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Week of July 19, 2010

Application for the Law and the Workplace Scholarship (please click on the link)

Announcement Letter:

Dear Certificate students:

Re: Scholarship's & Mentors

I am pleased to inform you that the Institute for Law and the Workplace again anticipates having a pool of scholarship money available for students in the Labor/Employment Law Certificate Program for the 2010-2011 academic year. The deadline for consideration for the 2010-2011 Law and the Workplace Scholarships is Friday, July 9, 2010. To be considered you must submit the following:

(1) The application
(2) Transcript including spring 2010 grades.
(3) A letter explaining why you believe you should receive one of these scholarships.

This material may be submitted to the Institute for Law and the Workplace by placing it in the Institute's mailbox on the second floor, mailing it to the Institute in care of the law school, or hand delivering it to the Institute's program associate, Sharon Wyatt-Jordan on the eighth floor. The scholarship committee will meet in late July and announce awards shortly thereafter.

Please note that Law and the Workplace Scholarships are awarded in addition to any other scholarships you may receive. Therefore, you should apply even if you anticipate receiving other scholarships from the school. Please keep in mind that Law and the Workplace Scholarships are for a term of one year. They are not renewed automatically. Therefore, if you received a scholarship during the current academic year, you must reapply for the coming academic year.

Additionally, if you have not been assigned an alumnae/I mentor and would like one, please fill out the mentor form, and return it to Sharon Wyatt-Jordan. If you have already turned in a mentor form, you need not submit another.

If you have questions, please e-mail me at ( or Sharon at (

We look forward to receiving your application.

Assistant Dean Francine Soliunas
Executive Director, Institute for Law and the Workplace
Institute for Law & the Workplace
Tel 312 906 5286

Chicago-Kent student Tamara Starks awarded first Sandra P. Zemm Labor Law Prize

Seyfarth Shaw LLP established prize in memory of Labor & Employment department partner

CHICAGO--May 13, 2010--Tamara Starks, a third-year student at Chicago-Kent College of Law, has been awarded the first Sandra P. Zemm Labor Law Prize. The prize was established last year at Chicago-Kent by the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP to honor the memory of Sandra P. Zemm, who died in September 2008 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

A Chicago native, Sandra P. Zemm earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois. She received her J.D. from the University of Florida, where she served as managing editor of the law review.

Sandra Zemm joined Seyfarth Shaw in 1975 as the first female associate in the Labor and Employment practice. In 1982, Ms. Zemm became the firm's first female equity partner in Labor and Employment. Her practice concentrated on traditional labor matters and on matters involving employment discrimination, wage-hour, and employment litigation. She negotiated collective bargaining and/or shutdown agreements with major labor unions, and represented management in more than 200 hearings before arbitrators, the National Labor Relations Board and various state labor agencies. In 2002, Ms. Zemm was elected to the American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Sandy was a unique combination of a tough-as-nails advocate and an elegant, sophisticated woman. She inspired many of us who came to the firm after her, as she was a model lawyer who could thrive in the trenches in her work life and still conduct her personal life with style and grace," said Allegra Rich, Pro Bono and Philanthropy Partner at Seyfarth Shaw. "We miss Sandy, and are happy to be able to honor her by establishing this award."

The Sandra P. Zemm Labor Law Prize is awarded annually to a third-year Chicago-Kent student in the labor and employment law certificate program who exemplifies the qualities that Ms. Zemm possessed: "a commitment to pursue a career in labor and employment law, a pioneer spirit and willingness to take the initiative whenever possible, and a gracious and generous attitude toward helping those in need." Recipients are selected by Chicago-Kent faculty who teach the law school’s Program in Labor and Employment Law.

"I have been privileged to work with Tamara since she began law school in August 2007. She is never less than a consummate professional in everything she does," said Professor Mary Rose Strubbe, assistant director of the Institute for Law and the Workplace and director of the Legal Research and Writing Program. "But 'professional' does not begin to do justice to her contributions to Chicago-Kent.

