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Like the individual words that comprise a novel, students in the W. Bruce Lunsford Academy for Law, Business + Technology at Salmon P. Chase College of Law are written into the sentences and paragraphs of the contemporary Chase story.

In many ways, their personal stories are typical of the overall enrollment. In others, they are more atypical. Some bring with them academic backgrounds from the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Others have life experiences that enrich their contributions to classroom discussions and student activities. Among them: a computer programmer analyst, a small business owner making racing car parts, a hospital laboratory technician, a Navy veteran with nuclear submarine service, a paralegal and a bioengineering program graduate.  

Since the first Lunsford scholars entered in 2014, the honors program, backed by a $1 million donation from alumnus W. Bruce Lunsford to merge training in aspects of law, business and technology, has enrolled 145 students.

Among the 67 of them this year in the focused program that complements overall coursework are Christopher Grayson, with undergraduate degrees in physics and mathematics and who owns a small engineering company; Tai Edwards, who minored in Chinese language and now finds an academic advantage at Chase in interacting with other Lunsford students; and Jalen Sehlhorst, who worked 2-1/2 years as a paralegal before enrolling at Chase.

In one key word and in their own words, this is how they see the Lunsford Academy helping them, and them helping Chase:

Christopher Grayson

Impact: “Both my fellow Chase students and my professors have significant impact here, and my experience benefits them in return. On a daily basis, I am surrounded by people who have managed wealth, written technical documentation, developed contracts and performed many other notable roles for the world’s most prominent companies. Because of this, you find yourself working immediately at a level that had previously appeared at the top of a long ladder.”

Direction: “One of the biggest benefits of the Lunsford Academy is having an established path to success to follow, having resources keeping you on track and having opportunities seemingly delivered to your doorstep.”

Tai Edwards

Interaction: “I benefit greatly from interacting with and being challenged by some of the best and brightest at Chase. There’s a great sense of community in the academy, where we’re all competing with each other but not strictly against each other. Everyone wants to see their fellow Lunsford members reach their highest potential.”

Endorsement: “Hearing about the program from Lunsford Academy students and alumni, I knew it was the perfect program to help me achieve my corporate law career goals. I had an amazing time participating in the Lunsford Fellowship at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Chase provides an excellent classroom experience, but going outside the classroom and applying what I learned through legal internships has helped solidify my understanding of the material.”

Jalen Sehlhorst

Preparation: “The Lunsford Academy was crucial in my decision to attend Chase because it offers classes and professional expertise that outshine other law schools. The academy is preparing students for the future of the legal profession, and I am fortunate to be a part of it. One benefit is the opportunity to work alongside and learn from practicing attorneys who are in emerging and exciting areas of law. I am looking forward to learning more from these professionals and taking classes focusing on data privacy, artificial intelligence and intellectual property.”  

Synergy: “Before law school, I worked as a white-collar criminal defense paralegal for 2-1/2 years. I am able to apply the knowledge and skills of my professional experience directly into the classroom.”  

For Dean Judith Daar, Ambassador Patricia L. Herbold Dean of Chase College of Law, the words of Lunsford Academy students are a narrative on what the program provides:

“The Lunsford Academy offers Chase students a unique blend of innovative courses, experiences and networking opportunities that enhance their career paths. A diverse mix of programming in law, business and technology prepares our students for the ever-changing needs of the legal profession. We are incredibly proud of the achievements our Lunsford students have advanced during law school and after graduation.”