From Congress to the classroom, Susan Brooks joins IU McKinney

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Susan Brooks

Former U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks will be returning to her alma mater, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, as a distinguished scholar and ambassador at large, the school announced Wednesday.

Brooks, 60, a Republican who represented Indiana’s 5th Congressional District from 2013 to 2021, is scheduled to begin in the fall 2021 semester by co-teaching a course on law and leadership with former IU McKinney Dean Andrew Klein. She will bring a broad range of experience to the classroom, having practiced in the public and private sectors as well as working as in-house counsel prior to entering politics.

“Our law school is delighted to welcome home Susan Brooks, our distinguished alumna, to share her knowledge, skills and experience with us,” IU McKinney Dean Karen Bravo said in a written statement. “Her presence in the classroom and other engagements outside the classroom present unparalleled learning opportunities for IU McKinney students. I can think of no better ambassador for our school as we strengthen our communal ties in Indianapolis, the state of Indiana, our nation and the world.”

Brooks, a 1985 graduate of IU McKinney, returned to Indiana after deciding not to run for a fifth term in Washington, D.C. While in Congress, she served on the Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired the House Ethics Committee, co-chaired the Bipartisan Women’s Caucus and was a member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress.

In 2015, Brooks, along with former Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Massachusetts, founded the Access to Civil Legal Services Caucus, which advocates for programs that provide low-income families with legal resources and representation.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the school that set me on my career path of public and private service,” Brooks said. “It truly is an honor to be able to share my experiences with IU McKinney students and faculty, and maybe have some small impact on the current and future generations of legal minds and public servants.”

Prior to her service in Congress, Brooks was general counsel and senior vice president for workforce and economic development at Ivy Tech Community College. In 2001, she was appointed U. S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana by President George W. Bush, serving six years at that post.

She has also worked in the government services practice group at the law firm of Ice Miller and served two years as deputy mayor of Indianapolis under Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, focusing on crime, the criminal justice system and social welfare issues. Brooks began her career as a criminal defense lawyer, working for 13 years with the law firm McClure, McClure & Kammen.

“On behalf of the IUPUI campus, we welcome the tremendous expertise and practical knowledge that Rep. Brooks will bring when she returns to the McKinney School, this time as an esteemed member of our faculty,” IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar said. “Her years of service in the U.S. Congress as well as her experience as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana will make her not only a valuable resource in the classroom but a valued colleague as well.”

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