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Week of November 26, 2012

 

ACCESS2PRACTICE
Legal Externship Program

A2P Legal Externship is a 4-credit hour non-graded program which enables you to extern with a supervising attorney in a wide variety of legal areas – private or public, civil or criminal. Externships are available for the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. Some public sector externships enable you to obtain a 711 license and appear in court.

Why Extern?

To become a good lawyer and to supplement what you learn in the classroom, you need practical experience in real-world legal work. Most students aren't fortunate enough to receive a paid clerking position — or even a volunteer opportunity — that teaches what they want to learn. LEP presents a unique and important opportunity to gain exposure to an area of the law in which you are interested and helps you significantly broaden your future employment opportunities.

Students interested in civil law may extern in a wide variety of places. For example, some have externed at the City of Chicago Corporation Counsel's Office, Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Illinois Commerce Commission, Immigration Court of the U.S. Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, and Environmental Protection Agency, as well approved in-house corporate legal counsel.

Students interested in criminal law have externed at the US Attorney's Office, the Office of the Federal Defender, and at the offices of the State's Attorney and Public Defender in Cook County as well as the surrounding counties.

Application Process:

Information and application packets for Spring 2013 are now available both on line as well as in front of the Spakateria, in Career Services Office, and in Room 600 Law Offices reception.

If you would like more information, please check the Externship web page: http://www.kentlaw.iit.edu/academics/jd-program/practical-skills-training/externships/students.

Externship Opportunities

Summer 2013: Externships with U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Illinois

If you are interested in exposure to and possible participation in federal trial and appellate practice while assisting the U.S. Attorney's Office in handling its multitude of important cases, please pick up an application in Room 612 from Carole Ross, administrative assistant to Professor Gross.

Completed applications must be received at the Office of the U.S. Attorney by Friday, January 4, 2013. The reason for this accelerated date is because each accepted extern must go through a security clearance, which takes several weeks.

To receive law school credit for this externship, should you be selected by the U.S. Attorney's Office, you must enroll in the law school's Legal Externship Program. Externship applications for Summer 2013 will be available in mid-March 2013.

Professor Gross will be happy to answer any questions you may have about either the Legal Externship Program and/or the externship position with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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Center for Open Government Blog

Voting in the Dark: Open Government Under Siege in
Chicago Public Schools Elections for Local School Council Members

June 1, 2012

When you enter the voting booth, how do you select who will receive your vote if you have no information about any of the candidates? Due to last-minute changes in Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) disclosure policy, members of the public were unable to obtain information as basic as the names of CPS’s Local School Council candidates prior to the April 2012 elections. Local School Councils (LSC) are elected bodies that play a critical role in Chicago’s public schools, including approving budgets and evaluating the school principals.

State law and CPS’s own policies require transparency. The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) compels government bodies such as CPS to provide the public with requested information so they may “fulfill their duties of discussing public issues fully and freely, making informed political judgments and monitoring government to ensure that it is being conducted in the public interest.” CPS’ own election guide requires schools to provide candidate information to anyone who requests to review these materials prior to a LSC election. Yet, CPS, citing privacy concerns, made an eleventh hour change to their own well-established policy which denied access to individuals requesting to review the LSC candidate information in person at the schools.

CPS could have simply redacted the private information in the LSC materials (such as Social Security numbers) and made available the rest of the file for public review. The Center for Open Government, Welles Park Bulldog and others urged CPS to do so in order to safeguard any confidential information and provide open access to candidate information. Instead, starting in March 2012, CPS reversed its own policy, requiring anyone seeking information about LSC candidates to file a public records (FOIA) request with the central CPS office. Given the short period before the April election and the typically long response time by CPS for public records requests, this “solution” essentially prevented the public and media from obtaining important information about LSC candidates before the election.

CPS trampled on fundamental principles of democratic government by placing unnecessary barriers to the dissemination of LSC candidate information. Citizens were forced to go into the voting booth completely in the dark to select the individuals making policy decisions about their children’s education. CPS must comply with its own policies and the FOIA law for future elections. CPS needs to assure the public that future LSC candidate information is readily available to anyone who wants it. CPS needs to know that we want the lights back on in the voting booth.

Prepared by Matthew Kennedy (IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D. candidate) and Natalie Brouwer Potts (Executive Director, Center for Open Government, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law).

 

For a complete description of all clinical programs, please visit the Law Offices' Home Page at http:\\www.kentlaw.iit.edu/academics/jd-program/practical-skills-training/legal-clinics 

 

 

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