After a year in private practice, Rebecca Scheller decided she belongs on campus rather than in the courtroom.
“I was so involved when I was a law student,” Scheller said. “And I did enjoy practicing, but I really wanted to get more people time.”
So, a year after graduating, she joined the University of Wisconsin Law School as an assistant director for admissions and financial aid in 2008. In 2011, Scheller became assistant dean of her department, not only leading the admissions and financial aid team, but also traveling the country to recruit potential students.
Her work has made a difference.
“With applications down and more students competing for financial aid, it is no secret we are in a difficult time for law school admissions,” said Margaret Raymond, law professor and dean of the University of Wisconsin Law School. “Rebecca has taken a hands-on approach to admissions and faced the current demands with ingenuity and determination. Her impact at the law school can be seen.”
Scheller transformed the annual Admitted Students Weekend from a sit-down dinner to a networking meet and greet. And she has reached out to the state’s other law school, Marquette University in Milwaukee, to coordinate recruitment trips and establish a Diversity Day event, including a law school fair, which has attracted nearly 40 law schools in just two years.
“I can’t even imagine what her email looks like,” Raymond said. “Everyone reaches out to her directly, and she responds to everyone. She can’t always answer everything right away. But at least she can tell you she’s on it.”
For Scheller, it’s all about staying in touch with students and embracing what drew her to the law school.
“One of the things I loved was the diversity,” Scheller said. “So, I want to make sure that I’ve got my finger on the pulse of everything that could affect our students and the law school.”
That’s reflected in her involvement with the State Bar Task Force on Diversity, the law school’s Committee on Women in the University, even her own family, as she tries to find a work-life balance while raising her son and daughter, ages 4 and 2, with husband and fellow attorney, John Scheller.
“She really cares about the students,” Raymond said. “The sky is the limit for someone with her skills.”