are alumni selected to be designated nominators?

SW: All graduates of the University of Dayton School of Law are designated nominators and have been invited to nominate an eligible candidate.

FN: What are the steps necessary to follow if a student cannot find a nominator?

SW: A student who has not identified a designated nominator should contact our admissions office for help with identifying a nominator. The LHP website has more information on the nomination process.

FN: What are the current demographics of students who have applied?

SW: Our deadline for nominations is March 15, 2016, so the composition of our first class has not yet been determined.

FN: Why do you think students should take advantage of this opportunity, besides the scholarship?

SW: The Leadership Honors Program offers students distinctive special programming that focuses on developing leadership skills. We are excited about the graduated leadership sequence we have designed for LHP students. During their first year students will participate in an honors roundtable series, chaired by former Ohio Gov. Robert Taft. In the roundtable sessions they will meet with prominent leaders from law, government and business. In the second year, LHP students will participate in a multi-session leadership seminar that has been specially-designed for them by UD’s Center for Leadership. Finally, before they graduate Leadership Honors students will collaborate on a final project that [uses] their leadership skills to transform a community institution.

In addition, students in the LHP will be assigned to an alumni mentor who will serve as a resource to provide guidance, assist with networking, career development, and be a point of contact as students progress through law school. We see the scholarship as an important way to show our support and commitment to students in the LHP, but the key components of the Program are the opportunities for engagement and guided development of leadership skills.

For more information on the program, contact Susan Wawrose at wawrose@udayton.edu.