Office of the Dean:
News & announcements from Dean Perritt for the week of
August 16, 1999

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Letter to First Year Students


Dear First Year Student:

     Chicago-Kent is an exciting place to learn about the law. I want to tell you why I think so.

     Chicago-Kent has a long tradition of tying the theoretical to the practical, of linking the scholarship and teaching of its faculty to the readiness of its students to practice law.  We take our identity as a professional school seriously.  We have one of the most creative faculties in the country in terms of theoretical scholarship, and we also have one of the strongest legal writing programs in the country.  We work hard to synthesize challenging intellectual inquiry in the classroom with sound basic doctrine.  We were never content with the traditional clinical program but sought and succeeded in implementing our innovative law offices program giving law students the opportunity to engage mainstream, real-world practice problems while they are still in school.  In fact, the American Bar Association gave Chicago-Kent a national award for its Professionalism Day.

     These traditions provide the foundation for many initiatives that will be active in the coming year.  Our Institute for Law, Science and Technology, directed by Professor Lori Andrews, is a joint venture among Chicago-Kent and other units of IIT. The Institute facilitates real-world use of theories originating in the laboratory and the law school seminar.  It concerns itself with the intersections of law, science and technology, exploring the social, ethical and legal implications of, for example: cloning, electronic commerce, electricity deregulation, and telemedicine.

     Scores of our students participate in our nationally known environmental program, our Institute for Law and the Workplace, and our trial practice program, taught by real judges in real courtrooms.  We are developing new opportunities all the time. Now, Professors Gerber, Nahmod, Harding, and Heyman are working on ideas for a law-and-humanism initiative, and more focused comparative inquiry into common-law legal systems.

     Another initiative involves globalization.  It ties together faculty members, policy makers, business executives, labor leaders and public interest advocates in exploring new roles for international law and international institutions in expanding trade, managing inter-ethnic conflict, and promoting human rights and environmental protection. Dozens of our students are involved in Bosnia, Kosovo, Poland and China, building rule of law institutions, and making effective use of Internet technology as they do so.

     We also are extending Chicago-Kent's historical excellence in understanding the relationship between law and computers.  We deal with the challenges to traditional legal doctrine and institutions represented by the Internet and other computer technologies, ranging from digital signatures, to criminal liability halfway around the world for something someone puts on his Web page in Illinois.  The American Bar Association selected Chicago-Kent to lead its Internet Jurisdiction Project, under the leadership of Professor Margaret Stewart.

     All of these initiatives involve law students.  I welcome your energy and your involvement.  

     You are entering a professionalization processómore than simply attending school.  In the classroom, in your preparation for class, in your study groups, and in your contact with our outstanding faculty in and out of class, you should be intellectually curious, recognizing that the problems that will confront you in three or four decades of practice in the 21st century will involve new legal issues, new legal theories, and new legal institutions, not simply the ones the interested scholars, advocates, and designers of legal institutions in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Take advantage of the cutting edge thinking that our faculty brings to Chicago-Kent into the profession.

     Being a good lawyer is more than thoughtful analysis and mastery of theory; it also involves entrepreneurship, and effective interpersonal relations with fellow lawyers, clients, and decision-makers such as judges and legislators.  Take advantage of Chicago-Kentís professional environment in order to improve your skills at empathy, persuasiveness, and professional civility.

     Professionalism involves effectiveness in the real-world.  As lawyers, you will be agents of change, whether you seek to win a case in court, design the capital structure of a new corporate entity, build a new international legal institution, or help a client cope with a personal 
crisis.  While you are a law student, do not be passive; look for opportunities to change our society for the better, at the personal, local, national, and international levels.

     Being a good lawyer is about more than making money; it is about client and public service.  It is, in a sense, about altruism.  Practice altruism while you are practicing the other traits that will make you an effective lawyer.

     I look forward to working with you to continue to make Chicago-Kent a stimulating experience and to make sure all of us are well positioned to participate in an evolving legal system that serves the needs of society and raises its aspirations.

     Best wishes.


Henry H. Perritt, Jr. 


Dean Henry H. Perritt, Jr. 

Archive Links:  Previous Announcements from Dean Perritt

Week of May 3, 1999
  • Bart Brown's Presentation
  • The Alumni Luncheon
  • Tasha Kincade -- new arrival and maternity leave
Week of April 26, 1999 
  • Chicago-Kent Receives Gift
  • Faculty Scholarship
Week of April 19, 1999 
  • American Red Cross
  • Award Announcements
Week of April 12, 1999 - (No new information available) 

Week of March 22, 1999 

  • Operation Kosovo team in Albania
Week of March 15, 1999 
  • In Memoriam:  Dr. Rowine Brown Truitt '61
  • In Memoriam:  William F. Zacharias, Professor of Law
Week of March 8, 1999 
  • Dean Perritt's Travels To Central Europe
Week of March 1, 1999 (No new information available) 

Week of February 22, 1999 

  • International Travel Itinerary for Dean Perritt
Week of February 8 and 15, 1999 
  • Second Annual State of the Law School Address
Week of February 1, 1999 
  • Strategies for Excellence:  Law as a Profession 1999
  • Workshop on the International Criminal Court and U.S. National Security
  • Kosovo and Albania Trips
Week of January 18, 1999 
  • Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting
Week of December 7, 1998 
  • Esther Rothstein
  • Soros Open Society Foundation Grant
  • Alumnus Gift
Week of November 30, 1998 
  • Dean Perritt Appointed to Advisory Commission on Internet Privacy
Week of November 23, 1998 
  • Illinois State Bar Association Award
  • Newly Appointed Distinguished Professors
Week of November 16, 1998 
  • Workshop on Genetic Susceptibility to Environmental Contamination
Week of November 9, 1998 
  • Project Bosnia IPRO Installs Ministry of Justice Database Server
  • Assistant Dean for Career Services and Alumnae/i Relations
Week of November 2, 1998 (No new information available) 

Week of October 26, 1998 

  • Illinois Commerce Commission Relationship
  • Judicial Ratings Available
Week of October 19, 1998 
  • 21st Annual Commodities and Derivatives Law Conference 
  • NCAIR Grant 
Week of October 12, 1998 
  • Update on Jacob Corre' 
  • New Graduation Date 
Week of October 5, 1998 
  • Meeting of the National Academy of Sciences 
  • Committee on Global Networks and Local Values 
  • Presentation to the Great Lakes Supreme Court Justices 
  • Jacob Corre's Condition 
  • Dean's Office Seeks Research Assistant 
Week of September 28, 1998 
  • Meeting with Albanian Ambassador to the United States 
  • Meeting with Counselor for Legal Affairs of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China 
Week of September 21, 1998 
  • Illinois Bar Association Award for Project Bosnia 
  • Jacob Corre' 
  • Operation Kosovo Web Site 
Week of September 14, 1998 
  • Meeting with Vice President for Information Technology at Northwestern University 
  • Meeting with Incoming President of the Chicago Bar Association 
Week of September 7, 1998 
  • Chicago Tribune Coverage 
  • New Member of Chicago-Kent's Board of Overseers 
  • ISLAT/AFB Tour and Dinner 
Week of August 31, 1998 
  • David Gerber's Reception 
  • First Meeting of Project Bosnia IPRO 
  • Discussions with Bosnia Refugee Group 
Week of August 24, 1998 
  • Two Faculty Members Visit China 
  • ABA Jurisdiction Project 
  • New Appointments in Student Services 
Week of August 17, 1998 
  • Creating and building momentum: keeping Chicago-Kent a law school ahead of the times 

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