Each year, Chicago-Kent continues to grow in national stature and 2007 was no exception. We boasted a final four finish in the National Moot Court Competition and won the National Trial Advocacy Competition. Academically, we were proud to gain two national awards in Legal Writing and to achieve our highest pass rate in recent history on the July bar exam. Given the continued success and leadership displayed by you, our alumni, the Kent faculty, and our students, I anticipate that 2008 will be no different.

As the New Year starts, we look forward to several exciting events. On January 15, Chicago-Kent will host candidates running for Cook County State’s Attorney—which include three C-K alumni—for a forum on violence against women. The event, co-sponsored by the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, will be a unique opportunity for the public to converse with the candidates. On January 24, the candidates will be back at Chicago-Kent to discuss their positions on the recently released Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice Report on Chicago’s Felony Courts, an event sponsored by the Chicago Council of Lawyers.

I am particularly excited to relay the news that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will join us as the keynote speaker for our 2008 Commencement ceremony in May. The Attorney General exemplifies the Chicago-Kent tradition of public service and will no doubt inspire the class of 2008 to give back as so many of our alumni have done.

For those of you living outside the Chicago area, we are planning several Chicago-Kent Alumni Gatherings around the country (and possibly a few international events as well!). On February 7th and 8th I’ll host alumni receptions in Los Angeles and San Diego. The first week in March I’ll be in the Miami area and in Sarasota, where Roy Palmer ‘62 and his wife have once again generously offered to host an alumni event. For those of you in other parts of the world, please keep an eye on the e-Brief (scroll down to the events section of the newsletter) and the online community for upcoming events in your area.

I look forward to meeting you at these and other Chicago-Kent events throughout the year. I wish you a healthy and productive 2008.

Sincerely,

Harold J. Krent
Dean and Professor of Law

From the Classroom to Springfield

Countless Chicago-Kent students have taken Adjunct Professor William Kling ‘87’s Legislative Advocacy course and completed his assignment to create legislation that will make a difference in the real world. For the first time in the ten years that the course has been offered, one student’s homework has become law in Illinois.

Click to Englarge - Wieber and Gov. Blagojevich. Heidi Brill Photography.
Wieber (L) and Gov. Blagojevich.
Photo Credit: Heidi Brill Photography

In August of 2001, Sean Wieber ’07 was at football practice with his Northwestern University teammates when his friend, Rashidi Wheeler, went into cardiac arrest at the end of a demanding practice. Wieber held his friend and teammate’s hand during the attack that eventually took Wheeler’s life. An investigation later determined that Wheeler died from exercise-induced bronchial asthma, an attack he may have survived had he been immediately treated with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Unfortunately, such a machine was not readily available on Northwestern’s practice field.

In January 2007, Wieber, then a 3L at Chicago-Kent, was mulling over his Legislative Advocacy assignment to create a legal initiative with potential real world applications when his late teammate came to mind.

Through research, Wieber found that although a 2005 Illinois law required all public or private-owned indoor physical-fitness facilities to have AEDs on site, the statute did not include outdoor facilities. Knowing his friend’s life may have been saved with an AED, Wieber created the R.A.W. Initiative in his honor—R.A.W. standing for Rashidi Ayodele Wheeler—which proposed mandating AEDs at all public or private outdoor athletic facilities in Illinois.

Through his connections at Winston & Strawn, LLP where Wieber worked as a Summer Associate and is now a Litigation Associate, he presented the legislation to Rep. Daniel Burke (D–Chicago), sponsor of the original AED bill. Rep. Burke took it to the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives where it passed unanimously. After receiving a majority vote in the Illinois State Senate, Governor Rod Blagojevich signed the R.A.W. Initiative, HB1279, into law in December 2007.

Not only does the success of Wieber’s legislation speak to the strength and challenge of Chicago-Kent’s academic program, it is also a fitting tribute to Wieber's late friend, with the potential to save many lives. For more information about HB1279, please visit www.ilga.gov/.

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Law School Honors Alumni, President Emeritus Lew Collens at Annual Awards Luncheon

The Chicago-Kent Alumni Awards were presented on December 5, 2007 with over 250 alumni and friends attending our 30th annual Awards Luncheon at the Standard Club in Chicago.

Click for more event photos.
Jonathan A. Carson '97, Maryann Jones '82, D. Jean Ortega Piron '81, and John R. Schmidt were honored at the 2007 Alumni Awards.

The 2007 Professional Achievement Awards recipients were Maryann Jones '82, Dean and President of Western State University College of Law and D. Jean Ortega Piron '81, Guardian of the Illinois DCFS. Jonathan A. Carson '97, Co-Founder and President, Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC, received the 2007 Young Alumni Award and this year’s Distinguished Service Award was presented to John R. Schmidt, IIT Trustee, Chairman of the Chicago-Kent Board of Overseers, and Partner, Mayer Brown LLP.

