Chicago-Kent College of Law: Alumni E-Brief
Alumni E-Brief
Dean Harold J. Krent

From the Dean

Going Global

Two decades ago Chicago-Kent had only a handful of alumni living and working internationally; today, approximately three percent of our alumni population is based overseas, and each year we welcome 100+ new students into our international Masters of Laws program. As major law firms in the U.S. merging with those in London and Beijing, Chicago-Kent aims to stay on top of legal trends through our numerous programs and partnerships abroad.

A large portion of our international alumni community practices in China, and our enrollment remains high in our partner programs with the Chinese University of Political Science and Law, the Beijing Municipal Lawyers Association, and the Shanghai Bar Association. As China rapidly emerges as a dominant world player, it is important for the law school, and indeed for all U.S. lawyers, to understand China’s role politically, economically, and culturally.

To this end, the Alumni Association is offering an exceptional opportunity for alumni to tour China and learn about its legal system while earning up to 10 eligible general CLE credits. The trip will allow you to see the sites of China while also immersing yourself in the history, culture and legal system of the country.

The tour departs Chicago on Thursday, October 28, 2010 and returns on Saturday, November 6. For more information, please click here to view a brochure or attend one of our information sessions at the law school on Saturday, June 12 from 10:30 a.m. - Noon or Tuesday, June 15 from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. RSVP to Tara Anderson at if you plan to attend.

This month we will be traveling to Washington D.C. and I hope to see many of you at our event there on June 17.  And as a final note, I am pleased to announce that our annual Alumni Night at Wrigley Field will be September 7 this year—tickets go on sale July 19, and I encourage you to get them early!


Harold J. Krent
Dean and Professor of Law

View China Brochure >>

In This Issue

News and Announcements

Center for Open Government Achieves First Major Victory

Chicago-Kent College of Law established the Center for Open Government in August 2009 to help ensure transparency, accountability and responsibility in local and state government. The Center, headed by executive director Terrance A. Norton, identifies instances where legal recourse is needed to provide access to government information and proceedings, focusing on cases challenging closed government processes under the Illinois Open Meetings Act, the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, and similar statutes.

The Center recently had its first major court victory, which Center founder and Chicago attorney Clint Krislov said “vindicates our vision that an active advocacy program can bring sunshine and start the process of cleaning up Illinois state and local government by forcing open the processes of government in Illinois."

Earlier this spring, Cook County Circuit Court Judge William O. Maki upheld a complaint filed by the Center for Open Government on behalf of Oak Lawn resident Karen Berge against the Village of Oak Lawn board of trustees. Berge alleges that the board directly violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act last year by considering, voting in favor of, and taking final action on the approval of mass layoffs of village employees during a closed session on July 28, 2009.

Judge Maki's decision allows the lawsuit, Berge v. the Board of Trustees of the Village of Oak Lawn, now pending in Cook County Circuit Court, to proceed. In addition, by denying Oak Lawn’s motion to dismiss the case, the judge indicated that he would entertain Berge's motion to have the court review the minutes of the closed meeting to determine what transpired and whether the village board violated the Open Meetings Act.

The Center looks forward to continuing the drive for transparency in Illinois government. For more information on their work, please click here.

3L Student Awarded First Sandra P. Zemm Labor Law Prize

Tamara Starks, a third-year evening student at Chicago-Kent, 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. Zemm joined Seyfarth Shaw in 1975 as the first female associate in the labor and employment practice. In 1982, she became the firm's first female equity partner in that practice.

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 "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."

Tamara Starks works full time as a law clerk at the Chicago firm of James D. Montgomery and Associates while attending law school in the evening. She mentors other students in the Program in Labor and Employment Law, works with the Evening Law Students' Society, the Student Bar Association, and the Black Law Students’ Association, while also serving as a teaching assistant for Legal Writing I & II. 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. For more information on the Zemm Prize, visit

Scholarship Established in Memory of Gregory Thorpe ‘78

Thorpe Scholarship Receipient and Donors
(l-r) David Winston, Winston & Green; Jennifer Acker '12, award recipient; Lynn Urkov Thorpe '78, Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP; Daniel J. Kubasiak, Kubasiak, Fylstra, Thorpe & Rotunno, P.C.; and Mark Pearlstein, Levenfeld Pearlstein.
The Alumni Association is pleased to announce that Jennifer Acker, a first year student at Chicago-Kent, is the first recipient of the Gregory Thorpe Scholarship. The scholarship was created in memory of Gregory A. Thorpe ’78 who passed away in February 2009. Greg is survived by his wife, Lynn Urkov Thorpe ’78.

