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Transylvania Pre-Law Society in session April 14 with panel of legal professionals

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Transylvania University’s new Pre-Law Society is hosting a panel of leaders in the legal field on April 14 to discuss the school’s role in law and public policy and the value of a liberal arts education.

Current and prospective students as well as alumni are encouraged to attend the free event beginning at 7 p.m. in the newly remodeled Strickland Auditorium. A dessert reception will follow. RSVP for “Transylvania’s Legacy in Law and Public Life”.

Panelists include judges Claria Horn Boom ’91 and Karen K. Caldwell ’77; Mary Davis, a University of Kentucky dean and law professor; Guion Johnstone ’05, executive director of the Kentucky Bar Foundation; and criminal defense attorney Prya Murad ’11. Transylvania professors Peter Fosl and Don Dugi and alumnus Chanslor Gallenstein ’16 are the moderators.

The event launches Transylvania’s Pre-Law Society, which draws from the school’s rich legal tradition. In the 1800s, the university was home to one of the country’s top law schools, producing U.S. Supreme Court justices and other political leaders. “It was an important institution in our nation’s legal history,” Fosl said. “The legacy remained in the culture of the institution.”

The group also will benefit from Transylvania’s location near downtown Lexington, where there’s a network of alumni and other community leaders who can meet with Transylvania students and participate in campus events like symposiums to discuss pressing legal issues.

This kind of networking can help students land internships and make connections that will benefit them after graduation in the fields of law and other forms of public service.

The Pre-Law Society has its seeds in a post-9/11 project of Fosl’s titled “Liberty, Security and Justice,” which was a big hit involving many different areas of campus — from art to computer science.

The liberal arts, with its emphasis on exploring ideas across the disciplines, gives students “powerful and deep means of engaging issues like that,” said Fosl, who continued to explore ways beyond his two-year project to engage future legal professionals with topics of the day.

Other events are in the works for the Pre-Law Society, including a formal lecture for the fall.