"Tamara works full time in a demanding job," Professor Strubbe continued. "In addition, she mentors other students in the Program in Labor and Employment Law, works with the evening law students' group and with the Student Bar Association, and has been my teaching assistant this year for Legal Writing I & II. She works incredibly hard, is a perfectionist in everything she does, and still finds time to care about other students’ success. She is a wonderful person, will be a great lawyer, and is a worthy recipient of the inaugural Sandra Zemm Prize."

Tamara Starks earned a bachelor of science in communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a graduate degree in history from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Starks has worked for the Associated Press in various positions since 1990, and is a member of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association's board of directors. In addition, Starks currently works as a law clerk at the Chicago firm of James D. Montgomery and Associates.

At Chicago-Kent, Starks has regularly been named to the Dean's List. She is a member of the Black Law Student Association and has held executive positions with the Labor and Employment Law Society, Evening Law Student Society and Student Bar Association. In April 2010, Starks was named to Chicago-Kent’s Bar & Gavel Society for students who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to the law school, the community and the legal profession. She will begin a judicial externship in August 2010 with the Honorable Amy St. Eve of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Seyfarth Shaw is home to more than 750 attorneys located in ten offices throughout the United States, including Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento, as well as Brussels, Belgium. The firm provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, business services, employee benefits and litigation. Seyfarth Shaw's practice reflects virtually every industry and segment of the country's business and social fabric. Clients include over 300 of the Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, newspapers and other media, hotels, health care organizations, airlines and railroads. The firm also represents a number of federal, state and local governmental and educational entities.

Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting university with more than 7,700 students in engineering, sciences, architecture, psychology, design, humanities, business and law. With more than 1,100 students, Chicago-Kent offers full-time and part-time J.D. and LL.M. degree programs as well as joint-degree programs with other IIT units. Chicago-Kent's Program in Labor and Employment Law allows students to specialize in the law governing the workplace.


IIT Chicago-Kent student Emil P. Totonchi awarded Peggy Browning Fellowship

Emil P. Totonchi, a second-year student at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, has been awarded a Peggy Browning Fellowship for the 2010-11 school year. Totonchi will spend 22 weeks working at the Chicago Newspaper Guild, a labor union that has represented reporters, editors, photographers and other newspaper industry employees in the Chicago metropolitan area for more than six decades. The union also represents staffers at the Illinois Federation of Teachers and court interpreters of the Cook County Court System. Totonchi will work with the Chicago Newspaper Guild's general counsel on negotiations and litigation over collective bargaining agreements the union administers.

The Peggy Browning Fellowship program was established in memory of Margaret A. "Peggy" Browning, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the National Labor Relations Board in 1994. Ms. Browning, the first union-side labor attorney appointed to the NLRB, served until her death in 1997.

A native of Nashville, Tenn., Peggy Browning earned her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and worked as a social worker with Philadelphia's civil rights commission. She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where she served as editor of the law review. Ms. Browning spent 15 years representing labor organizations in private, public and federal sectors. In 1985, she was a founding partner of Spear, Wilderman, Borish, Endy, Browning and Spear in Philadelphia.

"Peggy Browning fellows are distinguished students who have not only excelled in law school, but have already demonstrated a commitment to workers' rights through their previous educational, volunteer, personal and work experiences," said Mary Anne Moffa, executive director of the Peggy Browning Fund, which administers the fellowship program. "Our fellowships provide law students with unique, diverse and challenging work experiences fighting for social and economic justice in the workplace. These experiences encourage and inspire students to pursue careers in public interest labor law."

Chicago-Kent student Emil P. Totonchi is a candidate for a J.D. with a certificate in labor and employment law. The son of immigrant parents from Iraq and Ireland, Totonchi grew up in Glenview, Ill. He earned a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, with a major in international politics. Totonchi was a member of the Jewish-Arab Peace Band and the executive board of the Young Arab Leadership Alliance.

As an undergraduate, Totonchi also served four years as a student representative to the Licensing Oversight Committee that protects the rights of workers who make products licensed by Georgetown University. He also served as treasurer of the Worker Rights Consortium Governing Board and as a representative to the United Students against Sweatshops.

