Central College News

Featured: Using the Law to Serve Others

April 16, 2014


Senior Emily Rouse plans to combine two of her passions—the law and helping others—through a career as an attorney in the public service sector. She’ll start law school in the fall with a solid academic foundation, ample mock trial experience and a proven devotion to volunteer work.

Rouse, an English major and a communications and political science minor, has already found success at Drake University before even starting classes. She was one of six recipients of the Public Service Scholarship from Drake Law School. The scholarship grants full tuition to students who are exemplary in their community service and academics. In order to apply for the scholarship, Rouse had to submit two letters of recommendation, an essay and a record and explanation of all her volunteer hours during her college career. Rouse has completed a total of approximately 1,000 hours, which included volunteering with Iowa Legal Aid, Civic Ambassadors and the Spencer Dream Center.

The scholarship carries the condition that the recipient must complete one year of public service attorney work outside of law school for every year of receiving full tuition. Public service work entails providing legal services to low-income clients. This requirement is no problem for Rouse since she already planned on working within the public service sector.

“To be honest, it doesn’t pay well, but it’s a good thing to do,” says Rouse. “Everyone deserves an attorney.” Rouse looks forward to getting in front of a jury someday. “I can’t see myself sitting behind a desk constantly. I can’t see myself not arguing in front of a jury, and I’ll do that in some of my public service work.”

Rouse first visited Central College for a high school leadership conference and fell in love with it. “It had a study abroad program, which was good for me, and it had mock trial,” says Rouse.

Not only did Central College fit Rouse’s necessities, but it also helped to provide the education, experience and support needed to pursue her ambitious dreams of attending law school and becoming an attorney.

“Dr. Green has been a huge influence in my life,” says Rouse of Andrew Green, associate professor of political science. “He’s my pre-law advisor, my module advisor, my professor and my mock trial coach. He has always given the support and encouragement that I needed to keep moving forward.” Rouse’s English classes and a logic course also had a role in preparing her for law school by sharpening her ability to form and communicate a cohesive argument.

“Emily is very deserving of the Public Service Scholarship at Drake University’s School of Law,” says Green. “She has dedicated herself to service while at Central College and will have the opportunity to continue her service while preparing herself to serve those who are in need of legal counsel. I have no doubt that she will be successful at Drake Law and in her future career as an attorney.”

Rouse is excited to begin her education at Drake Law School, but she will miss her Central family and community, especially her time outside of the classroom.

“I’m going to miss the extra activities that I’ve gotten involved with here like mock trial, Student Senate and serving as an Advocate for Community Engagement. You have those opportunities in law school, but I’m not sure that I’ll have the time to do them,” says Rouse. “But those activities helped to shape the person that I have become today.”