Last modified: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Alumni put JDs to use in politics, government
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In just eight years, Scott Tittle went from studying at the IU Maurer School of Law to advising Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels on last-minute clemency requests from death-row prisoners and researching controversial state policies like the adoption of daylight saving time.
Tittle, who earned his IU law degree in 2001, told a group of law students last week that their law degrees can be used in ways other than private practice. Now a senior attorney at Krieg Devault LLP, Tittle has built a career consisting primarily of government and political work. Before law school, he worked as a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana; and after completing law school and working at a large Indianapolis law firm, he took on the position of health care policy director and special counsel to Daniels. Tittle had volunteered on Daniels' campaign in 2003.
Tittle said politics is a field where recent graduates can get experience quickly. "If you have an interest in government or political work, the easiest way to get started is through the campaign process," he said. "Find a campaign or a volunteer event, introduce yourself, and just say 'I'll take whatever I can off your plate.' You wouldn't believe how the smallest things often mean the most to a candidate."
Tittle's presentation concluded the Law School's Alternative Legal Career series, introducing students to career options in the fields of marketing and communications, higher education, and finance and business.
"This has been a great chance for our students to network, and a great chance for them to ask questions to people who now have the jobs they may one day want," said Caroline Dowd-Higgins, the director of the Law School's Office of Career and Professional Development.
Tittle said networking is extraordinarily important, and offered assistance to students examining their career options. "The alumni are here to help," he said. "Those are the connections and contacts you should explore. You'd be surprised at how far some alumni may go to help you."
Tittle advised students to market themselves effectively when looking for jobs, no matter what fields they are trying to break into. After serving under Daniels for more than two years, Tittle used this strategy when looking to get back into private practice.
"I put together a business plan of contacts I had that I thought could translate into a government relations process," he said. "I had to plead my case a little bit, and educate them on the value I thought I could bring to the firm. I thought of the firms I wanted to work for, then looked for a mentor who could help me."
He took a job as general counsel and program director for My Health Care Manager LLC, but left in 2008 to join Krieg Devault. Even though he no longer works in state government, Tittle said he still finds time to volunteer in politics.
"Some of the things I got to do in public service were very rewarding," he said. "I could've gone and made a lot of money during those times, but I enjoyed what I did so much that I'm still doing political work."
With statewide and congressional elections in 2010 and gubernatorial and presidential races in 2012, Tittle said opportunities to get into politics or government work will be plentiful. "This is a very tough job market right now," he said. "It's really hard."
Other notable alumni from Indiana Law who have worked in politics or government include former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton, former Bloomington mayor John Fernandez, JD'92, and current Bloomington mayor Mark Kruzan.