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Office of Academic Administration and Student Affairs

Asst. Dean Stephen Sowle

Week of October 3, 2016
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Academic Calendar Reminder. Due to Rosh Hashanah, all classes (day and evening) are administratively canceled on Monday, October 3. Due to Yom Kippur, classes starting 4:00 and after are administratively canceled on Tuesday, October 11, and all classes (day and evening) are canceled on Wednesday, October 12.

1L Your Way. The 1L Your Way program allows first-year full-time students to choose an elective class or Clinic Rotation in the Spring semester if they wish. Part-time day students and evening division students will begin taking electives next Fall (or this Summer if they elect to enroll for the optional Summer term).

Full-time students will have three options in the Spring:

Taking Legislation (a 3-credit required course).

Taking one of several designated elective classes. The tentative list of classes includes Business Organizations (4 cr.), Patent Law (3 cr.), Employment Relationships (3 cr.), Criminal Procedure (3 cr.), and International Law (3 cr.). (Please note that this list is subject to change.) Students may also petition to take other elective classes that fit their schedules; petitions will be considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the professors teaching the courses. If you take an elective, you will be in class with upper-level students. 

Taking the Clinic Rotation (see the description below).

The final Spring schedule, with further details, will be issued prior to Spring registration in November. First-year students who choose to take an elective or the Clinic Rotation will be required to take Legislation in the Fall of their second year. For the Clinical Rotation, an application will be due prior to Spring registration (we will give ample notice of when and how to apply). If the number of applications exceeds the number of available places in the Rotation, we will conduct a lottery to select the students. In addition, depending on demand, we may not be able to accommodate all first-year students who wish to take one of the designated electives classes, although we are hopeful there will be sufficient spaces available for all interested students.

To ensure that all full-time first-year students are assessed on a common set of courses, grades for Legislation or for an elective taken its place will not be considered in calculating Spring class ranks for first-year students or for purposes of probation and dismissals, Law Review selections, or merit scholarships for first-year students. (As noted below, the Clinical Rotation will be graded pass/fail and thus won't count into students' GPA's for that reason.)

Clinic Rotation Description: The Clinic Rotation option aims to help students refine their career interests by gaining exposure to diverse areas of law practice. It matches first-year students with faculty practitioners, allowing students to gain exposure to three different practice areas and to the day-to-day activities of the clinical faculty. Based inside Chicago-Kent's in-house law firm, the Clinic Rotation course is the first of its kind in the country. The law firm's faculty practitioners participate as both teachers and mentors. Students enrolled in the Clinic Rotation spend four weeks with each of three practitioners, observing and participating in their day-to-day lawyering activities. In addition, there is a weekly plenary classroom session that covers lawyering activities that arise within real life law practice. The available practice areas include criminal defense, employment/civil litigation, entrepreneurial law, family law, vaccine injury litigation, and tax law. Although student activities will vary from rotation to rotation, based upon current caseloads and calendars, students may be exposed to such activities as: accompanying lawyers to court appearances, proceedings at administrative agencies, or mediations; client meeting; document drafting; case strategizing; and simulated activites that help develop professional skills. The Clinic Rotation will be graded on a pass/fail basis only.

Interested in Studying Abroad at a Chicago-Kent Partner School? The Office of International Law and Policy would like to invite any interested J.D. students to an informal information session on Chicago-Kent's study abroad programs on October 4, 12:00-1:00pm, in Rm. 345. The session will provide information on the available options as well as an overview of the process.  Although first-year J.D. students are not eligible to study abroad until completing their first year, first-year students who want an early start on planning are welcome to attend this session, or they can attend a second session planned for the Spring semester. 

Fire Drill Follow-Up. We would like to thank students, faculty, and staff for their cooperation with the recent fire drills. We would also like to pass along a few reminders:

Please use the nearest staircase to exit the building, unless the staircase is overcrowded. In that case, please seek out an alternate staircase (there are at least two on each floor). There are maps in the elevator bays on each floor identifying the locations of the staircases. Do not use the elevators.

Once in the staircase, please proceed all the way to the first floor -- do not exit at the third floor in order to use the atrium staircase.

Please do not take time to gather up and pack your belongings -- your safety is more important than your possessions. If you have valuables you do not wish to leave behind, please "grab and go" when you hear the alarm -- do not waste precious seconds or minutes powering down your laptop computer or packing up your belongings.

Once you exit the building, please move either eastward or westward down the sidewalk so that you will be out of harm's way if any windows shatter. For your safety, please do not step into traffic or cross against a traffic light.

Failure to follow the directions of Law School personnel during a building evacuation may result in a disciplinary charge.

Mindfulness Meditation Session. The Dean's Office will host a free mindfulness meditation session for the entire law school community (students, faculty, and staff) on Tuesday, October 11, 12:15-1:00pm, in Rm. 520. The session will be led by attorney Jeffrey H. Bunn, a Chicago mediator and business litigator. Mr. Bunn is chairman of the Chicago Bar Association's Mindfulness and the Law Committee. Mr. Bunn will provide an introduction to meditation, a 10-minute meditation group sitting, and a brief discussion on how you can incorporate meditation into your working day to improve your work/study performance, effectiveness, and resilience. Click here to RSVP online (myIIT login required).

CBA Program on Running for Public Office. The Chicago Bar Association will host a program entitled Running for Public Office: How to Get on the Ballot and Win on October 5, 3:00-6:00pm, at 321 S. Plymouth Court. The program is free for area law students who attend in-person.

Click here to register if you are a CBA member. If you are not a CBA member, send an email to with your name, law school, address, phone number, and email address.

Joke of the Week. Why is can crushing the saddest job in the world? Because it's soda pressing.


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