KOKOMO, Ind. – When Taylor Powell first came to IU Kokomo, his plan was to attend class, do his homework, and return home.
All that changed his sophomore year when he found the small, close-knit community he was looking for.
“I was encouraged to join The Correspondent as a sports writer and editor,” said Powell, from Tipton. “I love sports, and athletics was making its debut on campus. It was the perfect fit for me. I really found the value in getting involved on campus.”
He graduated spring semester with a Bachelor of Science in History and Political Science and a minor in Spanish, and is a true advocate of the IU Kokomo experience. He has also served as a senator for the Student Government Association on campus.
“IU Kokomo has an incredible curriculum and provides great opportunities for students,” he said. “I’m proud to be an alumnus of this institution.”
Now, Powell plans to attend law school in the fall, after completing internships and job shadowing opportunities as a student. He has been accepted to three law schools across the country: University of San Francisco School of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law, and University of Akron School of Law. He has been waitlisted for the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, and is looking forward to receiving the final decision, before making his final choice.
“In trying to figure out my life path, I was told that being a lawyer is like being a full-time student because you learn something new every day,” said Powell, noting his parents joke with him about how he should pursue a career as a full-time student. “I like the fact that every day will be different and bring something new. I love learning.”
Last summer, he completed an internship with the Tipton County prosecutor’s office, where he learned more about the realities of the legal system, specifically how the process works once someone is arrested.
“I wrote probable cause affidavits and summaries of police reports that my boss would use in court,” he said. “By the end of the internship, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer.”
One of his favorite experiences as an intern was the opportunity to witness a wrongful death case. He sat in a courtroom, for the first time ever, to listen to the case and observe the lawyers and witnesses.
Being a lawyer runs in Powell’s family. His great aunt, Bette Dodd, who was named Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law’s Outstanding Alumna of the Year in 2011, has provided him with job shadowing opportunities and insights into practicing law.
“I was able to shadow my aunt at Lewis & Kappes law firm during a day where a bill regarding utilities was being argued,” Powell said. “It was so fun going to the statehouse and witnessing the committee hearing, and a great opportunity to see law being practiced first-hand.”
He hopes to pursue intellectual property law, but is open to all of the possibilities.
“I’m really interested in how technology is become so integrated into our lives with nearly everything we do, and I think it would be great to focus on this type of law,” he said. “But on the other hand, I think sports law, corporate law, and prosecution all sound very interesting. It will be fun to see where this journey takes me.”
In 2013, Powell traveled to Cartagena, Colombia, to perform humanitarian work and practice his Spanish. He visited schools and children’s hospitals to hand out pens and pencils, and even bought soccer jerseys and cleats for kids in an after school program designed to keep them involved and out of trouble. It also sparked an interest in international law.
“It was a really rewarding experience to see the differences in culture, and it truly changed my perspective,” he said. “People do live in a world with no clean water or electricity, and it’s humbling to experience it.”
Throughout his time as a student, he’s worked at Pioneer in Tipton as a researcher for their test fields, served as a substitute teacher, and is an Indiana High School Athletic Association referee for basketball, soccer, and football. He also works at his parents’ newly opened restaurant, Izzy and Eddy’s, in Tipton.
“It’s crazy to think I’m preparing to attend law school, when I was nervous about even attending college in the first place,” he said. “It’s been a great journey, and I’m ready to continue my learning.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.