Office of the Dean:
News & announcements from Dean Perritt for the week of
August 17, 1998

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I welcome you back to law school with a sense of excitement about the coming year. Chicago- Kent is known throughout Chicago, and indeed around the world, as being a law school ahead of the times. This means that momentum is important. We have momentum, ranging from our aggressiveness in exploring the intersections of science, law and technology through the Institute for Science, Law and Technology (ISLAT) led by Professor Lori Andrews, to our many international programs that began with a visit by Ambassador Richard Holbrooke last fall and culminated this summer with a program that brought to Chicago-Kent the Chinese Ambassador to the United States and the United States Secretary of Commerce. At the same time, our trial practice teams and moot court teams were successful in competitions around the country. Chicago-Kent law students, working with IIT undergraduate engineering students, have helped use technology to improve a rule of law in Bosnia and to ease the plight of refugees from Kosovo and Albania, demonstrating that individuals can make a difference in the world even while they still are in school.

Our faculty continues to publish leading-edge thinking in areas ranging from the philosophy of law to the interpretation of supplemental jurisdiction in federal courts. Last month, three sections of the American Bar Association (business law, international law, and science and technology) selected Chicago-Kent as the home of a major new two-year project on Internet Jurisdiction. Professor Margaret Stewart will lead this effort as co-reporter. Professor Steve Harris is wrapping up his work as a reporter for a rewrite of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Professor David Gerber published an important new book on the evolution of the legal framework for the European Union.

We expect to build on this momentum in the coming year. With your active involvement, we will be working on telemedicine, electronic commerce, and genetic science in ISLAT. In the international field we will be building relationships in China, exploring immigration law, and helping to construct a rule of law in central and eastern Europe. Professor Kimberly Pace will continue to increase the visibility and professional linkages of our intellectual property program. Professor Marty Malin will continue to broaden the reach of his highly successful Institute for Law and the Workplace, which already creates exemplary externship opportunities for Chicago- Kent students interested in labor and employment law.

You will get the most out of law school if a lively intellectual curiosity animates all of your law school experiences. At the same time, this is a professional school, and it is also appropriate for you to have a practical outlook. Part of your goal in preparing yourself to be an effective professional is to make sure you are well prepared for the bar examination -- the gateway from law school into the profession. I have appointed three new faculty committees to make sure we are doing the best possible job to help you understand the relationship between what goes on in the classroom and your future as an effective professional practitioner. We want you to understand how important the mastery of basic legal concepts and institutional arrangements is to success in practice. We also want to do a better job in helping you relate your summer and term-time employment to your education.

You must be prepared for the law, business, and social environments as they will exist in the future; you want to be prepared for an entire career, and not just your first year or two after law school. That's why we will be teaching you about trends and major proposals for changing the law and building new political, legal, and economic frameworks. That's why we will expect you to use information technology, especially the Internet's World Wide Web, as a regular part of your law school experience -- it will be a regular part of your professional experience.

Chicago-Kent provides an environment for you to obtain a rich professional education -- one aimed at equipping you to be an effective lawyer and leader in the professional environment as it will exist in the 21st century.

We value the opportunity to work with you toward these goals.

Henry H. Perritt, Jr.

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