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James Boyd
Indiana University School of Law--Bloomington

Last modified: Thursday, October 9, 2008

Socctoberfest unites Indiana Law students

Note to editors: The media are invited to attend this event, which will offer excellent video and photo opportunities.

Oct. 9, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- What's black and white and has the power to unite a diverse group of people? A soccer ball.

Fútbol -- or soccer, as it's known here in the United States -- is consistently ranked as the world's most popular sport. Now going on its sixth year, the JD/LLM Socctoberfest will bring together students from the Indiana University School of Law--Bloomington on Friday (Oct. 10).

Nearly 100 JD and LLM candidates will take to the Karst Farm Park fields beginning at 4:30 p.m. for spirited games that will unite students from all over the globe. Indiana Law is home to a diverse group of international students, most of whom are pursuing their LLM -- Master of Laws -- through its Graduate Legal Studies Program.

"The idea is to provide a venue where our many foreign law students feel comfortable -- and that is often a soccer field," associate professor of law and Socctoberfest co-founder Bill Henderson said. "If things go like in previous years, the LLM students, both players and spectators, will start talking with JD students. Soccer is a great icebreaker."

Photo by: Debbie O'Leary

Bill Henderson

Henderson and Lisa Farnsworth, director of Graduate Legal Studies and senior lecturer in law, hatched the idea of an intramural soccer event in 2003.

"Lisa told me a story of very shy and tentative LLM students shedding their ties at a professor's house when a soccer ball came out," Henderson said. Upon sharing the story, Farnsworth and Henderson decided to host an event that October which became Socctoberfest.

"It's an all-inclusive event that is meant to promote both relaxation in the middle of students' very stressful law school semesters, and solidarity between American and international students," said Lesley Davis, assistant dean for international programs. "It is the highlight of the fall semester for players and spectators alike."

Socctoberfest has become so popular among students that a "draft" has to be held to equally distribute LLMs and JDs.

Friday's event takes place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Fields 1 and 2 at Karst Farm Park. A cookout will follow the games.