“The World Needs People to Do Good Things”

By Malika Loehrlein *, Photos by Hiroo Suzuki **

September 30, 2010

           Fran Quigley is a visiting professor of law at the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis.  In addition to teaching, he has been very involved with public interest works.  For example, he co-founded the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret (LACE), a human rights law clinic devoted to representing HIV-positive individuals in western Kenya. He has also served as an executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana, and is currently a staff attorney at Indiana Legal Services (ILS).  Additionally, he is a journalist and writes a bi-weekly column for the Indianapolis Star.   

            Professor Quigley received his B.A. from Hanover College, where he majored in English. He earned his J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, where he now teaches.  Professor Quigley first became interested in the legal profession as a teenager in high school. Inspired by his oldest brother, who was a public interest lawyer and a professor, Professor Quigley wanted to be able to help people and saw that a law degree would allow him to do that.  After earning his J.D., Professor Quigley found that the degree was flexible enough for him to work not only in the legal profession, but also in journalism as well as the global poverty and global health fields.

            Professor Quigley spent his first year as a law student at the Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington (now the Indiana University Maurer School of Law) and then transferred to the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, located in his hometown.  “I saw the light,” he joked, and then more seriously explained that what drew him to Indy was the job opportunities.  While attending school, he worked for the state public defender’s office and the Indiana Court of Appeals, both before graduation. “That’s the kind of experience that very few law schools can give you,” he said.

            Of all the changes that have occurred to the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis since he was a student, Professor Quigley said the biggest improvement in his opinion is that the school has become much more international. From study abroad programs, to the curriculum, to the student body, the school has become more international in every respect. His favorite part about teaching where he once studied is being able to see the enthusiasm of current law students who are trying to make the world a better place.


            Professor Quigley’s inspiration for doing public interest work is simple: “Frankly, it’s fun,” he said.  Rather than choose a particular case as his most memorable one, he described each case in which he has been able to use his degree and training to help someone as a privilege. “Every time I’m lucky enough to be a part of a case like that, it’s as much as I could ever ask for.”

            The advice that Professor Quigley would give to current law students is to “follow your passion,” even if there may not be an immediate payoff.  “If you really like to do a certain kind of work,” he said, “even if it doesn’t immediately reward you in a way that is sufficient, I think eventually it will.” He pointed out that a law degree is flexible, even for those who may be interested in work outside of the legal field, recalling his own career which did not always necessarily fall under the lawyer category.  “The world needs people to do good things, and so if you follow your passion, I think that it eventually will lead you to a happy and fulfilling career.”


            On Wednesday, October 6, 2010, from 4:30pm-5:30pm, Professor Quigley will be speaking at an event for the Asian Law Students Association. His topic is titled "International Law and the 'War on Terror': Bad Guys Make Bad Law," which is a play on the old saying that "bad facts make bad law." He will be discussing the U.S.-led war on terror and how the pursuit of "bad guys" has unfortunately caused the U.S. to make some bad law, as well as some proposed solutions for how to solve this problem.

* Malika Loehrlein is a 2L at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis and an active member of the Asian Law Students Association.

** Hiroo Suzuki is the IT-in-Chief of the Asian Law Students Association.


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