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Students attend legal studies conference

The legal studies program at Morehead State University recently participated in the 37th National Conference of the American Association for Paralegal Education in Newport, Rhode Island, on Oct. 31 through Nov. 3.

 Dr. Kelly Collinsworth, professor, and Dr. Dianna Murphy, associate dean, participated in a panel presentation with their students titled, “Traveling Beyond the Classroom: Integrating Travel Into Your Curriculum.”

 Collinsworth and Murphy brought 15 MSU students who presented at the conference as part of their course, PLS 360: Special Legal Topics: Wealth and Poverty. Students in the class have been studying law and policy related to wealth and poverty.  While in Newport, the students and faculty had guided tours of several of the robber baron mansions including the Breakers and Rosecliff. They also participated in a Servant Life Tour at The Elms Mansion.  

At the conference, they shared their experiences in the class, how traveling in the class enhanced the curriculum, and discussed overcoming barriers for students to participate in a class that travels either domestically or internationally.   

Students participating were:  
  • Taylor Cornwell, Catlettsburg, Sophomore
  • Lauren Cruse, Lexington, Junior
  • Rachel Davis, Circleville, Ohio, Sophomore
  • Benjamin Hayes, Louisa, Junior
  • Michaela Hood, Versailles, Junior
  • McKayla Jones, Mt. Sterling, Junior
  • Emily King, Flemingsburg, Senior
  • Amethyst Muncy, Louisa, Junior
  • Courtney Peters, Morehead, Junior
  • Dalton Rakestraw, Morehead, Junior
  • Alissa Rookard, Somerset, Junior
  • Michael Ruark, Flemingsburg, Senior
  • Duane Sassi, Morehead, Senior
  • Robert Stiens, Bethel, Ohio, Junior
  • Sarah Young, Lynchburg, Ohio, Senior
MSU's legal studies program equips students with the legal knowledge and skills to successfully pursue a career in law as a professional paralegal or assist attorneys in providing legal services to clients. Students gain hands-on experience and contribute to a variety of community engagement projects, including staffing pro se clinics and working with elementary, middle, and high school students to conduct mock trials. The program is ranked 12th out of the top 25 legal studies degree program according to  

For more information about MSU’s legal studies program, visit or call 606-783-2655.