Iskender (Alex) Bayrak just completed his first-year of law school at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. This summer he will intern for Prudential Financial in its legal department. Each year the ABA Commission on Disability Rights and Prudential offer law students with disabilities who have completed their first year with the opportunity to apply for the internship. Alex was selected among a slate of candidates.
At age 14, Alex underwent spinal cord surgery to remove a tumor. His rehabilitation was both challenging and lengthy. Alex now uses crutches to walk. He credits his maturity and drive to his disability. When asked about the impact of his disability on his life, Alex responds that his life is not any less and he doesn’t feel limited socially or professionally. Perhaps, Alex says, this is because his “natural response is to focus on a solution, rather than the problem.”
Alex holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and International Affairs from George Washington University. As a result of growing up abroad, he is fluent in Dutch, English, German, and Turkish. Alex has worked for the Economic Development Administration, which is tasked by the White House with fostering prosperity and job creation in America’s underprivileged areas. He has also worked for the Institute for European, Eurasian, and Russian Studies, as well as the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Alex is anxious to share his success and experiences with other aspiring lawyers with disabilities. He feels that the legal profession currently has an inclusion problem, in that many firms tout their diversity initiatives, and yet only focus these initiatives on certain diverse populations. More often than not, lawyers with disabilities are left out of those initiatives.