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Karen Clemence

When Karen Clemence joined the Northeast Association of Pre-law Advisors (NAPLA) in 2005, she wasn’t thinking about taking on a leadership role.

But Clemence, senior associate dean of the College, ended up making several presentations at that year’s conference, then served two terms on the association’s board of directors. Now, she’s joining a long line of association officers from schools such as Wellesley, Cornell, Columbia, and Princeton as she assumes the role of president.

This past year in the capacity of president-elect, Clemence took a role in workshop planning, handling personnel issues, and helped coordinate the association’s four-day conference June 7-10 at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts.

As president during the 2011-12 academic year, she’ll run board meetings for the association, which includes pre-law advisers from about 400 colleges and universities and representatives from ABA-approved law schools.

Clemence’s role at Lafayette includes advising students about the law school application process, focusing on helping them devise strategies for succeeding on the LSAT and preparing a personal statement.

“It’s the longest and shortest two pages they’ll ever write,” she says. “Crafting a story that effectively communicates with the admissions people and isn’t trite or a failure is a real accomplishment.”

Clemence says her membership in the association has given her the opportunity to learn more about how to help students get into the best schools.

“It strengthens my networks,” she says.

Clemence adds that between 25 and 30 Lafayette students apply to law school each year.

“Last year, 100 percent of our students got into at least one law school,” she says. “So much has to do with students making the right choices for themselves and knowing what to do to get into the best school they can.”

Clemence, who holds a master’s degree in public administration from Lehigh University, is also a member of the National Association of Academic Advisors (NACADA).