Over 40 alumni and friends donated to the scholarship, which is given to a student based on academic merit and community service. The fundraising effort was headed by attorneys from Greg’s former firm, Kubasiak, Fylstra, Thorpe & Rotunno, P.C., including partner, Daniel J. Kubasiak; Mark Pearlstein, partner at Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC, and Greg's longtime friend, David Winston, president of Winston & Green.

The award recipient, Jennifer Acker, graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern in 2005 and then spent a year in the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Since 2007 she has been a Cook County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). At Chicago-Kent, she is involved with the Institute for Law and Technology (ISLAT), as well as the Center for Access to Justice and Technology, for which she is developing an interactive legal assistance tool for pro se litigants that will be published on the Illinois Legal Aid website. Acker is interested in pursuing a career in public interest law and will intern this summer in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.

The Alumni Association thanks all those who made the Thorpe scholarship possible. If you are interested in contributing towards next year’s award, please visit and select the "Gregory Thorpe Scholarship."

Build Your Network

Looking for referrals? A new job?
One of the best ways to increase your career and social network is through the Alumni Directory on the Online Community.

You can search the Directory by practice area, firm, or location. To get started, visit

Not yet a part of the community?
Request your login information.

You can also find the Alumni Association online at:

Become a Fan of the Alumni Association on Facebook      Follow the Alumni Association on Twitter     Join the Chicago-Kent LinkedIn Group

Save the Date

Social Events - Chicago

Trial Advocacy Alumni Dinner
Thursday, June 10, 2010
6:00 p.m. Dinner ~ 7:00 p.m. Awards
Pegasus Restaurant, Rooftop, 130 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60661

Alumni of Chicago-Kent's Trial Advocacy team are invited to join us for the annual alumni dinner and awards ceremony. Free valet parking will be available.

RSVP to by Tuesday, June 8.

IIT Family Event at Morton Arboretum
Saturday, June 12, 2010
9:00 a.m.
The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL 60532

The Illinois Institute of Technology Alumni Association invites you to a family event at the Morton Arboretum. Check-in between 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. to enjoy continental breakfast in the Gingko Room, followed by tram tours on the Acorn Express (available on a first-come, first-serve basis). Spend time at the Children's Garden and take on the challenge of the Maze Garden.

Admission, breakfast, and tram rides (as available) are complimentary. For details and to register, please click here.

Class of 2000, Ten-Year Reunion

Class of 2000 10-Year Reunion
Saturday, June 12, 2010
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Spectrum Bar and Grill, 233 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60661

Class of 2000: Celebrate your 10-year reunion at Spectrum Bar and Grill in Greektown. Price: $40/person, includes three hours of open bar and appetizers.

RSVP online at

Silver Clouds
Andy Warhol's SIlver Clouds installation will be on display at IIT this summer. Photo © 2010 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
IIT Family Events: Elephant Sculpture Workshop and LEGO City
Saturday, June 12 and Saturday June 24, 2010
10:00 a.m.
S.R. Crown Hall, Illinois Institute of Technology, 3360 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60616

Hundreds of Andy Warhol’s Silver Clouds will float inside the vast space of Mies van der Rohe’s S.R. Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology main campus this summer, creating a lively installation. Filled with helium, Andy Warhol’s “clouds” first appeared at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York in 1966. They’re a product of collaboration between the iconic art star and the engineer Billy Klüver.

IIT’s Mies van der Rohe Society will host two family events allowing children of all ages to interact with the clouds. On June 12, kids will have an opportunity to build an Elephant Sculpture. On June 24, they can help the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust build a LEGO city.