Before entering law school, Totonchi worked for the Service Employees International Union, for the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center in Jordan, and for the Land Center for Human Rights in Egypt.

At Chicago-Kent, Totonchi is the editor of the Employee and Employment Policy Journal and serves on the Labor and Employment Law Society's executive board. He currently is clerking at Asher, Gittler, Greenfield & D'Alba, Ltd., a Chicago law firm that specializes in labor and employment law. As a summer legal extern at Burgess Law Offices in Chicago, Totonchi provided legal assistance to taxi drivers and day laborers.

Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, a private, Ph.D.-granting university with more than 7,700 students in engineering, sciences, architecture, psychology, design, humanities, business and law.





We have no contested seats for our officer positions so the slate of new officers is:

Treasurer: Mark Berardi
Technology Director: Alisa Ittner
Vice President of Internal Relations: Tamara Starks
Vice President of External Relations: Daniel Kaspar

Sara Schumann
LELS President




The ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Annual Law Student Writing Competition
Entries for the competition must be submitted by June 15, 2010.

The ABA Section on Dispute Resolution is holding its annual law student writing competition in dispute resolution.  Papers of up to 25 pages in length may be submitted on any topic pertaining to dispute resolution, which includes labor or employment arbitration or mediation.  First prize is $1,000.  Details are available here.

Entries for the competition must be submitted by June 15, 2010.  For futher, details please visit


The College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers 2010 Law Student Writing Competition

All articles are to be submitted by November 1, 2010.

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2010 College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Law Student Writing Competition.

TOPIC:      The scope of permissible topics is broad, i.e., any aspect of workers’ compensation law.  Students are encouraged to present:

  • a public policy issue;
  • a critique of a leading case or doctrine; or
  • a comment on a statute or the need for a statutory modification.

ELIGIBILITY:      All students currently enrolled in accredited law schools in the United States and all those recently graduated from them (graduation on or after May, 2009).

First prize - $1,500.00                                             
Second prize - $1,000.00
Third prize - $500.00

The winner’s article will also be considered for publication in the Workers’ First Watch, The Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG) magazine, or in a future issue of an appropriate ABA committee newsletter or journal.  The winner will also be invited (expenses paid) to the Annual College Induction Dinner to be honored during the program.


  • Articles must be original from the applicant, and limited to one entry.  Articles must not presently be under consideration for any other publication or written as part of paid employment.

All articles are to be submitted in the following format:

  • Submitted by email to (Please reference “Writing Competition” in the subject line.);
  • All articles are to be submitted by November 1, 2010;
  • Double-spaced,on 8 ? inch by 11 inch paper, 1 inch margins;
  • Entries should be between 10 and 20 pages in length (including endnotes);
  • Citations are to conform to “A Uniform System of Citation” (The Bluebook). 
  • If published by the College, the articles become the property of the College.  No submitted article may be published elsewhere until after announcement of the winners of the competition.  Announcement of the winners will be made at least 30 days in advance of the Annual College Induction Dinner, March 2011.

Include a cover letter with your entry stating your name, mailing address and phone number (both school and permanent), name of school and year of graduation.

  • Applicant must be currently enrolled in an accredited law school or submit entry within 60 days of graduation. 


The evaluation standards will be organization, quality of research, depth, originality of analysis, clarity of style and readability.  The College reserves the right not to award and/or to reject any or all submissions.



Dear members of the Chicago-Kent community:

I am pleased to announce that Sara Schumann (3L) has been elected to serve as the new Labor and Employment Law Society president and Sara Grammes (2L) has been elected to continue as Secretary.

I am confident that both Saras, along with the current executive board members and class representatives, will do many things in 2010 to continue to build the LELS!

Here are the current officers:

- President - Sara Schumman
- V.P. for Internal Affairs - Tamara Starks
- V.P. for External Affairs - to be determined
- Treasurer - Mark Berardi
- Secretary - Sara Grammes

Finally, this will be my last message as the outgoing president of the LELS. It has been a pleasure to serve in this role.

If anyone wishes to remain in contact with me (I finished my coursework this December), my personal e-mail is "'

Best wishes for 2010!

Mark Hoffman









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