Click to Englarge - The Lewis Collens AtriumIn addition to the alumni awards, the law school honored Lew Collens, President Emeritus and former Dean of Chicago-Kent by announcing the dedication of the Lewis Collens Atrium. The Atrium is the ground floor area of Chicago-Kent’s building at 565 W. Adams Street. in Chicago.

We are grateful to our 2007 Luncheon Sponsors for supporting this event, with special thanks to our Diamond Sponsors, Marge and Lew Collens and Mayer Brown LLP.

To view photos from the event, visit the alumni online community or click here.

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Kent Justice Foundation Spring Auction: You Can Help!

The Kent Justice Foundation (KJF) is a Chicago-Kent student group that promotes public interest law, encourages volunteerism, and supports pro-bono work. Each year they hold a silent auction with funds benefiting KJF and their summer fellowship program for students working in public interest positions. This year’s Spring Auction will be held on Thursday, March 27, 2008 at Chicago-Kent.

You can help support KJF through an in-kind donation to the Auction. If you have spare sports tickets, a restaurant gift certificate, or a service you can provide (e.g. allowing a student to shadow you for a day), please contact Katie Rock or Matt Towey, Auction Co-Chairs, at kjf@kentlaw.edu. Any donations are greatly appreciated.

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Lectures
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Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Lecture

Constitutional scholars and co-authors David D. Cole and Jules L. Lobel will discuss their award-winning book, Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror, at the inaugural Chicago-Kent College of Law / Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize Lecture.

Click to Englarge - Less Safe Less FreeJanuary 28, 2008
2:00 - 3:00 PM

Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Courtroom
Chicago-Kent College of Law
565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661

Reception to follow. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information on the Palmer Prize and the 2007 winners, please click here. Questions may be directed to Tasha Kincade at (312) 906-5006.

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Chicago Events
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Cook County State’s Attorney Candidates' Forum: Violence against Women

Meet the 2008 Cook County State’s Attorney candidates as they discuss their plans to combat violence against women. A post event reception with the candidates follows.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008
6:00 PM

Richard B. Ogilvie Auditorium
Chicago-Kent College of Law
565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661

Sponsored by:
The Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network
.

Please RSVP to Angie Jimenez at 312.750.0730 or angelica@batteredwomensnetwork.org.

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Cook County State’s Attorney Candidates' Forum: Chicago’s Felony Courts

Chicago-Kent hosts our second forum for the 2008 Cook County State’s Attorney candidates in partnership with the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Appleseed Fund for Justice. Please join us as candidates discuss their positions on the recently released Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice Report on Chicago’s Felony Courts.

Moderator: Daniel Coyne, Professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law and President, Chicago Council of Lawyers

Thursday, January 24, 2008
1:00 PM

Richard B. Ogilvie Auditorium
Chicago-Kent College of Law
565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661

Sponsored by:

Reception to follow. This event is free and open to the public. No RSVP required. Attendees are Eligible for 2 Hours of IL-MCLE Credit.

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International Law Student - Alumni Reception

The International Law Student Association (ILSA) will host a cocktail reception for students and alumni to discuss career paths in International Law. We invite alumni who practice International Law –whether human rights law or international business transactions—to informally share their experiences with students and answer questions relating to the field.

February 12, 2008
5:00 PM

Chicago-Kent College of Law
565 W. Adams St., 10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60661

This event is cohosted by the Office of Career Services, ILSA, ABA's Section of International Law and Practice, and the Law Student, LL.M. and New Lawyer Outreach Committee.

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National Events
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Los Angeles-Area Alumni Events

  • Reception with IIT President John Anderson for IIT and Chicago-Kent Alumni

Sunday, January 13, 2008
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Mariott’s Le Merigot
1740 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401

RSVP to Marian Quirk at 800.448.2586 or alumni@iit.edu by January 10, 2008.

  • Chicago-Kent Alumni Gathering with Dean Hal Krent

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Location T.B.A.
Los Angeles, CA

RSVP to Terresa Byrd at 312.906.5234 or alums@kentlaw.edu by February 4, 2008.

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San Diego-Area Alumni Events

  • Reception with IIT President John Anderson for IIT and Chicago-Kent Alumni

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008
    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

    Hotel del Coronado
    1500 Orange Avenue
    Coronado, CA 92118

    RSVP to Marian Quirk at 800.448.2586 or alumni@iit.edu by January 10, 2008.

  • Chicago-Kent Alumni Gathering with Dean Hal Krent

    Friday, February 8, 2008

    Location T.B.A.
    San Diego, CA

    RSVP to Terresa Byrd at 312.906.5234 or alums@kentlaw.edu by February 5, 2008.

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The Chicago-Kent e-Brief Archives Are Now Online!

Missed a month of our newsletter? You can now view past issues of the Alumni e-Brief. Please click here to access the archives.

January 2008

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