$5 admission. Children age 10 and younger are free. For details and to register, please visit

Class of 2010: Post-Bar Party
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Rock Bottom Brewery, 1 W. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60610

Unwind from the Bar exam at the Class of 2010 Post-Bar Party on Rock Bottom Brewery's Rooftop Deck. Enjoy appetizers, an open bar, prizes and more! All members of the 2010 graduating class are welcome, regardless of when you take the Bar exam.

2010 Grads: FREE (until July 26); $10 at the door. Guests (1 per grad): $20 at the door. RSVP at by Monday, July 26.

Alumni Night @ Wrigley Field: Tickets on Sale July 19
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
5:00 p.m. Pre-Game Gathering ~ 7:05 p.m. Game
Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison, Chicago, IL 60613

Save the date for our annual Alumni Night @ Wrigley Field. Enjoy a pre-game gathering at the Cubby Bear, which includes dinner and drinks beginning at 5:00 p.m., and then watch the Chicago Cubs take on the Houston Astros at Wrigley Field.

Tickets go on sale at Monday, July 19 at 9:00 a.m. CST. Each alumnus is limited to 2 tickets. This event always sells out so we encourage you to get tickets early!

Class of 1990 20-Year Reunion: Save the Date!
Saturday, September 18, 2010

Class of 1990: Please save the date to celebrate your 20-year reunion. Details are forthcoming.

Please contact Tara Anderson at with questions. We also invite you to check in with your classmates on the Class of 1990 page at (Please note: in order to access your group page, you must be a member of the Alumni Online Community. Sign up here).

DC Alumni Gathering
Social Events - Regional

Washington D.C. Alumni Gathering
Thursday, June 17, 2010
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Bar Louie D.C., 701 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Please join Dean Harold J. Krent and the Alumni Association to meet and network with fellow alumni in the Washington D.C. area.

RSVP to by Tuesday, June 15.

Tour China with Chicago-Kent in October: Info Sessions
October 28 – November 6, 2010
Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 W. Adams St., Room 583, Chicago, IL 60661

China Trip

The Alumni Association is pleased to announce an extraordinary opportunity to travel with other alumni and earn up to 10 eligible general CLE credits while you immerse yourself in China’s rich history, culture and legal system. The group will depart Chicago Thursday, October 28 and return on Saturday, November 6.

Info Sessions
  • Saturday, June 12 @ 10:30 am – Noon
  • Tuesday, June 15 @ 5:30 – 7:00 pm

To RSVP for an information session, please email Tara Anderson at View the trip brochure here.

CLE Opportunities

29th Annual Conference on Not-For-Profit Organizations
Thursday, June 3, 2010
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 W. Adams St., Ogilvie Auditorium, Chicago, IL 60661

The conference features a comprehensive program at a mid-to-advanced level of discussion on the most current developments in taxation, legislation and regulation affecting not-for-profit organizations in Illinois.

Attendees are eligible for 6.75 hours of MCLE Credit, including 1.0 hour of ethics credit. Click here to register or download a brochure and printable registration form.

Past Event Highlights

2010 Commencement Features Craig Donohue, CEO of the CME Group, and U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin
View More Photos >>(l-r) LL.M. speaker Mirjana Todorovska, J.D. Valedictorian Paul Forster, U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin, and Craig Donohue, LL.M. '89 at the 2010 Commencement ceremony.

Please join the Alumni Association in welcoming nearly 375 new members to your ranks! The Class of 2010 graduated in a Commencement ceremony at the UIC Forum on Sunday, May 16.

Craig Donohue, LL.M. '89, CEO of the CME Group, which now oversees both the Chicago Board of Trade and the New York Mercantile Exchange, provided the alumni address. U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin, the senior Senator from Illinois and the current Senate Majority Whip, lent a perspective from the public sector. Paul Forster ’10 gave the valedictory address while Mirjana Todorovska '10, a native of Macedonia, gave the Master of Laws (LL.M.) program address.

The afternoon was capped off by an outdoor champagne reception, made all the better by the mild, sunny weather. Congratulations Class of 2010! We welcome you to the Chicago-Kent Alumni Community.

Photos from 2010 Commencement are available on our Facebook page at Video of the ceremony is also available.

View Video >>

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