Allison Fetter-Harrott, Ph.D.

“My guiding principle is that learning should be a hands-on challenge. And so in my classes, we think critically and engage with real-world problems. By doing this, students build the ability to be effective citizens in the world.”


Elmon and Lucile Williams Endowed Chair in Law and Public Service; Associate Professor of Political Science

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Indiana University – Bloomington, IN
  • J.D., Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington, IN
  • M.S., Butler University – Indianapolis, IN
  • B.S., New York University – New York, NY

Year Joined Franklin



American government, the American judicial system, and the U.S. Constitution
I joined the faculty at Franklin College because I wanted to use my professional expertise to support students on their way into law school and other fields of public service. I focus my teaching on U.S. law and government, with special attention to civil rights and education law. I have spoken at national and regional conferences and published research on employment law, special education, and constitutional questions facing public schools.

Besides general courses in American government, I teach courses on the following topics: state and local politics, constitutional law, comparative politics, public policy, education law and policy, sports law and policy, and justice and advocacy.

What advice do you have for students interested in Franklin’s pre-law program?

There is so much you can do with a law degree. Start early, and take advantage of the unique opportunities at Franklin College to learn about the legal field. Work with an alumni attorney mentor. Join the mock trial team. Take classes where you will meet attorneys, observe court proceedings, and practice advocacy skills. And take advantage of the opportunity to get ongoing individual support and guidance from our pre-law advisors. Engage in experiences that will help you grow as a person, too. Our program has a lot of opportunities to help you get where you want to go.

How do you help students pursue their careers?

Having professional experience in our region, I greatly enjoy helping students make connections with leaders in the area. We work one-on-one to help students identify internships and other opportunities that are tailored to their interests, strengths, and goals for growth. And I enjoy coaching students on internship performance, professional communication, and the job search process. Our students have taken some really exciting paths into the work world.

How do you help students who are on their way to graduate programs?

I give students individually tailored support in studying for entrance exams (like the LSAT, GRE), choosing schools, applying to schools, pursuing scholarship support, and more. I particularly enjoy helping students make connections with internship placements and other experiences that will help them decide where they want to go after graduation.
And I give these same supports to alumni, because our students and graduates are part of the College family for life.

Selected Professional Accomplishments

Professional Experience

Law Clerk, Hon. David F. Hamilton, then on U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (now appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit)
Associate, Baker & Daniels LLP (Labor & Employment and Education)

Honors and Awards

Order of the Coif
Pi Sigma Alpha, National Political Science Honor Society
Harriet C. Beasley Scholarship, Indiana University – Bloomington Maurer School of Law
2011 Outstanding Adjunct Instructor Award, Indiana University Bloomington School of Education
2010 Outstanding Associate Instructor Award, Indiana University Bloomington School of Education


Clifford and Paula Dietz Endowed Faculty Travel Award, Franklin College, 2013
Campus Election Engagement Project, Indiana Campus Compact, 2012

Selected Scholarship

Co-presenter with David G. Brailow and Randall D. Smith, “Surviving and Thriving in Programmatic Self-Assessment: Faculty and Administrative Perspectives,” Higher Learning Commission Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, March, 2015.
Co-presenter with Meredith Clark-Wiltz, Kristin C. Flora, Shelley Nelson, and Randall D. Smith; “Walking a Mile: Using Role Plays to Engage Students,” Teaching Professor Conference, New Orleans, LA,June, 2013. (This presentation was recognized by attendees as one of the best at the conference.)
Co-author with Jamie Prenkert and Julie Magid, “Retaliatory Disclosure.” University of North Carolina Law Review, February, 2013. (Best Paper, Pacific Southwestern Legal Studies in Business National Conference, 2012).

What Students Say

“Dr. Fetter-Harrott has helped me tremendously in a variety of ways including earning a prestigious internship at a very well-known and well-respected law firm, guiding the Mock Trial Team to success in our first year as an organized team, and helping me to reach my full potential in classes of all areas.” – Robbie Prather ’17

My Favorite Book

My favorite book is Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela. Mandela’s discussion of his experience, his setbacks, and even his flaws demonstrates that real, imperfect people are the ones who make significant change toward progress in the world.