Law Offices:
News & announcements for the week of
August 14, 2000

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Welcome to the Law Offices' In-House Clinic Program at Chicago-Kent College of Law.  This semester you will learn how to practice law under the close supervision of a faculty attorney - an experience that is available only in the Law School's in-house clinical programs.

The first meeting will be Monday, August 21, 2000, from 4:00 p.m. to 4:55 p.m. in Room 370. Attendance at this meeting is mandatory for all beginning students in the In-House Law Offices programs.  At the meeting, we will distribute the Clinic Handbook.

Continuing students should contact their supervising attorney and pick up a Handbook from the Receptionist in Room 600 on the morning of August 21.

You will meet with your attorneys at the initial practice group section meetings on Monday, August 21, after the general meeting.   The rooms will be announced during the 4:00 p.m. meeting and on the 6th floor bulletin board. 

For Criminal Clinic students, please complete the MCC form and return it to the Receptionist if you have not already done so.  This needs to be done before the fall session begins. 

We are looking forward to working with all of you during the fall semester.


The Law Offices recently hired a tax attorney to replace Professor Wendy Abbott.  Jonathan P. Decatorsmith will supervise the Low Income Taxpayers Clinic beginning this fall, 2000 semester.  Prior to joining Chicago-Kent, Professor Decatorsmith was a senior trial attorney at the Chief Counsel’s Office of the IRS, where he earned awards including Midwest Attorney of the Year.  In addition to supervising the tax clinic students, Professor Decatorsmith will teach substantive tax-related courses throughout this academic year.

The in-house clinical programs were recently expanded to include a 21st Century clinic - Information Technology & Entrepreneurship Clinic (ITEC).  ITEC is being supervised by  Professor Lance B. Williams; a brief course description is below.  Prior to joining Chicago-Kent, Professor Williams was General Counsel for Clientele Solutions, Inc - a computer software consulting and Web development firm.  He is the professor to know for “dot com” entrepreneurships.

Please join us in welcoming these two distinguished attorneys.


Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Information Technology & Entrepreneurship Clinic (ITEC) fills two needs in the Chicagoland technology community.  First, ITEC provides competent technology law services to small technology firms and local start-ups, at affordable rates through its unique fee generating model (hyperlink).  ITEC attorneys and students help these companies stay abreast of the rapidly evolving legal issues relevant to the technology entrepreneur. 

 Second, and most importantly, ITEC provides Chicago-Kent law students with practical, hands-on experience working on cutting-edge legal issues, under the supervision of experienced technology attorneys.  These students will then travel into the Chicago legal market upon graduation, providing Chicago with technologically savvy lawyers to meet its developing technology law needs.

ITEC assists new ventures through the each stage of developing a start-up -- business organization; protection of intellectual property rights; transactional and contract drafting; and, current advice regarding evolving legal issues relevant to doing business on the Internet.  Also, ITEC provides ongoing legal services for companies in the information technology field.

Information Technology & Entrepreneurship Clinic

Students who intern in the Information Technology & Entrepreneurship Clinic will assist in providing legal services to established IT companies and Internet start-ups.  The Clinic will focus on the developing legal issues relevant to an entrepreneur in the technology field, and will handle projects through various stages of progression of an Internet start-up.  For instance, students will create business organization documents, register and draft contracts to protect intellectual property rights, draft contracts relating to internet and computer services, and advise clients regarding evolving internet law topics. 


First Defense Legal Aid (FDLA), the only program of its kind in the country, fills the gap in Illinois’ public defender system by providing 24-hour free legal representation to adults and children in police custody or under police investigation.  FDLA provides a unique “frontline” criminal defense experience for students, enabling them to see: how evidence is collected and created; the tactics of the Chicago Police Department when trying to extract a confession or question witnesses; the role that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Felony Review Team plays during the beginning stages of a criminal investigation; and the utter vulnerability of children and adults when under intensive and sometimes abusive interrogation.  In addition to this stationhouse representation, DSLA also works toward the permanent improvement of our criminal justice system by educating the public, organizing community residents to combat police misconduct, by engaging in legislative and community advocacy, investigating patterns of misconduct by the Chicago Police, taking select criminal defense cases to trial, and initiating 42 U.S.C. §1983 litigation to improve the policies and procedures of the Chicago Police as they relate to the treatment of persons in police custody.

Students participating in the FDLA class must be eligible for a Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711 license.  Students representing FDLA clients at Chicago Police Stations will gain unique insight into the criminal justice system at its earliest stage and be able to:

1. View and Document Line-Ups, DNA testing, and Halt Lie Detector Tests.
2. Assert a Client’s 5th Amendment Right to Remain Silent and 6th Amendment Right to Counsel.
3. Gather Information from the Police on the Progress of the Investigation.
4. Document Police Brutality and other Misconduct.
5. Counsel Clients and Provide Information to their Families.
6. Interview Witnesses.
7. Demand a Client’s Immediate Release at the Police Station and in Court.


The Law Offices of Chicago-Kent offers nine long-standing programs in live-client clinical legal education which accommodate over 150 students in the fall and spring semesters and over 50 students in the summer semester. 

For a complete description of all clinical programs, please visit the Law Offices Home Page at
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